Do-It-Yourself Parallettes for TACFIT

April 28, 2009 – 12:50 pm

What are Parallettes?

Parallettes are mini-parallel bars used for strength and conditioning. Many people mistake them for pushup or dip bars. They certainly can be used for conventional exercises like pushups, dips, wall and handstands, L and V seats, but they also can be used for more sophisticated exercises like dog presses, swinging planks, elbow lever switches and planches.

I’ve had great enjoyment using parallettes but a commercial pair such as the Power Rails from Torque Athletic can cost upwards of $150 with shipping. I love my Power Rails which Torque sent me, but not everyone can try out this type of CST due to it being cost prohibitive.

Do It Yourself RMAX Parallettes

This tutorial offers a homemade version which I’ve constructed. It required about 15 minutes to assemble once I picked up the parts from the local hardware store.

I elected to use ABS instead of PVC as ABS is quite stronger, and I prefer black.

Here are the tools you’ll need:

  1. Tape measure
  2. Pipe cutter (or a hack saw)

Here are the parts you’ll need for one (you’ll need a pair though, so you have to double the following parts):

ABS Pipe 4.5 feet in length and I have found 1.5 inches to be a good diameter (I’ve cut it into one 1.5 foot section and six 6 inch sections)

  • 2 ABS “T” connectors
  • 2 ABS “elbow” joints
  • 4 ABS end caps

Attach the elbows to either side of the long 1.5 foot piece, and then attach two of the 6 inch pieces to the elbows.

Attach 6 inch pieces on either side of each “T” connector, and end caps on the other side of each of the 6 inch pieces.

Then, simply attach the top bar to the bottom legs. Make sure that you’re fitting them in tightly. You can use glue to make them sturdier, but to keep them able to be disassembled you’ll have to go without.

Here’s what the finished product looks like:

The final product took about 15 minutes each (30 minutes total).

  • ABS Pipe: $0.50/foot for a total of $2.50/parallette ($5.00 total)
    2 ABS “T” connectors: $1.15/each ($2.30 total)
    2 ABS “elbow” joints: $0.86/each ($1.72 total)
    4 ABS end caps: $0.35/each ($1.50 total)

So for the “Do It Yourself” Parallette pair required $21 and about a half an hour. Check out this clip for example exercises:

dare to flow,


  1. 8 Responses to “Do-It-Yourself Parallettes for TACFIT”

  2. Great DIY tip, Coach! Cheers! :D

    By James on Apr 29, 2009

  3. Thats awesome, thanks for the idea. Importing to UK from Torque you basically pay the same for the shipping as you do the product so you just saved me a LOT!

    By Matt Kuhlmann on Apr 29, 2009

  4. I wish you had posted this last week. I just made the PVC version last Saturday. Oh well, what’s another $25 for an ABS version? I’ll give the PVC pair to my 105lb wife!

    By Dean on Apr 29, 2009

  5. hello,

    coach sonnon… always looking out for us…


    By lorenzodamarith on Apr 30, 2009

  6. I built some of these several months ago - they’re really nice. My one comment is that 6″ for the vertical pieces feels a bit too high. When you add in the thickness of the pipes, the elbows, t’s, and such, the total hight is around a foot. Since my workout room has a relatively low ceiling, I hit it on occasion. I’m considering cutting mine down to 3″, which would give a total hight of 9″.


    By Conor Alexander on Apr 30, 2009

  7. My assumption Coach is that you are not gluing your parallettes? Of course gluing would reinforce the whole platform, but also I know that ABS pipe fits tight (I do irrigation work all the time!) and that would make this system easy to break down for tighter storage potential.
    Otherwise, I love the exercise selection (greater than the plateau of the ground) that these afford you.

    By Kevin Dougherty on May 3, 2009

  8. On another note, when I first saw Coach Wilson use parallettes in one of his available workout videos, I built a pair using 3/4″ Schedule 40 (Do not use Schedule 200; they’re weak!) PVC pipe and it works great for some exercise selections like swinging planks, pushups, pushups to dips and back, but I don’t know if I trust them to support my whole weight if I use them in the way Coach Sonnon does in the Tacfit program. I suggest that if you do use PVC pipe as opposed to ABS, use 1″ or greater piping and glue the pieces together for added reassurance.

    By Kevin Dougherty on May 3, 2009

  9. Dear Coach Sonnon ,Please feel free to view our paralletts at we would be very appreciative for your opinion of our products. We have served the gymnastics,fitness, and martial arts communities,for the past 6 years,and would like you to use our paralletts…thank you Coach Sonnon, Hooper G. for.. Stan-Ray products co.

    By hooper on Sep 27, 2010

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