The parallettes are an incredible tool for building your upper body and core strength. If you haven’t used them before, you’re missing out.
They are a simple piece of equipment, that takes little to no space and gives you so much versatility in your exercise choices. They are also easily incorporated into your current routine. Either as an addition or as replacement for upper body training on one or two of your sessions.
Parallettes build phenomenal upper body strength, including forward and vertical pressing power, and the coordination of your shoulders, arms, and trunk muscles for total body control.
This leads to improved performance in various handbalancing moves, such as the handstand and planche.
The program below has been downloaded by thousands of members of our GMB Posse. It was the first and most complete introduction to parallettes training. I’ve made sure to provide all of the details you need to start this training safely and progress towards a higher level of strength, control, and balance for your whole body.
I’ll show you the right way to practice so you can get strong and have fun, because that’s what good training is all about!
All I ask is that, if you enjoy these tutorials and learn something from the video I’ve put on this page, you share it with somebody else you think could benefit from checking it out. That’s it!
Parallettes Training Introduction
This video is a quick introduction to what you can expect from this introductory parallettes workout. I’ll also cover proper arm and hand positioning on the p-bars, as well as correct gripping.
Hand positioning on the parallettes is extremely important, as you want to make sure you’re in as comfortable a position as possible throughout your training.
We generally recommend starting with the thumbs resting on top of the parallettes, with the wrists in a neutral position. As your hands get stronger, and you get more comfortable working with the parallettes, you can begin working on wrapping the thumbs around the p-bars.
For more advanced moves down the line, you may work at the far end of your parallettes, but for the basic moves we will cover in this program, keep the hands in the center of the parallettes.
Starting off with a proper warm-up is almost as important as the parallettes session itself. Here, we’ll go over some basic warm-up exercises for the shoulders, neck, wrists, and spine.
|Do this 5 times in each direction.||Shoulder Shrug Circles|
|Do this 5 times on each side.||Neck Tilts|
|Do this 5 times on each side.||Arm Crossovers|
|Do this 5 times.||Wrist Stretch (Fingers Forward)|
|Do this 5 times.||Wrist Stretch (Fingers Backward)|
|Do this 5 times in each direction.||Elbow Circles|
|Do this 5-10 times.||Scapula Shrugs|
|Do this 5 times per hold.||Cat/Lion|
|Do this for 10-20 seconds.||Arm and Shoulder Shake Outs|
Parallettes Exercise Instruction
This video covers the six main exercises you will practice in this workout routine. I’ll go into detail about how to practice each.
|Push-Up||- Start from knees and keep shoulders over the hands
- Bend elbows back, not flared out, as you lower yourself
- Keep elbow pits facing forward
- Use same key points with standard push-up, but also make sure to keep the hips stable (not sagging), and legs locked out.
|Dip||- Keep elbows close to sides, not flared out
- As you lower yourself, make sure you exhale, lowering hips straight down, not back
|Jump-Through||- Start in the plank position, then jump legs through arms to land in top of dip position
- Tuck your body as hard as you can to pull yourself through
- Work up to full jump through by starting with a pause in the middle before jumping all the way through
|Swing||- Start in the plank, and jump forward just like jump through, but don’t place legs down on ground in front of you
- Swing forward and back, then jump back into plank
- Start with a smaller swing to work up to full swing
|Tuck/L-Sit||- Start with both feet on the ground in front of you, then lift one knee up toward chest at a time
- Once comfortable with one leg at a time, you can pull both knees up, pressing hard into parallettes
- Finally, you can extend both legs into the L-Sit
The cool-down stretches will help you take advantage of the work you just did to get a little more mobility in your joints.
|Hold for 5-10 seconds on each side||Back of Wrist Stretch|
|Hold for 30 seconds||Lounge Chair|
|Hold for 30 seconds each side||L-Arm Stretch|
Complete Parallettes Workout
Now we’ll look at how to put these movements together into a flow routine. I’ll show you two versions of the introductory flow routine, depending on what level you’re starting from.
|Do This||Exercise/Movement Sequence|
|Work up to 5 rounds||Version 1:
2. Knee Push-Up
3. Jump-Through to Dip
5. Jump back to Plank
|Work up to 5 rounds||Version 2:
2. Full Push-Up
3. Swing to Dip
5. Jump back to Plank
Take Your Parallettes Practice Further
This program has helped a lot of people get started in parallettes training and we’re happy to share it for free with everyone. I’d really appreciate it if you’d share it with your friends – they need great training tutorials too!
After you’ve worked with this program for a few weeks, if you’re ready to see what else the parallettes have to offer, our Parallettes One program is a great next step.
Build Essential Pressing Strength
P1 includes 3-4 months of pressing and inverted exercise scalable to any fitness or experience level. It builds the foundation of strength and control for more advanced skills.