How to Make Your Own Parallel Bars

Written by aryeh raphael
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For a gymnast, parallel bars are an integral part of training and development of routines. Because of their size and dimensions, having a full set of professional bars outside of a gymnasium is impractical. However, you can make your own smaller parallel bars to keep at home to practice and perfect your skills whenever you want. These compact versions, sometimes called Parallettes, are easily made and are a useful thing to have especially if you have a busy schedule and can’t always get to the gym.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • PVC pipe 1-½ inches wide
  • Fine hand saw
  • PVC glue
  • End caps
  • Fine sandpaper
  • 8 "T" fittings

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  1. 1

    Cut the 1-½-inch PVC pipe into the correct lengths with a fine hand saw. Cut two pieces of 24 inches, four pieces of 8 inches and eight pieces of 5 inches.

  2. 2

    Attach an elbow fitting to the ends of each of the 8-inch pipes with PVC glue.

  3. 3

    Glue the open sides of each elbow fitting to ends of the 24-inch pipes, making sure all of the pipes are flat and parallel. You should now have two ‘U’ shapes, making the upper bars.

  4. 4

    Make the feet for the bars by gluing a 5-inch pipe into each of the openings on the double-ended side of "T" fittings. The single, vertical opening of the "T’s" should all be empty.

  5. 5

    Fit a foot onto the end of each of the 8-inch pipes of the upper bars. The bars should no longer lay flat, but the feet should be perpendicular to the horizontal upper bar and make the bars stand up.

  6. 6

    Slide an end cap onto the exposed ends of each of the foot pipes to cover the raw edges.

  7. 7

    Sand the horizontal part of the upper bars to accept chalk when you want to use them. Use fine sandpaper to scuff the PVC.

Tips and warnings

  • Make an extra set of bars to keep in your car so you always have them with you.
  • Keep your fingers away from the saw blade when cutting into the PVC in case you slip.

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