8 Best Parallettes | March 2017
- 1.5" diameter u-shaped handles
- easy pass through t-bar risers
- some may find them too low to the ground
|Brand||Ultimate Body Press|
- great for self-spotting exercises
- can be stacked together for storage
- more expensive than other options
- very lightweight and easy to transport
- include a workout dvd
- ideal for home gym use
- chrome finish with black handles
- offer a wide range of motion
- won't slip during use
- hand sanded poplar rails
- stand at 8" off the ground
- non-marring rubber feet won't budge
The Humble But Mighty Paralettes
The best path to overall fitness -- a regimen that both tones and strengthens your body while minimizing body fat and maximizing your cardiovascular system's efficiency -- is one of mankind's oldest approaches to exercise: calisthenics.
The word "calisthenics" comes to us from Ancient Greek; it is derived from their word kalos, which means beauty, and sthenos, which means strength. Little wonder, then, to see so many statues carved of men and women with immaculately formed bodies. Note the quote by arguably the most famous Ancient Greek of all, the philosopher socrates, who stated that: "No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
Calisthenics is essentially weight training using the body's own weight and gravity to create resistance. When various exercises are performed in a repetitive fashion -- pushups, sit-ups, and pull-ups constitute the quintessential calisthenic routines -- they can help a person develop lean, efficient muscle tissue and can lead to greater flexibility and cardiac strength as well.
Calisthenic exercise has long been a mainstay of military training and of measuring the physical readiness of troops. It is also growing increasingly popular as an organized group activity, with "boot camp" style gym classes putting civilians through military style exercise routines. So-called Urban Calisthenics is a movement also in ascendence, with adherents performing exercises in public places using the features of the city, such as benches and railings, to enhance the efficacy of their workout.
One of the simplest and most effective tools a person can add to his or her calisthenic workout is a set of parellete bars. Paralettes are simply compact, sturdy bars stabilized by "feet" set perpendicular to the main bar. They are used to help an athlete, dancer, or gymnast in training to perform superior pushups, dips, balancing exercises, and more. The use of paralettes allows a person to use ideal hand placement for safe and effective workouts, and can greatly increase the difficulty of various exercises, thereby making them more productive.
Parelettes For Arm Exercises
Before you commence a paralette exercise routine, you should spend some time performing more basic exercises that will approximate the same activity without the added difficulty of the bars -- think regular pushups before those performed on bars, e.g. It is easy to over extend yourself when using new equipment for the first time, so ease into your new regimen.
Basic paralette dips are a great way to develop your triceps, shoulders, biceps, and even to improve grip strength and workout your forearms. And they could not be much simpler to perform. A paralette dip should be performed with the bars set slightly wider than your shoulder width. Stick your legs straight out in front of you and hold them aloft during the exercise, or else rest your heels on a medicine ball, block, or a step. Lower yourself down to where your elbows almost bend to ninety degrees, then raise up again until just before your elbows lock. That is the whole exercise, and it's one that pays off fast in terms of "cut" arms and shoulders.
The paralette pushup is another great way to strengthen the triceps, and this exercise can also help build chest muscles, as well as the lat muscle groups (properly known as the Latissimi dorsi muscles) set just outside and below the shoulder blades. These are the muscles that give a torso its impressive and desirable V shape. Paralette pushups can be performed with your feet on the ground, with your feet elevated to be level with your hands, or with your feet elevated higher than the paralette bars for an increased challenge and a more efficient maneuver. While parelatte pushups may be harder than regular pushups, they actually put less stress on your hands and wrists, which is another bonus on top of their muscle building attributes.
Using Paralettes For Core Training
The paralette plank is a great way to tighten and tone your abs and core muscles while also strengthening your arms. Rather than resting on your elbows as is typical with a basic blank, you will instead be using your hands to grip the bars and bending your elbows to nearly ninety degrees, making sure to keep them tucked in close to your body. If you elevate your feet to be parallel with the paralette bars, so much the better. Hold this position for as long as you can without faltering, and feel the burn in your stomach and arms all at once.
Paralette handstands are not to be tried the first day you get your new set of paralettes out of the box; however, if you have worked up to their attempt by growing comfortable with handstands performed on the flat ground, go ahead and give one a try. Just make sure to give yourself plenty of space on your chest side for pitching back down to earth, and consider performing these exercises with a wall near your back -- that way, you can only fall in a direction that your feet can catch you. It is primarily your core strength that will be holding you straight upright, so hold this grueling pose for as long as you can and know you are tightening and toning that torso through and through. (Also consider attempting this move with a safety spotter present until you have it down pat.)