How to Construct Parallettes

Exercise equipment does not have to be expensive or complicated. Some equipment can be constructed out of inexpensive materials that will provide the same benefit as manufactured equipment. Parallettes are often used for strength training and can be purchased from many fitness providers. However, you can also make your own pair of parallettes from inexpensive materials.

Determine the amount and diameter of PVC pipe needed by the weight and height of the person using the parallettes. Larger parallettes support more weight. You will also need two elbow joints, one T-joint and four end caps for each parallette.

Cut two 10- to 14-inch pieces of pipe for the main part of the parallette. This piece forms the grip. Place an elbow joint on each end of these two pieces of pipe.

Cut four pieces of pipe the same length, depending on the height desired for each parallette. Remember that the elbow pieces also add to the overall height, so the length of these pieces will likely be fairly short.

Place the four pieces just cut into the end of each elbow joint. This completes the handle portion of the parallette. Place the T-joint at the end of each piece of pipe to attach the base.

Cut eight more pieces to fit into the T-joints. Longer pieces make a more stable parallette, but will add to its size. Size may be an issue if you have limited space for usage or storage. Insert the eight pieces of pipe into each end of the T-joints. Place the end caps over the ends of each pipe.

Secure the pieces together with cement if desired. This will ensure the pieces do not collapse during vigorous use.

Score the surface of the horizontal grip portion of parallette with a wire brush. This will help improve your ability to grip the pipe when using it. You may also want to use chalk on the scored surface for improved grip.


You may want to use PVC primer painted around the ends of each piece to assist in connecting the pieces.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • PVC pipe
  • Wire brush
  • Hacksaw
  • PVC cement
  • PVC primer
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