A fluidity bar (or a barre) is a useful tool for dancers and gymnasts to practice on. It improves stretching, form and balance, and provides a way to hone their athletic skills. Having one at home allows a practicing athlete to stretch and practice in their own time. Preparing this vital piece of exercise equipment -- like any form of athletics -- takes patience, time and a lot of work.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Long wooden dowel 2 inches in diameter
- Handrail brackets and screws
- Wood saw
- Wood stain
- Wood finish
- Stud finder
- Pencil with eraser
- Measuring tape
- Protective eyewear
Determine the set-up for the bar. Use a pencil to draw out where the bar should be, how long it should be, and where the brackets holding it onto the wall should go. Use the stud finder to find the studs in the wall and place the brackets there. Use the measuring tape to find a proper length for the fluidity bar and measure twice. Also figure the height of the bar for your own personal comfort.
Choose a good bar and brackets. Fluidity bars must have some give in the bar but be strong enough to hold a person's weight. Go to a home improvement store that sells wood, find a large dowel, and test its durability. The dowel should be at least 2 inches in diameter and the wood should be able to bend gently but not too much. A hardwood is preferred, as a soft wood would bend over time and break. The dowel should be 2 inches longer than required. Find metal brackets to hold the bar securely onto the wall that suit your needs. The brackets should hold up to twice your weight and have a minimum of four screw holes so they will stay attached to the wall.
Prepare the fluidity bar. Hold it against the wall and check its length. If it is too long, mark the excess length with the pencil and use the hand saw to remove it. Use sandpaper to sand down the entire dowel and remove excess dust and splinters. Use the wood stain and wood finish if desired at this point to give the dowel a cleaner appearance.
Attach the brackets to the wall. Make sure they are screwed into the wall and into the stud. Tighten the screws so the bracket is flush with the wall. After the brackets are fastened to the wall, attach the fluidity bar and gently lean on the bar to test for drywall breakage or instability.
Tips and warnings
- If you are uncomfortable with finishing the dowel, there are plenty of professional carpenters who will do it for a price.
- Keep checking the brackets for any signs of drywall cracking or stress marks. An improperly installed bracket can cause the fluidity bar to come loose or break, possibly causing injury.
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