Homemade DIY Calisthenics Equipment Ideas

DIY Calisthenics Park Home Equipment

Building your own DIY Calisthenics Equipment is a fun and cost-saving way to equip yourself with many of the tools you’ll need for Calisthenics. If you’re the DIY type who just likes to build things, money might not even be the issue. It’s just fun to work with your hands and create something with a function, like DIY Parallettes. These DIY Calisthenics Equipment ideas are meant to stir your imagination and get those creative juices flowing. With a little elbow grease, you can get a whole lot of Calisthenics done with just some timbers or piping and a basic set of tools. Here are four ideas for DIY Calisthenics Equipment for beginners and beyond. We’ve also included the inspiration for our article, an excellent DIY book with many ideas for homemade Calisthenics Equipment.

DIY Parallettes for Calisthenics

The most popular homemade project for Calisthenics are DIY Parallettes. Parallettes aren’t very complicated and DIY Parallettes are almost as good as store-bought Parallettes. You can make your own DIY Parallettes without any tools by using piping and couplings.

Equipment Needed for your DIY Parallettes:

All parts for your DIY Parallettes are 1” gauge or higher. Match the gauge on all parts, make sure the couplings inside gauge matches the piping’s outside gauge. You can choose PVC to safe on cost, we recommend using galvanized steel for extra sturdiness.

  • 4x Steel/PVC T-coupling
  • 4x Steel/PVC Elbow coupling
  • 2x 8” Steel/PVC pipe
  • 4x Short Steel/PVX pipe (height is up to you, we recommend not going higher than 4”)
  • Roll of sports tape, preferably not slick

How to Make Your DIY Parallettes

  1. Assemble 1 Elbow Coupling with a Short Pipe tightly
  2. Assemble the above with a T-coupling
  3. Repeat the above steps for all Elbow Couplings, Short Pipes and T-couplings (these are the feet)
  4. Wrap the 8” piping with sports tape tightly and as properly as you can
  5. Assemble your “feet” to the 8” tape-wrapped piping to complete the DIY Parallettes.
  6. Optional: add 8x 1” or 2” piping with 4 end caps to the T-Couplings to make the base of the DIY Parallettes wider. This is saver if you’re going for higher DIY Parallettes.

Homemade Parallel Bars

Homemade Parallel Bars are constructed in almost the same way as DIY Parallettes. The difference is that the Homemade Parallel Bars need to be constructed of galvanized steel piping, with longer piping and a wider base than the DIY Parallettes.

Equipment Needed for your Homemade Parallel Bars

All parts are 1” gauge. Match the gauge on all parts, make sure the couplings inside gauge matches the piping’s outside gauge. We chose galvanized steel for this build for its added durability. This is a more expensive setup, but it’s virtually indestructible.

  • 4x Steel/PVC T-coupling 
  • 4x Steel/PVC Elbow coupling 
  • 2x 10” Steel/PVC pipe 
  • 4x 10-15″ Steel/PVX pipe (height is up to you) 
  • 8x 4” Steel/PVC pipe
  • 8x 1” End Caps
  • Roll of sports tape, preferably not slick

How to Make Your Homemade Parallel Bars

  1. Assemble 1 Elbow Coupling with a 10-15″ Pipe tightly
  2. Assemble the above with a T-coupling
  3. Repeat the above steps for all Elbow Couplings, 10-15″ Pipes and T-couplings (these are your feet)
  4. Wrap the 10” piping with sports tape tightly and as properly as you can
  5. Assemble your “feet” to the 10” tape-wrapped piping.
  6. Assemble the 8x 4” piping with 8 end caps to the T-Couplings and the End Caps on each pipe end to complete your Homemade Parallel Bars.

DIY Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar

We chose a mix between construction timber and steel pipe for our DIY Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar. In this case, using wood for the vertical posts will reduce the tendency for them to veer or wobble back and forth when in use. All-steel, tall constructions tend to be bendy unless fitted with copious diagonal struts, which complicates the construction.

Equipment Needed for your DIY Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar

  • 1x 4ft. threaded steel pipe (1” gauge or more)
  • 2x 1” gauge Flanges with flat plates + screws to match
  • 2x 7’6” timber vertical beam at least 4×4” thick (pine construction wood is cheaper; Douglas fir looks nicer)
  • 4x 3ft. beam or board matching your beams
  • 4x galvanized steel timber L-connectors (a heavier gauge is better)
  • Optional: sander, sandpaper, router plain

How to Make Your DIY Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar

  1. Optional: sand your timber and round off the edges with your router plain
  2. Screw a 3ft beam/board on either side of a vertical beam using the L-connectors, creating a T shape beam. The flusher you can get the bottom the better.
  3. Repeat the previous step with the second beam and second set of 3ft beams/boards.
  4. Screw the flanges tightly to the steel pipe. 
  5. Place the flanged pipe between the two T-beams at your desired height. We recommend leaving an inch of wood at the top.
  6. Screw the flanged pipe in place with the matching screws to both T-beams to complete your DIY Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar
  7. Optional: 4x 1’ board or beam with their ends cut at a 45-degree angle can be placed flush against the vertical beam and on the supporting feet as diagonal support struts. Screw in place.

DIY Calisthenics Outdoor Gym

For our DIY Calisthenics Outdoor Gym, we decided to keep things simple and sturdy. The frame needs to be able to reliably hold the weight of your barbells and be easy to access (without anything between the vertical posts and not too much going on the floor either). We opted for an upgraded build of our DIY Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar.

Equipment Needed for your DIY Calisthenics Outdoor Gym

  • 1x DIY Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar minus the optional step 7 (read above)
  • 2x 3’7” beam matching your Pull-Up Bar’s vertical beams
  • 1x 4’4” beam matching your Pull-Up Bar’s feet width (Flanged pipe + beam in length)
  • 1x 1’ beam matching your support beam’s width (4×4 or more)

How to Make Your DIY Calisthenics Outdoor Gym

  1. Cut the ends of the 1’ beams at a 45-degree angle. Place 1 flush against the back-side of your DIY Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar’s vertical beam. Screw in place.
  2. Repeat the above step on the opposite vertical beam but on the same side (e.g., back-side)
  3. Screw the 4’4” (or whatever matches the width of your DIY Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar) against the end of the base on one end, creating a rectangle on the floor with one missing side.
  4. Pre-drill holes in the 3’7” beams. Cut one side of both beams at a 45-degree angle.
  5. Place the 3’7” beams flush and upright against the vertical beam so that they create a V-notch for your barbell to rest in. Screw in place with matching screws.
  6. Repeat step 1 twice on the front-side and your DIY Calisthenics Outdoor Gym is ready.

DIY Calisthenics Equipment Manuals

We got inspired by two excellent sources on DIY Calisthenics Equipment projects. The first, is “The Garage Gym Athlete” by Jerred Moon. This no-nonsense book is packed with homemade Calisthenics Equipment ideas and how you can make the best out of your situation. You’ll get tips and tricks on how to appropriate everyday equipment and commonly available building material to build your own Calisthenics Home Gym from scratch.

Another great resources and which really got our creative juices flowing was the article on simplifiedbuilding.com about DIY Calisthenics Equipment. Simplifiedbuilding explores the many possibilities of what can be done with pipes, two-by-fours and elbow grease.

Are DIY Calisthenics Equipment Good Enough

It depends on your craftmanship how well your DIY Calisthenics Equipment will perform. With today’s prices, professional Calisthenics Equipment producers can be very competitive for a Home Gym situation. Don’t expect to be saving heaps of money just because you built your DIY Parallettes or Pull-Up Bar yourself. Producers have economy of scale behind them, after all. Ultimately, professional, store-bought Calisthenics Equipment tends to be better, more comfortable, easier to transport or move around and quite modestly priced compared to DIY Calisthenics Equipment. It’s still a fun project though! If all else fails, you can still visit a Calisthenics Park for free.

Frequently Asked Questions About DIY Calisthenics Equipment

Here are questions we see frequently about DIY Calisthenics Equipment.

Do you need any equipment for Calisthenics?

As a bodyweight exercise sport, Calisthenics does not need a lot of equipment. To see good progression, many Calisthenics practitioners acquire access to a Pull-Up Bar, Parallel Bars and Parallettes. If you’re strapped for cash, you can start by making your own DIY Parallettes.

How do you make DIY Calisthenics Equipment?

DIY Calisthenics Equipment is made from widely available, relatively inexpensive construction material like steel or PVC piping and pipe couplings. Like this, DIY Parallettes are one of the easiest things you can make. For larger DIY Calisthenics Equipment, like full-sized Pull-Up Bars and Outdoor Gyms, lumber is used for the vertical beams. There is very little cutting involved and even less cutting at angles other than 90 degrees.

How do you make a Calisthenics Park at home?

The bear minimum necessities for a Calisthenics Park are a Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar and a set of Parallel Bars, or Dip Bars. You can make these in DIY Calisthenics Equipment projects or by buying them instead.

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