How to build gymnastics equipment

Written by john hume
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How to build gymnastics equipment
Gymnastic rings are a staple of gymnastic training. (young gymnast competing on parallel bars image by Galina Barskaya from

Gymnastic equipment can be made with simple hardware tools and parts, saving money. Gymnastic rings and parallettes are the most used training tools, and they also are the easiest to build. Other gymnastic equipment can be built with hardware tools as well. Parallettes can be made in a variety of sizes to accommodate any training requirements. Full size parallel bars can also be built with PVC piping, but need a base filled with concrete for stability.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Nylon rope
  • 2 plastic handles
  • Needle and thread
  • Cam buckles
  • 10 feet of PVC pipe 1 1/2 inch diameter
  • 4 elbow joint connectors
  • 4 t-joint connectors
  • 8 end caps
  • PVC pipe glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Hand saw

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  1. 1

    Take the rope and put it through the plastic handle. Grab the end of the rope out of the plastic handle and loop it around the cam buckle.

  2. 2

    Sew the loop around the cam buckle using a crisscross stitch.

  3. 3

    Take the rope on the other side of the plastic handle and make a mark 8 inches above the handle.

  4. 4

    Take the rope between the cam buckle and the handle and place it against the mark on the other side of the rope. This will create a triangle. Sew the two pieces of rope to each other using a crisscross stitch.

  5. 5

    Take the very end of the rope and put it through the cam buckle.

  1. 1

    Cut the PVC pipe in the following sections: two 2-foot sections, four 8-inch sections and eight 5-inch sections.

  2. 2

    Glue the 5-inch sections to the side openings of the t-connectors and the 8-inch sections to the centre of the t-connectors. This will create the feet of the parallettes with the risers sticking out of them to connect to the bar section.

  3. 3

    Glue the elbow connectors on each end of the 2-foot sections. This creates the space for the hand placement/bars section.

  4. 4

    Glue the t-connector section (the feet) to the elbow connectors on each side opening of the 2-foot sections (the hand placement section/bars).

  5. 5

    Glue the end caps on the ends of the 2-inch sections. This covers the holes on the ends of the t-connectors (the feet).

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure the PVC piping is completely connected before allowing it to dry.
  • Cutting the PVC piping will create a mess. Use a cover or an area where cleaning up is easy.
  • Not attaching the rings to a supportive structure can cause severe injury.

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