How to Build Parallettes

What You Need to Know
Cost: Less than$35
Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Parallettes

parallettes 300x169 How to Build Parallettes

Parallettes are great for crossfit workouts, or any workout for that matter, and a great addition to your CrossFit Equipment inventory! You can use them for handstand push ups, push ups, L-sits, and many other workouts. They are pretty simple to build and that is what we are going to build today. 1st let’s get all the materials you are going to need for your parallettes.

Material Needed:

  • 1 – 10′ x 1.5″ PVC pipes
  • 1 – Can PVC cement
  • 4 – 1.5″ 90 degree elbow joints
  • 4 – 1.5″ T joints
  • 8 – 1.5″ PVC caps
  • 1 piece of sandpaper (optional)

All material needed 300x183 How to Build ParallettesDo you have everything you need for this crossfit equipment build?? Now as you can see I already have my 10ft. PVC pipe cut down into pieces. The reason being is because I asked the guy at Home Depot if he would cut it for me, and he did! That is half the project right there. Whether you cut it or you get someone to cut it here is what you will need.

  • 12 – 6″ pieces
  • 2 – 24″ pieces

As you can see that is a lot of cutting. Also the guy didn’t cut mine perfectly straight, but that is not a huge deal in this project. Now that you have everything let’s get to work.   Now the guy at Home Depot or Lowes most likely will not clean it off for you. So to make sure everything fits properly you are going to have to take a pencil or piece of sand paper to clean all the edges. After you clean them off they should look nice and ready to go. Another optional step is to rough the first inch of all the pvc pipe. It helps the cement stick a little better, but it is not necessary.

Step 1: Clean up the edges

Pipe Rough 150x150 How to Build Parallettes Pipe Smooth 150x150 How to Build Parallettes

Everything should be cleaned up and ready for glue now.

Step 2: Main Horizontal Piece

The next thing we are going to do is build our main horizontal piece. All of this gluing and piecing together is pretty easy. The only thing you need to worry about is making sure you get everything straight. You can use a level if you want. I use the ground and my eye. For the main horizontal piece put some glue/cement on the inside of the 90 degree elbow joint and on the outside of the horizontal piece. One side at a time!! Now the pipe in the elbow joint. Once you have both sides lay the piece on the ground and make sure that both elbow joints are even and that it will lay flat on the ground. Don’t wait too long to do this. The cement only gives you a very limited amount of time to actually adjust anything.

Step 3: Making the Rest of the Pieces

After you get these pieces you can go ahead and start making all the pieces you will need for the rest of the project.

  • Glue caps onto 8, 6″ pieces
  • Glue 4, 6″ pieces into the 90 degree T-joints
  • Put the capped pieces inside of the T-joints
Here is the progression:
Main Horizontal 123x300 How to Build ParallettesAll material b4 asseembly 150x150 How to Build Parallettes
T Shape 150x150 How to Build Parallettes
Everything to this point has been pretty easy, and it really doesn’t get any harder and complicating a crossfit equipment build is always unnecessary. But if you are the guy who truly loves precision then you are going to want to bust out your level. Like I said earlier, I just eyeball it, but that seems to bother a lot of people.

Step 4: Putting it All Together

What we are going to do now is take the T joint like in the picture and connect it to your main horizontal piece. If you screw this up you just wasted a lot of time. Nobody wants wobbly or crooked parallettes. Here is what it looked like after I eyeballed it. I just used the ground to make sure it was straight and lined up the 6″ piece with the 24″ piece and made sure they looked right. Do this for all sides (4 total) and you should have your self a nice pair of parallettes.

Good luck! Questions post to comments please icon smile How to Build Parallettes
putting together 147x300 How to Build Parallettes

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  • Michael Henson

    These look great! Do you know how much weight they’ll support? I’m mainly looking for a versatile option for dips, pushups, etc. but I’m 6’4″ and weigh just over 400 lbs. I don’t want something that’s going to break on me…I thought about making these but using pipe instead?

    • Jerred

      They are very strong, but I weight between 180 and 190. I have had friends use them that weigh 215 and still no problems. At 400 lbs. I would go with your idea of using metal pipe just to be safe.

  • dustinmillard

    These are an awesome DIY project. I went to Dicks sporting goods and bought some baseball bat grip tape to add for extra grip. Im still looking/thinking of ideas to use on the bottom for grip to keep them from sliding on the tile or carpet in the house. Got any?

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      Good idea for the grip. I would just go to home depot / lowes and look for gorilla glue and any rubber matting. Should work.

    • http://frank.unumid.com Frank Bradshaw

      Rubber feet

      or get an old flat bike inner tube, cut it and wrap it around the feet

  • http://www.goldmedalbodies.com/ AndyFossett

    Good stuff. Speaking from (painful) experience, I can’t stress enough to importance of using the PVC glue, as the joints tend to work loose under heavy use. And if you happen to be upside down when that happens… Yeah. No good.

    Let me know if it’s not cool to share a link, but I also have a video and some alternative instructions for building P-bars here: http://www.parallettes.net/parallette-construction/

    The PVC ones are very similar to yours, but there’s also a wooden version that some people might want to try. It’s more expensive, but the wood feels much better on my hands.

    Cheers!

  • James Cuddihy

    How much do they flex? I weigh 130kg (near enough to 290#) and I don’t want faceplant when they break!

    • http://frank.unumid.com Frank Bradshaw

      I know this is late but if you are doing it for yourself, at home, not a gym/box

      Build it out of a nice solid metal/steel pipe (like one that would be used for sewage draining from home to street).
      It will cost you a few extra dollars but if it’s for yourself, the extra is worth the peace of mind that you won’t do a faceplant.

      • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

        Not a bad idea

  • sprrocket

    If you don’t already have a hacksaw to cut the PVC, just ask the guy at Home Depot where the PVC cutter is, it’s a little ratcheting contraption that cuts PVC smoothly, cleanly, and very easily. Makes DIY PVC projects go so much faster! I think mine was like $12, not sure how much a hacksaw is. I’ve had it for a few years now and it still cuts through PVC like a hot knife through butter.

  • AJ Brant

    This is a question for all the people that are worried about them coming apart during the workout. Do you not check your equipment BEFORE you use it? THAT in itself would eliminate 99% of your concerns.Just sayin

  • roger dealio

    why would you ask the guy at home depot to cut your pipe?
    your a grown ass man, cut your own damn pipe.