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7 Steps to Building a Homemade Dip Station

Your home gym just isn’t complete without a solid, reliable dip station. Rather than buying a dip station that may or may not meet your needs, you can make your own portable dip bar in 7 easy steps. It’ll save you money and you’ll be able to customize the homemade dip bar to your specific requirements. So, let’s do it.

Here’s What You Will Need

Here are the things you are going to need to make a pair of portable DIY dip stations. These bars are great because you will not only be able to use them for a wide range of movements, you can also take them anywhere and they are incredibly rugged and stable. Here is what you will need:

  • 1.5 inch thick PVC pipe (20 feet total length)
  • 4x 90 degree PVC elbows
  • 4x PVC T Joint connectors
  • 4x PVC end caps
  • PVC glue
  • 1.5-inch thick grip tape
  • Hand saw
  • Sharpie pen
  • Tape measure
Step One

Measure and mark your PVC pipe. You might strike it lucky and be able to buy your pipe from a hardware store that will pre-cut the pipe for you. More likely than not, though, you’ll have to do it yourself. Mark the following measurements with a sharpie:

  • 6 x 2-foot long tubes
  • 8 x 1 foot long tubes
Step Two

Cut your PVC lengths with a handsaw. To make sure that you get a straight cut, you should secure the pipe in place with a vise. If you don’t have a vise in your workshop, you can pick up an awesome deal here. Be sure to clamp the pipe a few inches before the cut.

When you place the teeth of your hacksaw onto the pipe, hold the handle firmly and push down on the top of the saw with your other hand to set the teeth into the pipe. Cut straight down with brisk strokes.

Interested in adding a pull-up bar to your home gym? You can find the best door-way pull-up bars that you can buy in our in-depth review of the Top 10 on the market right now.

Step Three

Take one of your two-foot-long pieces of PVC pipe and smother some PVC glue on the ends. Now place a 90-degree elbow on each end, firmly screwing it into place. Do the same with a second two-foot long piece. These will be the top dip bars that you will grip when doing the exercise.

Place another two-foot length of pipe in the other end of one of the 90-degree elbow joints, placing glue on the end first. This will be a leg of your dip station. Do the same on the other end, screwing the pipe firmly into position.

Repeat this process with the other side of the dip bar to make a dip station.

Step Four

Place a T Joint connector on the end of each of the four legs (which you have already glued). You can now place a one-foot long length of PVC in each of the T Joint ends to form the feet of your dip bars. Now place a PVC end cap over each of the feet.

Interested in a power tower for your home gym? Don’t miss our mega-review of the 10 best pull up and dip stations of 2019 – it’s huge!

Step Five

Go around each of the joints and place an extra line of PVC glue around them. Use a range to wipe away any excess glue. You won’t need to glue the end caps as they will fit very securely.

Check out our in-depth and up-close coverage of the best dip bars for home. We’ve got the top 10 covered.

Step Six

Place your homemade dip bars on the newspaper and apply a matt spray paint in the color of your choice. Black looks great, but feel free to customize it to the look of your home dip station.

Apply at least two coats.

Leave to dry.

Step Seven

Mark the center point of the top bars where you will grip the handles. Measure three inches either side of the center point and make a mark. Grab some grip tape and begin wrapping it around the bar, starting from the inner mark. Be careful to wrap in a tight, uniform manner so that the tape runs smoothly, without causing bulges. Do the same with the other side.

You can pick up some heavy-duty, all-purpose grip tape for just a few bucks. Our favorite brand is produced by Tape Owl. Each roll is 1.5 inches wide and 18 inches long.

If you thought that dip bars were just for your chest and triceps, check out this whole body workout using nothing but your homemade dip bars . . .

Here Is What You End Up With

Following our easy 7 step guide will allow you to build a solid pair of portable dip station that will last a lifetime. You’ll save a lot of money and you’ll have the satisfaction of training on a DIY dip station that you have created yourself.

These dip bars will handle a weight of up to 215 pounds. If you are heavier than that, simply increase the diameter of the PVC pipe to 2 inches.

And there you have it. The project won’t complete itself, so there is a little work involved to get it all put together, but it’s easy enough to do over a weekend or an empty afternoon.

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9 Parallettes Exercises To Shape A Stronger Body

Curious about using parallettes exercises in your routine? Discover why they’re not just for gymnasts!

Parallette bars might look like something a gymnast would use. But smart athletes know that bodyweight training is for everyone. The precise, controlled movements of calisthenics and gymnastics workouts are an amazing way to get more strength, flexibility, and core control into your home workouts.

And the best bit?

Parallette bars are small, portable, and cost-effective. Add a pair of parallettes to your fitness kit and discover a world of body weight workouts that will get you as fit, strong, and toned as a gymnast.

The Big Benefits Of Parallette Training

Parallettes are small, convenient, and can even be taken away with you when you travel. All you need it your own body weight, your bars, and enough room. Some people focus their entire training on bodyweight training and parallel work. Other people use them once or twice a week to complement weight training and gym work. Let your strength, physique, and competitive goals be the deciding factor. One thing’s for sure: adding some parallette work to your week will only ever be a positive thing!

It will increase your upper body strength, vertical pressing power, and will boost your co-ordination and proprioception across the shoulders, core, trunk, and arms. You’ll develop the kind of enviable balanced physique of a gymnast who has truly mastered his own strength to weight ratio.

Parallette Exercises For Beginners

Hand Position

Before you move on to any parallette exercise, get your hand position right. This will increase your power and protect you from hand, wrist, and shoulder injury. Have your wrists in a neutral position, and start with your thumbs on top of the bars (like a thumbless grip when weight training).

As you progress, try wrapping your thumbs around the bar in a regular grip. Keep your hands in the middle of the parallettes for balance and safety.

Parallettes Dips


Targets: Your triceps

Sit between the parallette bars. Place your hands on the bars, and lift yourself off the ground so your elbows are locked out, and feet are still on the ground. Lower your hips toward the floor, sending your elbows behind you and keeping your upper arms close to your ribcage. Send your hips straight down, not back. Then press back up without resting.


Progress it: Elevate your feet on a low surface like a bench (or the coffee table!)

Parallettes Push-Ups


Targets: Your chest and shoulders

Hold the bars, and get into a plank position with your feet on the floor. Bend at the elbow and lower your chest, keeping your torso straight and sending your elbows back (not flared out). Stop when your chest is parallel with the top of the bars. Keep your hips stable throughout the move.


Progress it: Deepen the push-up by taking your chest below the top of the bars.

Parallettes L-Sit


Targets: Your abs and core

Sit between the parallette bars. Place your hands on the bars, and lift yourself off the ground so your elbows are locked out, and your feet still on the ground. From here, lift your legs straight out in front of you, making a right-angle with your body. Press your hands hard into the parallettes to help the movement.

Progress it: By holding the L-Sit for a little longer each time.

Parallettes Exercises For Progression

Once you’ve mastered the beginner exercises, add some intermediate moves into your parallette routine.

Parallettes V-Sits


Targets: Your abs, core, hips

This is a natural progression of the L-Sit you have mastered as a beginner. Sit between the parallette bars. Place your hands on the bars, and lift yourself off the ground so your elbows are locked out, and your feet still on the ground. From here, lift your legs (keeping them straight). Aim to get them level with your chest.

Progress it: Hold the V-Sit for 5-10 seconds longer each time.

Parallettes Planche

Targets: Your shoulders, back, chest, core.

The planche is a key bodyweight and calisthenics exercise which will set you apart as a master of your new art. Face down, hold onto the parallette bars and shift your body weight forward onto your shoulders. Slowly lift your feet off the ground, spreading your legs to stabilize the movement. Slowly bring your legs together and extend. Aim to have your pelvis and shoulders both parallel with the ground (rather than shoulders or pelvis higher than the other). Keep practicing this movement to develop your shoulders, back and core muscles. Aim to hold the position for 5 seconds to begin with, increasing the duration as much as possible each session. But concentrate on form!

Modify it: If you struggle to get into the full planche, support your feet on yoga blocks or a similar elevated block whilst you get used to balancing and develop your core strength.

Parallette Wall Handstand

Targets: Your shoulders, back, arms

With your hands either inside, or in front of your parallette bars, jump your feet up and over so you are in a handstand position with your feet on a wall. From here, slowly move your hands to your parallette bars. Hold this wall handstand for as long as you can. Be careful when you come back down!

Alternatively, if you already have good core strength, you could begin with your hands holding the parallettes in front of a wall, and roll forwards, extending your legs as you go, until your heels touch the wall. Be aware of how close the wall is, and the speed at which you extend.

Progress it: By moving onto handstand push ups.

Advanced Parallettes Exercises

It’s time to add some challenging moves into your parallette routine, targeting your balance, shoulder strength, and agility.

Parallette Handstand Push-Ups

Targets: Your shoulders, chest, back, arms.

Get into a handstand position with your hands on the parallette bars, and feet against the wall, just like the Wall Handstand (above). Keeping your body straight and your feet tracking against the wall, bend your arms and lower your body down. A full parallette handstand push-up is very challenging, so start by just lowering yourself half way.
Modify it: By lowering yourself just as far as you can manage at first.
Progress it: By doing the handstand push-up without your feet against a wall. You need to be a balance guru!

Putting It All Together

Here’s a sample parallettes strength routine you could try at home.

Let us know how you get on in the comments below!

A big thanks to the BarMob street workout team for helping us with the photos for this piece. Check out their website (here: www.barmob.co.uk) and keep an eye out for upcoming BarMob events around the U.K.

…And if you haven’t yet picked up a pair of parallettes, we’ve just launched a new range for the massively affordable price of £29.95. Check them out here.

The Top 10 Parallettes Exercises for Beginners

Parallettes can be described as parallel bars in small format and that is why they are also known as mini bars. They are especially suitable for gymnastics and Calisthenics exercises and can be used very versatile. By the way, the name Parallettes comes from the fact that the bars are parallel to each other for most exercises.

In this article we introduce to you the 10 best Parallettes exercises for beginners. The workouts are perfect if you intend to train flexibly outdoors or at home. Thus you don’t depend on the opening hours of a gym and in the long run you save a lot of money. Make any place your personal gym and with the Parallettes you can do and learn about a highly effective total body workout.

Parallettes exercise #1: Parallettes push-ups

The execution of Parallettes push-ups hardly differs from conventional push-ups. With this exercise you build up a wide chest. You can also do them perfectly with normal push-up bars.

Target muscles

• Large chest muscle
Supporting muscles

• Triceps
• Front part of the delta muscle
• Front saw muscle

Position

• Grap the Parallettes that are parallel to each other on chest height (shoulder width).
• The arms are almost completely stretched-the legs are stretched through.
• Lean on the tips of your toes.
• Body tension!
• Your body forms a straight line.

Downward movement

• Lower your upper body by bending your arms.
• Elbows remain as close to the body as possible.
• The downward movement is finished as soon as your chest is at the height of the handles.
Upward trend

• Push your body weight back to the starting position, elbows remain close to the body.
• At the end of the upward movement, do not stretch the arms completely!

Parallettes exercise for beginners #2: Static knee raise

With this exercise you really make your abdominal muscles burn (especially the straight abdominal and the pyramidal muscle).

Target muscles

• Straight abdominal muscle
• Pyramidalis muscle
Supporting muscles

• Oblique abdominal muscle

Position

• Grap the handles and move into the „seat position“ (angle between upper and lower legs is 90 degrees).
• Pull the toe tips towards the upper body.
• The entire weight is loaded on the arms, which are stretched through.
• The upper body is upright.
• Shoulders remain in natural position (do not sink or tension in the shoulder belt).
• Body tension!

Execution

• Pull the knees/thighs as far as possible towards the chest.
• The gaze remains facing forward and the head does not go towards the knee.
• Once you have reached the top, keep the tension as long as possible and support you with your arms stretched out.
• Lower the knees slowly again (until the angle between the upper and lower legs is 90 degrees).
• Keep the tension in the abdomen upright and perform the next repetition.
• The body tension must be kept upright all the time!

3. Single leg core compression

With this Parallettes exercise you train the lower fibers of your straight abdominal muscles. So the sixpack gets close!

Target muscles

• Straight abdominal muscle (especially the lower fibres)
• Inner hip muscles
Supporting muscles

• Delta Muscle
• Triceps
• Chest Muscles
• Note: The thigh muscles are also claimed in a dimension that is not to be underestimated.

Position

• Support yourself with both outstretched arms on the Parallettes.
• Your feet are stretched forward on the ground.

Execution

• Now lift one leg to the top as far as possible, hold it for a few seconds and then lower the leg again to the ground before changing to the other leg.

4. Pike push-ups

This Parallettes exercise supports you on your way to “arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger”. It is focussed on the triceps and on parts of the deltoid.

Target muscles

• Triceps
• Lateral part of the delta muscle
• Posterior and front part of the delta muscle
Supporting muscles

• Large chest muscle
• Hooded muscle

Position
• As with push-ups.
• The arms are completely stretched.
• Now raise your hips so that your body is a „V“ standing upside down.
• Your arms and legs should stay as stretched as possible.
• The head is located between the arms.

Execution

• Bend the elbows and lower your upper body to the extent that your head almost touches the ground.
• Push back to the starting position.
• At the end of the movement, do not stretch the arms completely!

Parallettes exercise for beginners #5: Planche lean

Stressed body parts

Entire body and above all:
• Arm muscles
• Shoulder muscles
• Wrists

• Note: The exercise prepares for the Planche as well as for further exercises and movements (e.g. hand-stand push-ups).

Position

• Move to the starting position by grasping the Parallettes (hands are under the shoulders) and stretch through the arms as well as the legs.
• Your body forms a line.
• Spread your thighs actively.
• Go as far as possible on the tips of your toes.
• The pelvis is fixed.
• The back is slightly curved.
• The shoulders are tense.
• Your gaze is directed to the ground all the time.
• There is no movement in the neck.

Execution

• Lean forward over your shoulders without losing your body tension.
• Aid: Try to push the ground under you backwards.
• Only go as far forward as it is pleasant for you.
• The body weight is mainly on the hands.
• Keep the end position as long as possible.

6. Parallettes push tuck dip

This Parallettes exercise is a combination of push-up and dip. Thus you train both muscles intensively.

Target muscles

• Large chest muscle
• Triceps
Supporting muscles

• Front part of the delta muscle
• Front saw muscle

Position

• Grap the Parallettes on chest height (shoulder width).
• The arms are almost completely stretched and form a right angle to the ground.
• Legs are stretched.
• Lean on the tips of your toes.
• Body tension!
• Your body forms a straight line.

Push-Ups

• Lower your upper body by bending your arms.
• Elbows remain as close to the body as possible.
• The downward movement is finished as soon as your chest is at the height of the handles.
• Push-up back again.
Dips

• Now guide your two legs forward through the Parallettes and place them stretched out on the ground.
• Rest on your arms and then go down in the form of a dip with the upper body.
• When your upper arms are parallel to the ground, press upwards again until your arms are almost stretched.
• Then go back to the push-up position.

Parallettes exercise for beginners #7: Dips

With dips you concentrate on your triceps. Yet the chest muscles are also claimed.

Target muscles

• Triceps
• Front part of the delta muscle
• Large chest muscle
Supporting muscles

• Long radial hand stretcher
• Short radial hand stretcher
• Common finger stretcher

Position

• Take one Parallette in the support (neutral grip).
• Arms are almost completely stretched.
• The legs are stretched forward and placed on the other Parallette.
• Upper body upright.
• View is straight ahead.
• Light hollow cross position.
• Elbows close to the body.

Downward movement

• Controlled bending of the elbow –> lowering of the body.
• As soon as the angle between upper and lower arms is 90 degrees, the downward movement is finished.
Upward trend

• Press back to the starting position.
• At the end of the movement, do not completely stretch the elbows.

Parallettes exercise for beginners #8: Shoot through

Just like dips this Parallettes exercise addresses mainly the triceps, while the chest muscles and other muscles are innervated.

Target muscles

• Triceps
• Front part of the delta muscle
• Large chest muscle
Supporting muscles

• Long radial hand stretcher
• Short radial hand stretcher

Position

• Grasp the handles with stretched arms in the neutral grip (in front of your upper body), as with push-ups.

Forward movement

• Support yourself on the handles and bring your legs explosively forward through the Parallettes. Bend the legs a little bit.
• Put up your heels.
• The upper body is upright.
• The look is directed forward.
• The elbows are close to the body and the back is in the light hollow cross.
Backward movement

• Swing the legs backwards explosively, so that you land in the starting position.

Parallettes exercise for beginners #9: Mountain climbers

Mountaineering is boring? No way! With this Parallettes exercise you get a washboard belly and you strengthen other “sexy muscles” as well.

Target muscles

• Straight abdominal muscle
• Quadriceps
• Hamstrings
• Gluteus
Supporting muscles

• Two-headed calf muscle

Position

• As with the push-ups.
• Hands are slightly farther apart than shoulder width.
• Build up tension in the abdomen and lower back.
• Body forms a line (during the whole exercise!).

Execution

• Pull your right knee explosively to the right elbow.
• The hands do not leave the Parallettes.
• There must be no contact, but the knee should be moved as close as possible to the elbow.
• Move the right leg back to the starting position.
• At the same time: pull the left knee to the left elbow.
• Left knee back to the starting position while keeping the right knee to the right elbow.
Important: Both legs move at the same time; Toe tips only touch the ground in the starting position; Look is directed towards the ground.

Parallettes exercise for beginners #10: Side leg raises

Like some others this Parallettes exercise helps you on your way to the sixpack. It is similar to the mountain climbers, but it concentrates on the oblique abdominal muscles.

Target muscles

• Oblique abdominal muscles
• Straight abdominal muscle
• Quadriceps
• Hamstrings
• Gluteus
Supporting muscles

• Two-headed calf muscle

Position

• As with the push-ups.
• Hands are slightly farther apart than shoulder width.
• Build up tension in the abdomen and lower back.
• Body forms a line (during the whole exercise!).

Execution

• Pull your left knee to the right hand.
• The hands do not leave the handles.
• There must be no contact, but the knee should be held as far as possible to the hand.
• Move the left leg back to the starting position.
• Then pull the right knee to the left hand.
• Right knee back to the starting position, etc.

Video: 36 exercises with parallettes

Parallettes exercises for beginners – the first step to a well-trained body

As you can see, with the parallettes you can train your whole body. If you do your best and keep up, you will soon be able to change to the Parallettes exercises for the advanced. Of course all beginning is difficult! But hard work pays off in the end! You will find out at the latest when you are asked for the first time how you manage to be fit like this. We wish you fun and success with your workout!

Order your parallettes now!

Do you want to continue with Parallettes exercises? If so, you can download our FREE eBook with 37 Parallettes exercises.

Recommended articles:

Pull-up bar exercises with the Pullup & Dip bar for beginners & pros

The top 10 gymnastic rings exercises

Top 8 Calisthenics Exercises to get you started!

You don’t have to be a gymnast to take advantage of the strength training benefits that you can accomplish with parallel bars. In fact, you don’t even need access to a gymnastics gym—just purchase a pair of parallettes (little parallel bars) for your home gym. For about $50 you can buy a pair of wooden parallettes. Aluminum bars are a bit more expensive, but you can also construct some cheaper ones out of PVC pipe. The key benefit to using parallettes for body-weight strength training is that you are elevated off the ground, which allows for a deeper range of motion during many common movements. Listed from easiest to hardest, here are five parallette exercises to help you get the body of a gymnast:

MOVE ONE: Dips

Begin with your elbows locked out, and feet on the ground. Lower your hips toward the floor, then press back up. Make it harder by elevating your feet on a bench or a medicine ball.

GO TO PAGE TWO FOR MOVE TWO >>>

MOVE TWO: Push-ups

Grasp the bars and assume a plank position with your legs extended behind you. Start by lowering your chest to be parallel with the top of the bars. As you get stronger, take the push-ups deeper so that your chest goes below the top of the parallettes.

GO TO PAGE THREE FOR MOVE THREE >>>

MOVE THREE: V-Sit

To perform a V-sit, position with your arms locked out, then lift your legs so they are level with your sternum. This movement takes intense abdominal strength, and can be worked up to with tuck-holds or L-sits. Gauge your improvement by tracking how long you can hold the position—5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, etc.

GO TO PAGE FOUR FOR MOVE FOUR >>>

MOVE FOUR: Tuck Planche

The tuck planche is a static hold, in which you rock your weight forward onto your shoulders, then hold your legs tucked under your body. The goal is to have your pelvis be on the same plane as your shoulders, parallel with the ground. Work on holding for a longer and longer duration. Supporting your feet on an elevated surface is a good way to progress into the skill.

GO TO PAGE FIVE FOR MOVE FIVE >>>

MOVE FIVE: Handstand Push-ups

Unless you’re a balance master, you’ll want to do these handstand push-ups with your feet supported against a wall. Full depth push-ups (down to your shoulders) are incredibly difficult, so build-up by first lowering halfway and then three-quarters depth. Ben Musholt has been a physical therapist in Portland, Oregon for over 10 years and is the founder of Strength Mob and BPM Rx, Inc.

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How to Build Your Own Dip Bars

You don’t need a gym membership to get a good workout. If you have space on your property and can rent or borrow some tools, you can build your own backyard gym. While this dip bar may look like it’s something just for one type of workout, you can also use it for sit ups and pull ups.

This was also built with available tools and while it may not be the best or easiest way to build yours, it should help give you an idea of where and how to start.

Note: I included the plans for adding a Sit-Up bar, which is optional. However, if you think you may want one in the future I suggest you follow my instructions on drilling the holes for it now as it will prove difficult to do once the posts are set in the ground.

Tools and Supplies

  • 4 Pressure Treated Posts (8′ x 4” x 4”)
  • 1 Pressure Treated Board (8′ x 2” x 4”)
  • 2 Galvanized Metal Poles (1-5/8” diameter x 7′)
  • 1 Galvanized Metal Pole (1-5/8” diameter x 28”)
    • Optional. Could be used for a sit-up bar.
  • 1 Tube of Silicone based sealant
  • Handful of Galvanized Nails or Wood Screws
  • Power Drill
  • Hammer or drill bit for your Wood Screws
  • 2” Hole Saw Bit with Arbor Bit
  • 1/8” Drill Bit (at least 4 inches long)
  • Straight Edge Square
  • Caulking Gun
  • Hand Saw
  • Post Hole Shovel
  • Measuring Tape
  • 2 Saw Horses/Elevated Work Platform
  • Sharpie or other Marking Device
  • Clamps

Once you have your tools and materials assembled, it’s time to start the build.

STEP 1: Cross Boards

Measure your 2×4 into four equal pieces each 2 feet long and cut them with your hand saw. These will be your cross boards and you can set them aside for now.

STEP 2: Post Construction

Lay out your four 4x4s on your saw horses and establish which side of each post is going to be the top and bottom. Then decide which of the two posts is going to have your Sit-Up bar running through it. When deciding the top and bottom of your posts, keep in mind that it is both difficult and unwise to drill a hole through a knot in the wood.

STEP 2.1 Mark each post with a line 2 feet from the bottom. This line will represent how deep each post will be buried. I recommend that you mark this as “BURY LINE” on all four sides of the post.

STEP 2.2 Mark each post at the point where your cross boards will go. This will be different for each pair of posts because one side’s cross boards are going to act as a ladder.

STEP 2.21 Ladder Posts’ Cross Boards: Mark your first lines 15.5 in. above the bury lines. The top of your cross board will lay on this line. Mark your second line 19.5 in. above the previous line. As with the previous board, the line you make is where the top of the 2×4 will sit. Make sure to use a square to draw your lines, as this will help you maintain level dip bars and ladder rungs.

STEP 2.22 Sit-Up Posts’ Cross Boards: Mark your first lines 1 in. below the bury line on both posts. Mark your second line 7 in. from the top of the two posts. Make sure to use a square to draw your lines.

STEP 2.3 Mark the posts where you’ll drill holes for your dip bars. To mark these holes, measure 4 in. down from the top of the post and make a line horizontally across each post with your square. On that line find the midpoint, approximately 1.75 in. from either side of the 4×4, mark this spot and make a vertical line with your square. The spot that these two lines intersect is where you will drill your guide hole. Repeat this process for all four posts.

STEP 2.4 Grab the two posts that you decided to put your Sit-Up bar in and in the opposite plane, (i.e. perpendicular to the dip bars) you’ll mark your holes. To mark these holes, measure 4 in. up from the bury lines and make a horizontal line with your square, and then find the mid point, approx. 1.75 in. from the edge. Make a vertical line on this mark and their intersect point will be the spot for the guide hole, much like the holes for your actual dip bars.

STEP 3: Drilling Holes

All six holes will have the same method for drilling. First take your 1/8 in. drill bit and drill straight through the posts where you made you intersecting marks in steps 2.3 and 2.4. This will serve as your guide for the 2 in. hole saw with 1/4 in. arbor bit.

I wasn’t able to find a hole saw that was deep enough to drill straight through the post in one shot so once you drill into the hole saws’ extent, flip the post over and repeat from the other side. This is why it is important to drill all the way through with your 1/8 in. bit first, to create a guide hole. Once you get your first hole routed through, repeat this process on your 5 other spots.

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: One thing that’s not mentioned when drilling holes, is that if you don’t want the bars to turn on you when doing pull-ups, I’d suggest drilling a hole running perpendicular to the bar in each 4×4 post while the bar is inserted. Then just insert a bolt and nut to keep each bar stationary. This step is of course completely optional, but I had good success with this method when constructing my backyard pull-up bars.

STEP 4: Assembly

Assembling the posts, lay out the two posts that are going to have the sit-up bar running through them. Make sure your holes are going to line up and then grab two of your 24” 2×4 cross boards. Measure and make a vertical line with your square a quarter inch in from both sides of the 2×4. (You can go ahead and do this for all four 2x4s now.)

Now, lay out the first 2×4 on either of your marks from STEP 2.22, make sure the top of your 2×4 is the side that is on the line, and make sure that the marks on your 2×4 line up with the sides of the 4×4 posts. Use nails or screws to attach this 2×4 to the post, 2 per post are sufficient. I used clamps at this point to insure that the 2×4 did not slip out of alignment as I was attaching it to the 4×4 post. Repeat this process for all cross boards on each line from STEPS 2.21 and 2.22 until all four 2x4s are attached and square.

STEP 5: Site Selection

When selecting a spot for your dip bars, you will want to find a location that has as little contour change as possible and I suggest you find a spot that doesn’t have a threat of branches or anything falling on it. This spot will need to be at least 6′ long and 2′ wide and be able to have 2′ deep holes dug into it. Be mindful of underground wires and septic pipes.

Use your post hole shovel to dig four holes 2′ deep and only as wide as your post hole shovel. These holes should be 24 inches apart from their two outside edges and 6′ apart from their inside edges. Refer to drawings for clarification. On whichever side you decided to put your sit-up bar make sure to dig a small trench about 6 in. deep between the two holes for the 2×4 to rest in.

With your level, do your best to make these posts as straight up and down as you can. This process can sometimes take quite a while but it is a very important step so take your time. Make sure that they are level on both planes of your posts. You can use your metal poles to help you ensure that both sets of posts lie on the same line. If you are not an avid digger, you may find it easier to align your poles properly if you get one set of posts in the ground both level and filled back in with dirt to hold them in place.

Next, measure from that set to find the spots for your other two holes. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which you find easier. You may find that your posts don’t rest in the ground all at the same 2′ bury line, this is fine as long as the majority of them are at or below this line. Especially the two posts that have the 2×4 underground.

Now make sure you fill the holes back in with dirt and do your best to pack the dirt in as tight as you can. You could use concrete to set the posts but I found that dirt worked just fine for this purpose. You will have to wait approximately 1 full week for the dirt to fully harden before you can use them, but it is worth the wait.

STEP 6: Finishing Touches

Slap on a couple of ITS Tactical stencils and decorate as you see fit.

STEP 7: Test and Work Out

Remember, freedom isn’t free!

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Please welcome Justin Wooden as a contributor on ITS Tactical. Justin is an Aviation Ordnanceman in the US Navy as well as an avid rock climber and all around adventure sports enthusiast.

How Mark built his own dip station to master calisthenics skills

A while back, I wanted to buy a set of Horizontal bars. But in Canada, their price can be anywhere between CAD $100 and $300.

For example, I looked at the Lebert Equalizer. You can see it in Frank Medrano’s Youtube videos, and boy did I want them! There are other brands and whatnot, but these were the ones I wanted the most.

I priced out how much it would cost to buy them. And because of their price, I started to think, “Hey…Maybe I can make my own!”

And so my adventure to build my own horizontal bar started.

I wrote out a rough plan on how I wanted to build it, inspired by my doorway pull-up bar. The handle is roughly 30 inches for pull-ups, which I figured would be a good size for a horizontal bar.

My goal with my new bar is to get better at pull-ups and horizontal rows, so I used the measurements of my pull-up bar.

The idea was simple.

I wanted to keep it light and movable, while still being strong and solid. I knew I wanted the parts I’d hold to be round.

I played with the idea of making the base out of wood, but that would make it bulky and heavy. So I ended up deciding to use some kind of plumbing pipe instead.

And I was off to the plumbing store!

I went exploring and found some fencing poles, but I could neither find 90s or T-shaped poles here. It was sad, because Fence poles are dirt-cheap (CAD $3 for 8 FEET)

I thought of using copper because it’d look nice, but it was too expensive and way too soft a metal for what I wanted to do. I settled for a black pipe in the end. Many people have used black pipes for their DIY pull-up bars.

I still didn’t know if it’d be stable enough to be a stand, but hey, nothing tried, nothing gained, right?

Also, they were very affordable for me. Not even CAD $2/foot!

Apparently, black pipes are normally used for gas lines. So it’s pretty solid stuff.

As I was shopping at the store, my idea became clearer and clearer. I knew I wanted a bar about 30 inches across, but how high should it be?

I figured 30 inches in height would also be good.

So here’s the list of materials I used after all my deep thinking:

Three 30-inch length black pipes, threaded both sides

Four 8-inch length black pipes, threaded one side

Two 90s

Two Ts

All 1 inch-wide pipes.

Once you’ve bought the material, have all the ends of the pipe threaded, if it isn’t already.

This is a threaded screw. The striations on the screw were made by a machine to connect it to the different parts.

When you buy plumbing pipes in a store, they’re not always threaded. So you can pay to have it done in the store, or you can just buy pipes that are pre-threaded.

All that’s left after that is fitting the different parts together! Here’s mine:

You might be asking, “But Mark, what’s that white tape on it?”

Well! glad you asked.

Lucky for me the local sporting store was closing down, so that tape is Hockey Tape! I got a bunch for less than CAD $5.

The Ts on the feet were making the bar rock back and forth, so I bought caps for the ends, which made them more stable.

Although I didn’t like the idea of adding more weight to it or it being able to stretch floors, metal on a wooden floor doesn’t normally do well…for the floor. So I wrapped the bottom legs to get some grip and stability, with great results.

After a few uses, the tape kind of flattens out and becomes a perfect landing for the bar. I’m sure any kind of grip tape would work just the same.

It was super simple and cost me CAD $50 for all the parts. I’d have saved $15 had I wanted to thread the pipes myself, but I chose to pay for it instead.

Just so you know, most big box stores do that for free.

I chose to make 30×30”, but next time I make them myself, I’ll be fitting them to my height of 5’5” – it’d be nicer if I could reach the bar while laying on the ground, flat on my back.

If you want to custom tailor your horizontal bar, I suggest that you measure your arm length and add 1-2 inches to get a perfect fit in height.

I’d also suggest you use 10-inch pipes for the “feet”. It’ll be a bit more stable than my first creation.

With that said, I love it!

So that’s my custom built Horizontal Bar.

I’m probably not done making my own custom fitness equipment after this first one! So keep your eyes open, you’ll be seeing more from me.

Also – if you make a second horizontal bar, BAM! you have your own dip station.

If you want to try building your own horizontal bar and have questions, leave a comment or shoot me a message in the Facebook group!

Make sure you follow Mark on his Instagram and check out his personal site

Take the assessment to see how do you stack up on the 8 fundamental calisthenics moves

calisthenics training assessment

Share the results and comments in our Facebook Group

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This post and the photos within it may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

This post is sponsored by Old El Paso. All ideas and opinions shared are my own.

Hey hey! I hope you’re having a great week! I feel like I’ve been tired all week after staying up so late on a work night to watch the championship game Monday, anyone else? Even though I was sad that my team didn’t make it all the way, I can still appreciate what an amazing game that was! Wow! It was a great warm up for the BIG game coming up next month! If I were to take an imaginary poll of all of you about your favorite thing about the big game, I’m guessing you would say the food (the commercials would probably come in second.) Not because I’m psychic or anything, but because you’re my people! 🙂

What are your favorite foods to snack on when you watch football? It’s a pretty safe bet that any party you go to there will be some dip going on, right? That brings us to what we’re really here to talk about today. The problem with dip. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some dip! But at a party, it really is about the most inconvenient snack there is and it all lies in the ill-planned chip to dip ratio. Have you ever loaded up your plate with some yummy chips and dip and quickly realize you don’t have enough dip or chips or go along with your chips or dip. The only real solution is to gather around the dip bowl so that problem can’t arise. But then you run in to problem #2 – missing the game because you’re in the kitchen eating chips and dip! Ahhhhh so frustrating! (I told you these were real problems! 😉 )

I’m excited to tell you that this dip problem no longer has to be a problem. The solution? A make your own dip bar! The dip bar is so easy to set up… put out some of your favorite dip ingredients and Old El Paso Stand and Stuff Shells. The beauty of this dip bar is that there will never be a chip or dip left behind because the dip lives in the “chip”! The dip bar is perfect fare because it’s perfectly portable (and delish, of course).

Here’s what my Build Your Own Dip Bar was loaded with:

  • Old El Paso Bold Spicy Cheddar Stand and Stuff Shells (from Walmart)
  • Chili
  • Taco Meat
  • Old El Paso Vegetarian Refried Beans
  • Arti-chick Spin Dip (my silly name for spinach and artichoke dip with shredded chicken mixed in)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Green onions
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Olives
  • Cilantro
  • Guacamole

Guests can load their stand and stuff shells with any of the ingredients to make their favorite dip. Forget about 7 layer dip, how about 10 layer dip?! 🙂

You can add even more variety by adding in Old El Paso small and large soft taco boats to your build your own dip bar. You can find everything you need for you dip bar at Walmart!

How would you build your perfect party dip?

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How to make dip bars?

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