Bodyweight exercises are a great solution for anyone looking to get fit and strong.
Gymnastics and calisthenics have celebrated the benefits of natural human movement and using the body to create tough and challenging workouts – building muscle, toning the body and helping lose weight.
Calisthenics has become increasingly popular in recent years and for good reason. In terms of a workout, it packs a punch and really does provide the ultimate test for your body. Particularly for active people who want to develop functional and practical strength, a calisthenics workout is likely to deliver better results than a typical strength training workout in the gym.
Although calisthenics focuses on using your own bodyweight to test and train your muscles, there are a few pieces of calisthenics equipment that can help supplement and enhance your training.
One of these pieces of equipment are calisthenics bars.
We’ve highlighted some of the very best calisthenics bars you’ll need to start training.
Best Calisthenics Bars
When shopping around for the best calisthenics bars, you’re likely to see a few different terms used – namely, parallel bars, parallette bars and dip bars.
Parallel bars are common in both gymnastics and various functional fitness workouts, giving you a versatile piece of apparatus to work with. The parallel bars used as gymnastics equipment will differ from the type of bars you can find online – these are much cheaper and designed for home or studio use.
Parallel bars are very similar to parallettes but higher up. This means that they aren’t as mobile but they do give you greater range of motion and movement. This makes them ideal for your home gym, or a studio, but not practical for travel.
The range of motion means they offer the perfect platform for such a variety of movements – whether that’s for building strength, stretching, rehabilitation or weight loss.
Push-up bars are specifically designed for push-ups, arguably the godfather of bodyweight exercises.
Although the beauty of push-ups is that they don’t require any equipment to do, push-up bars help put less strain on the wrists. This is particularly good for softening the impact on joints and reducing unwanted injuries.
Monkey bars involve a slightly bigger investment than other calisthenics bars, but they pack a punch in terms of training your upper body.
Swinging from bar to bar, perfecting monkey bars isn’t easy but will strengthen your back, arms, shoulders, core and grip – helping develop fantastic all-round functional fitness.
Dip bars are very similar to parallel bars and the terms are often inter-changeable when it comes to buying products online.
Although parallel bars is an official gymnastics discipline, equipment suppliers often use dip bars and parallel bars to describe very similar products.
Generally speaking though, dip bars are likely to be smaller and more lightweight. This makes them cheaper and easier to install for home use.
They are designed for dips, but you can also try leg raises and other calisthenics exercises on them too. Dips are a great exercise for anyone looking to develop a tighter chest (as well as toned and strong triceps).
Parallettes are basically smaller versions of parallel bars. The bars are closer to the ground so don’t offer the complete range of motion that parallel bars do, but this does mean that can be transported and moved easier, perfect for travel or anyone wanting to take their calisthenics training wherever they go.
Benefits of Calisthenics Bars
Calisthenics bars are a great addition to any home gym. They are relatively cheap and can really support and enhance your bodyweight exercises.
Calisthenics and gymnastics are often forgotten about for older adults, but they are really effective at building practical strength and encouraging better movement.
Calisthenics bars help promote all-round fitness and can be used to achieve both weight loss and muscle development.