Calisthenic Bars | What Are They and Do You Need Them?

Calisthenic Bars in a Park

Calisthenics training that makes use of additional equipment can often help elevate your workouts to new level. Although equipment is not a calisthenics essential (with the exception of one or two exercises like pullups and chin-ups) it can help trigger new stimuli in training.

This can result in further, noticeable progress or simply help to prevent injuries. The best thing about most of the equipment is that it can be used virtually anywhere whether indoors or outdoors. It is also reasonably easy to transport if you are traveling and training, and once you’ve mastered the basics without any equipment, the addition of various items should help you get more out of your workout.

Keep in mind that no-one—regardless of the type of training they do—can make progress by simply repeating the same thing every day. Anyone who is in for the long haul when it comes to calisthenics training will eventually be on the lookout for new and different ways to make routines more challenging and more interesting, and this should always be the case.

Calisthenic bars are one type of equipment that may help you to get your workout to new levels of strength, mobility, and fitness. Loosely based on the gymnastic parallel bars, the right type of bars will enable pushing and pulling exercises—although we are not looking at pullup bars or push up bars here today as they’re covered in a separate post.

This post focuses on the sets of calisthenics bars of various lengths and heights that are set on the floor. So let’s see take a closer look at some of the benefits of calisthenic bars and whether you need them or not.

What Are Calisthenic Bars Exactly?

Today we are looking at the type of free-standing bars that have adjustable heights and should at least enable exercises like reverse pullups and dips as well as some slightly more advanced stuff like handstand push ups, planches, and L-sits.

Sometimes they are called paralletes although that term usually refers to the smaller bars similar to push up bars.

As mentioned the bars we are interested in serve a similar function to gymnastic parallel bars and will allow more range of motion in various exercises as well as compensating for any lack of mobility in the wrist.

A set of this type of bars is usually commonplace in any outdoor park training area where you can see the ‘cally’ enthusiasts making full use of them.

What Can You Do with Calisthenic Bars?

Basically you can push, pull, and to some degree hang with these bars. So any move that features some or all of these aspects will be possible with a decent set of bars.

When you consider how much attention   some men devote to push ups and chest exercises it’s almost hard to believe many of them also aren’t doing enough opposite motion exercises to balance the chest work.

So the inverted row—the exact opposite of a push up—has got to be one of the main benefits of the bars for most practitioners. Otherwise they’ll need to incorporate some other type of equipment like bands or even weights to be getting adequate pulling work in.

Aside from that—experiment away! If you are looking for a full handstand or even push ups from that position it is sometimes easier to get the right ‘feel’ for the exercises when elevated from something other than the floor with flat hands and tight, possibly painful or impinged wrists.

Sample Exercises with Calisthenic Bars

On top of those moves for some inspiration you should also experiment. And while knowing your own limits is one thing—at least when starting out—eventually you’ll be having fun on the bars and moving in ways you may never have thought possible.

Perseverance, moving out of comfort zones and consistency is all it takes!


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