Believe it or not those white hurdle looking things called parallettes can be used for a lot more than as a nasty sub for double unders. Actually they are designed to simulate the feel of parallel bars, but since most of us can’t find the space and/or the budget for a full parallel bar set-up, parallettes are a great substitute that allow us an easy, compact, and portable tool that adds a whole new dimension to training.
Parallettes often come in wood, PVC plastic, or sometimes even metal. Wood is the most popular since parallel bars are also made of wood, but most CrossFit gyms I’ve had the pleasure of visiting have PVC plastic since they are easy to make yourself and are just as sturdy as their wood counterparts offering a similar flex that metal parallettes don’t offer. One drawback to PVC versus wood besides it not being as “Green” as wood, is that they can get quite slippery once you start sweating which proves dicey if you’re upside down working handstand skills. One way around this is to sand the hand rail of the PVC parallette so that when you use chalk the course texture now holds the chalk much better than the slick finish of an unsanded hand rail. This CrossFit Journal article is free to download and provides easy to follow instructions to make your own set for your garage gym.
Popular parallette exercises that you’ve probably seen here at Intrepid include Tuck Sits/L-Sits, Dips, Push-ups, Handstand Holds, and Handstand Pushups. That’s just the tip of the iceberg folks. A helpful resource to give you more ideas for your parallette training was put together by Jay Thornton and Greg Roberts of American Gymnast can be found here. I like their guide as it lays out movements and goals for each skill level from beginner to advanced using the parallettes. Another exercise made popular by CrossFit Gymnastics Head Coach Jeff Tucker is the “Shoot Thru”. Take a gander below as these and other parallette movements are likely to find their way into warm-ups and skills days very soon.
Bench Press 3×5 or Wendler
For Time (16min Time Cap):
50 Ring Pushups
50 Toes to Bar
50 Burpee Pullups