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The Homework Project Episode 2: Parallettes 101

May 22, 2020

The Homework Project with Nina Williams - Parallettes 101

The North Face athlete and climber Nina Williams shows us how to build and train with parallette bars at home.

Our next class is in session with climber and team athlete, Nina Williams, who shows us how to build parallette bars and her go-to circuits for staying strong at home. 

What you'll need:

  • 4 PVC tee sockets 
  • 4 PVC elbow sockets
  • 8 PVC end caps
  • 4 10-inch PVC pipes (1 ¼" inch diameter, Schedule 40) 
  • 8 6-inch PVC pipes (1 ¼" inch diameter, Schedule 40) 
  • 2 14-inch PVC pipes (1 ¼" inch diameter, Schedule 40)
  • Cement glue (optional but highly recommended)

Similar to the parallel bars used in gymnastics, parallettes are a fantastic option to take your at-home workout to the next level. Portable and lightweight, these bars utilize your body’s weight to help build overall strength and control. 

After getting creative and building her own set on lockdown last month, Nina quickly discovered how complementary parallettes are to her training as they work the antagonist (or pushing) muscle groups she normally wouldn’t focus on in climbing. 

Another added benefit? Staying mentally balanced, or as she jokingly says, “keeping the existential dread at bay”. The more she uses them, the more Nina finds herself setting new goals and getting stoked about her progress.

Start with 10 reps, 3-5 times for the circuits demonstrated below. Nina recommends quality over quantity, especially if you’re new to parallettes. Five slow and controlled reps will be more beneficial than 10 fast or messy ones. Avoid over-gripping the bars and try going barefoot to keep friction at bay. 

Also, be sure to keep your back straight and shoulders aligned throughout each circuit to keep your core and muscle groups engaged. Not sure if you have that form nailed down? Recording yourself with your phone is a great way to check form (and to see how strong you’re getting along the way).

Circuit 1: Knees to L-Sit

Circuit 1: Pike Pushups

Circuit 1: Planche Tuck

Circuit 1: Plank to L-Sit

Circuit 1: Pushup Dips

Circuit 2: Archer Pushups

Circuit 2: Side-to-Side L-Sits

Circuit 2: Planche Lean

Circuit 2: Reverse Tuck Swings

Circuit 2: Tricep Pushups

Follow Nina on Instagram @sheneenagins for more training tips and to see where climbing takes her next.


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