If you want to perform exercises like L-Sits and headstand presses at home without a parallel bar, you are probably looking for a set of parallettes. These relatively cheap and multi-purpose pieces of gym equipment are perfect for home workouts that train both strength and balance. If you are looking for a set of your own, there are lots of different options. In this article, we will look at some of the best parallettes for CrossFit in 2022.
What are Parallettes and How Are They Used in Crossfit?
Parallettes look like dip bars or pushup bars but are longer and lower to the ground. They are used to simulate parallel bars for bodyweight exercises. Parallel bars are a huge piece of equipment restricted to gymnastic gyms, while parallettes are small, relatively low to the ground, and portable, so they can be used in a home gym. CrossFitters use parallettes to perform a variety of exercises that would otherwise be impossible or require a parallel bar.
Which CrossFit Exercises Use Parallettes?
Parallettes are traditionally gymnastic equipment and train you to support your body weight better in different positions. A set of parallettes can help you tone your entire body and improve your balance in the process.
Here are some CrossFit exercises you can do with parallettes:
- Bench dips
- Headstand presses
- Headstand pushups
- Inclined pushups
- Inverted, elevated bridges
- Decline pushups
- Pike pushups
- Frog stands
- Tuck planches
What Size Parallettes Do You Need for CrossFit?
Parallettes come in all shapes and sizes, with some that are extremely low to the ground and others much higher. There are also a lot of variations in base size and stability, handle width, and materials used. This is mainly because parallettes are used differently by different athletes. Gymnasts are concerned with stability and balance, while many CrossFitters do pushups and presses with them.
The best size parallettes for CrossFit are 10″ to 14.5″ tall and at least as long as the user’s shoulder width. This should allow you to comfortably perform most or all of the exercises that can be done with parallettes. They need to be high enough for beginners to lift their legs for an L-Sit, and low enough that they are stable for headstand presses.
In general, higher parallettes are easier for beginners, providing more space for basic exercises. Lower parallettes might be preferable for balance-focused CrossFitters or gymnasts doing higher-level exercises.
What to Look For When Buying Parallettes For CrossFit
Parallettes are a basic piece of equipment that shouldn’t be complicated or expensive but should meet all of your requirements, be comfortable to use, and last for a long time.
Length and Height
Parallettes should be a minimum of 10″ tall and the bars should be at least as long as your shoulder width. If the bars are lower to the ground you might have difficulty doing some exercises, and if they are any higher, the chance of wobble increases.
Bar Diameter and Material
You want to be comfortable when using parallettes, so you need a bar that is comfortable to hold with a diameter that fits your hand. The average is 1.5″. Thicker bars and padded bars are sometimes easier to use, especially for bodyweight calisthenics. Gymnasts prefer the thinner bars, which are easier to maneuver on. Gymnastic parallettes are usually made with wooden bars, and CrossFit parallettes tend towards metal construction, but either will work and it is a matter of personal preference.
Parallettes typically range in cost from about $30 to $300, with a range of options and qualities. The lowest cost parallettes have more issues with balance and durability. The most expensive parallettes will serve all your needs and are less likely to need replacement in the next 10 years.
Durability and Transportation
You want your parallettes to last, so high-quality construction is important. You should also ask yourself if your parallettes are likely to stay where they are in your home gym, or if you might be transporting them somewhere else. Parallettes are portable equipment, but some can be quite heavy and are less ideal for travel.
The Best Parallettes for CrossFit in 2022
If you are on a budget, Rubberbanditz might be the best option. At first glance, these parallettes resemble some of the higher-priced CrossFit parallettes with steel construction and thick, heavy block feet which include anti-skid caps. They are 14″ tall and 22″ long. Constructed out of solid steel, they weigh 8 lbs each. They look like CrossFit parallettes, specifically, and they are available at a very low price on Amazon.com
Although Rubberbanditz parallettes might be a good option for budget-conscious shoppers, there have been some issues as reviewers have pointed out. Some buyers concluded that the bars are crooked, and many have pointed out that the product arrives scratched or damaged. There were also issues with stability and wobble, which can make parallettes unusable.
If you can’t afford anything higher quality, Rubberbanditz parallettes might get the job done at a very low cost.
Lebert Fitness Parallettes and Pushup Bars
These lightweight yellow parallettes come with a stable base and foam grips. They are 12″ tall and 25″ long. Each bar weighs 5 lbs and can support up to 400 lbs. They are easy to transport and put together and are made of steel with some plastic caps and foam grips.
Lebert parallettes are the perfect travel CrossFit gear. They are lightweight, durable, and easy to use. They are also cheaper and lighter than the majority of steel CrossFit parallettes. They are a great option if you are moving back and forth between your home gym and a second location for workouts.
With a ton of positive reviews, it’s obvious that a lot of people are happy with their purchase, but there are some drawbacks to Lebert parallettes. They are overall less durable and the lightweight construction makes them slightly less stable. However, there were no reviewers who found that this kept them from doing the exercises they wanted to do.
Vita Vibe Wood Parallettes
These wooden parallettes look more like gymnastic parallettes than most CrossFit models but are perfect for balance exercises. They are lightweight and durable, with slightly smaller diameter bars that are smooth and easy to move on when shifting position.
The Vita Vibe parallettes are 10″ tall and 18″ long. The bar is 1.5″ in diameter and made of hardwood ash, supported by a heavy-gauge powder-coated steel base with non-slip, non-marring rubber feet.
Although these parallettes are on the lighter side, they are still heavy and durable. They also come with a 10-year warranty, which speaks to the manufacturer’s confidence that these parallettes will last. Although they are one of the higher-priced options and may not be perfect for CrossFitters who are strength, rather than balance-focused, the Vita Vibe parallettes are ideal lightweight, wooden gymnastics parallettes.
Best Value for the Money – GetRXD Steel 3-In-1 Parallettes
These solid steel parallettes have an incredibly durable and tough construction while also being portable. They benefit from the geometric strength of the triangle. Any of the sides can function as the foot, all of which are equally stable. It’s an innovative design that also allows the 3-in-1 to feature three different bar diameters. For a thicker or a thinner bar, just rotate the parallette on the floor.
The GetRXd Steel 3-in-1 parallettes are 13″ tall, 14.5″ long, and weigh 15 lbs each. The bar diameters are 32mm, 38mm, and 50mm. The construction and materials are extremely tough and durable. Although they are on the heavier side, they are easily transportable.
With one of the lowest price tags of all the parallettes featured, the GetRXd 3-in-1 is the best value for your money. These parallettes are everything you need and will last a very long time.
Best Overall – Rogue Fitness Bolt-Together Parallette Set
A solidly constructed steel frame with a heavy base and rubber feet makes this a high-quality parallette set. It looks solid and that is exactly what it is. These parallettes are built to last, support weight, and maintain horizontal stability so that they never wobble during exercises.
The Rogue Fitness Bolt-Together parallette set is 14″ tall and 24″ long with a handle diameter of 1.5″. The parallettes weigh 16 lbs each. The base is made of 2×2″ 11 gauge steel, and the bars are made out of bent 14 gauge steel. The bars are easy to grip thanks to Rogue’s signature rough-textured black powder coat finish. The set ships efficiently in parts and must be bolted together with components that are included.
This is the best overall CrossFit parallette set, with the perfect dimensions for CrossFit exercises, high-quality steel components, and an unshakeable base on rubber feet. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, these comfortable and stable parallettes will last for a long time.
Finding The Right Parallette Set
There are many different options on the market, and if you have a low budget or you are transporting your gear a lot you might choose lightweight or low-cost parallettes to suit your needs. However, for most people, the best parallettes are standard in height and length, with durable construction and a solid base with rubber feet for stability. The most important thing is that parallettes help you perform the exercises you want to do functionally, and don’t wear out.