How to build parallel bars

Written by danny donahue
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How to build parallel bars
Supplement your home gym with parallel bars. (Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Parallel bars are an advanced set of gymnastics equipment that takes great upper body strength to master. Working your upper body with weights and doing plenty of cardio exercise should get you ready to use the bars, but regular practice on the bars is the only way to master them. Building your own set of parallel bars for your home outdoor gym is an economical way to practice regularly.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Post hole digger
  • String level
  • Tape measure
  • Gravel
  • Shovel
  • Four 10 x 10 x 180 cm (4 x 4 inch x 6 feet) treated posts
  • 1.2 m (4 feet) level
  • Portland cement
  • Water
  • Drill with 16 mm (5/8 inch) bit
  • Electric tape
  • Epoxy resin
  • Disposable paintbrush
  • 1.25 x 10 cm (1/2 x 4 inch) thread rods
  • Two 3 metre (10 feet) prefabricated handrails
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses

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  1. 1

    Dig a hole with your post hole diggers. Stab the blades of the tool into the ground repeatedly to break up the soil. Stab into the ground and pull the handles of the tool apart to pick up soil. Remove the dirt and continue digging. Make the hole 75 cm (30 inches) deep and 30 cm (12 inches) wide.

  2. 2

    Measure 1.5 metres (7 feet) from the first hole with your tape measure and dig a second. Dig a third hole 46 cm (18 inches) from the first and a fourth hole 46 cm (18 inches) from the second. Place the third and fourth holes 1.5 metres (7 feet) from each other so that all four holes form a rectangle.

  3. 3

    Shovel 15 cm (6 inches) of gravel into the holes. Place a post into each hole and pour in Portland cement. Push the posts from side to side, forward and backward while checking the plumb of each post with the level. Be sure each post is standing perfectly erect. Add three-quarters of the amount of water recommended on the bag. Allow the cement 24 hours to dry.

  4. 4

    Measure along your drill bit starting at the tip. Wrap electric tape around the drill bit at a point 7.5 cm (3 inches) from the tip of the bit. Drill into the top of each post until the bottom of the tape is even with the top of the post, giving you a 7.5 cm (3 inch) hole in each post. Pour epoxy into the holes in your posts and insert a piece of thread. Allow the epoxy one hour to cure.

  5. 5

    Measure your bit and mark it with a piece of tape at a point 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the tip of the bit. Stretch your tape measure along the length of your handrail. Make a pencil mark in the centre of the handrail at a point 46 cm (18 inches) from each end of the rail. Repeat the marks on your other handrail. Drill these spots to 2.5 cm (1 inch) deep by using the electric tape on your bit as a gauge.

  6. 6

    Fill the holes in your handrails with epoxy and flip the rails over so that the threads in the posts slides into the epoxy-filled holes in the rails. Allow 24 hours curing time for the epoxy to harden and bind the rails with the posts.

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