Parallel bars, gymnastics apparatus invented in the early 19th century by the German Friedrich Jahn, are usually considered the father of gymnastics. It is especially useful in improving upper-body strength. The two bars, made of wood, are oval in cross-section, 5 cm (2 inches) thick, 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) long, 2 meters (6.5 feet) high, and 42 cm (16.5 inches) apart. The height and width of the bars are usually adjustable.
In gymnastics competition on the parallel bars, performed by men only, movements combine swings, flight elements, strength, and balance, although swings and vaults must predominate. Movements below the bars and the release and grasping of the bars are also required. See also uneven parallel bars.
Parallel bars are often used as a “dipping station” in commercial gyms. So by having parallel bars at home, you can get started with this big, effective move for your upper body. Dips work the chest and front of your shoulder (anterior delts). But like any bodyweight movement, you will feel the work in other parts of your body too. Prepare for your arms, back, and core to benefit as well.
Parallel bars are an amazing bit of a home fitness kit. With just bars plus your body weight, you can do a massive variety of exercises that will build all-around body strength.
- Strong yet lightweight, Supports over 250 lbs
- Natural Hardwood Ash Bar, sanded smooth and ready to use
- Heavy Guage powder coated steel base.
- Non-slip, non-marring rubber feet
Parallel Bar Dips
- Support yourself on the parallel bars with one hand on each bar
- Raise yourself up so your arms are locked out
- Cross your feet at the ankles and bend your legs slightly at the knees
- Lean forward slightly as you lower your body, bending your arms and sending your elbows back
- Lower slowly and with control
- Press up from the bottom position
- Alter the angle of your body to target slightly different areas of the pectorals and deltoids