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Old 08-15-2007, 03:23 AM   #1
Peter Dell'Orto
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I'm wondering how feasible it is to use store-bought pushup handles as parallettes.

I was going to make my own parallettes, but PVC pipe is a bit more pricey where I am in Japan than in the US, and I'd need to get a saw as well. The pushup handles are quite cheap, though - under 1000 yen (about $8) for a Gear Max pair, 2500 yen (about $20) for a Nike pair. Making my own parallettes will cost more than the cheaper pair, maybe more than both (although I'd end up with a saw, which could be handy eventually).

I'm just looking for something to use for L-Sits. That's part of my concern - I'm 85 kg and 193 cm with long legs, so the narrow base makes me wonder if I won't end up unstable when I stick my legs out. These things are also made of PVC, with soft foam grips, and measure 14.5 cm wide x 15cm tall x 24.5cm long and weigh 530g.

Anyone have any experience doing this?
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:15 AM   #2
Michael Leach
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generally speaking, i would think the pushup bars should be fine for L-sits, however, just to be sure, can you post a picture of the pushup bars you are looking at?
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:32 AM   #3
Ryan Atkins
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Hey Peter,

FWIW, I've broken a pair of push-up bars while doing L-holds on them. I'm about 220#. YMMV depending on your weight and the quality of the equipment.

Hope this helps,

Ryan
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:47 AM   #4
Matt DeMinico
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How much does PVC cost in Japan? Maybe some other form of pipe is cheaper (but then you'd have to buy expensive fittings or weld it).
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:29 AM   #5
Derek Maffett
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You can probably get solid metal hex dumbells for about the same or maybe a little more. Metal is certainly better than PVC.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:50 AM   #6
Brandon Oto
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I use mine as paralletes. Or for pushups when my wrist is complaining (but not otherwise, they stabilize too well). No problem for L-sits.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:52 AM   #7
Frank C Ollis
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The paralettes are worth the extra money it will take to build them. Trust me when I say, you will buy the push up handles, use them, hate them, and end up making paras anyway.

So in a way, doing it up front will save you money.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:07 PM   #8
Ken Mindoro
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Don't use a saw. PVC pipe cutters make a nice, clean cut without all the loose shavings. Don't to get some PVC glue while you're at it. It's definitely worth it to do it right. You don't want it coming apart on you when you are trying to do a HSPU.
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:16 PM   #9
Peter Dell'Orto
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Lots of answers, thanks.

- I can't find a picture of ones I'm looking at on the net and the catalog I snagged from the store has a tiny picture.

- Hex dumbbells. Ah, if only. Dumbbells here in Japan are all round with the except of the two old-timey looking ones at the gym, which are round with a small flat no-roll spot on one side. Only stable enough to keep themselves from rolling, that pair. If we had hex dumbbells I've just have gotten a pair and not needed to ask. :D
Sadly I live in a world of round dumbbells and 100kg standard barbell sets that cost $350 for the cheap sets. Small houses = home gym equipment isn't popular.

- Other pipe - I'll look today if I get a chance after work and before I go to class, see how much it is. Same with PVC pipe cutters. People don't do so much home building stuff on their own, so the availability of "Home Depot" like aisles of pipe and fittings is really limited.

- I'm actually not worried about HSPUs on them. I'm not up to HSPUs yet, and when I try any kind of inverted stand I'm doing them on the wrestling mats in my gym or judo mats at other gyms, where any kind of handles/parallettes are a no-no. It's just the L-sits I care about now...and in the long run I'm probably leaving Japan so I'm not worried about having something that'll only be useful for a year or two.

But yeah, my concern is breaking them and being unstable. I'm 85kg which is about 187.5#.
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Old 08-17-2007, 06:50 AM   #10
Peter Dell'Orto
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FWIW, guys, I found a cheaper place to get PVC, but I'd still be looking at at least 2000 yen without glue or a cutter for the parts. Metal pipe is much more expensive, ranging from 2x-5x as much just for the straight pieces and the elbows are 10x as much.

I decided against the handles and home-made parallettes. Instead, I found I can do L-sits using two chairs in my apartment. They're a bit low, and while if I try to dip off of them they shift apart on the floor, L-sits are sufficiently slow and steady so they remain in place. If I can find a set of all-metal pushup handles I'll give them a try but for now I think the chairs will do. Gives me more "negative range" too for recovery when my legs start to hang down.

Thanks for all the advice. It was much appreciated and helped me find the best alternative.
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