In a part 1 of this article, I discussed the benefits of a parallel grip as well as the gym exercises you can perform with the aid of a parallel grip pull bar. Discussed here is the procedure on how to make your own parallel grip bar with very basic materials mentioned in Part 1. It is not plated nor shiny like those you see in high-end fitness gym, but it does the job.
- Bend the 36" steel bar to make up the frame as shown in the photo below. The entire length of the bar will be used without further cutting it.
There are several ways you can bend a steel bar that's 8mm thick. You can insert the bar into a long steel pipe to gain leverage and then bend and twist the pipe to bend the steel bar inside. You can also slip the steel bar in between two steel bars that make up an old window or gate grill.
Bend the steel bar so that one end of the steel bar starts INSIDE the right handle (one of the 5" steel pipes) as shown above. Continue bending so the other end of the steel bar ends inside the right handle as well. That is why you don't see any steel bar ends along the frame.
- Four legs make up the 2 inverted V's of the parallel grip pull bar. The "V" angle is actually 90 degrees. Each leg is 8" long.
- In the duration of bending the steel bar, don't forget to slip it through the left handle (another 5" steel pipe). Since the steel bar is only 8mm while the steel pipe is 1" diameter, the pipe will roll around (more on that in a minute).
- Maintain a distance of 6" between the two inverted V's.
- Once both ends of the steel bar have been inserted inside the right handle, the 2 legs at the right need to be moved closer together so there is no slack. Using pliers or vise grips, bend and form the two ends of the 9" steel wire so they wrap on the 2 legs on the right.
This wire will be the spacer rod that maintains the distance or space between the 2 legs. Ensure that the 2 legs on the right are at a distance of 6" from each other. That means you have 1.5" on each end of the steel wire to wrap on the steel bar.
- To ensure the steel pipe handles don't move or roll around, mix some steel epoxy clay and plug inside the steel pipe.
You don't need to fill the entire length of the pipe, just enough to keep the pipe immobile.
- Allow to dry and cure according to the epoxy curing specifications. The epoxy clay also gives you a smoother finish to the ends of the steel pipe handles.
- You can paint the entire pull bar assembly. I chose to paint the grip handles with a different color for easy visibility as well as aesthetics.
So the frame is blue and the handles are brown.
The reason you don't need to weld the parts without them being loose is because you are employing the natural tension resulting from the bent steel bar as well as the tightening action created by the steel wire on the steel bar.
There you have it. Except for a some elbow grease to bend and form the steel bar, this project didn't cost me much. It may not look very pretty or fancy, but it does the work.
Here's a list of links to my homemade gym and exercise equipment:
(with photos and how-to instructions)
- Squat Stands
Made from wood and metal fasteners. With three barbell catches.
- Weight Plates and Dumbbell Rack
Made from wood. Features a curling bar stand and sit-up bar
- Parallel Grip Pull Bar
Multi-purpose and all-metal construction. No welding required.
- Adjustable Metal Safety Squat Racks
Height-adjustable squat racks for multiple exercises. No welding required.
- Thick Bar Handles for Barbell or Dumbbells (Fat Grips)
Easy to assemble from pvc. Ideal for strong grip training.
- Physical Therapy Dumbbell Bar
Made from pvc. Accepts standard light weight plates for therapy or rehab.
- Wrist Roller
Tips for wrist, forearm and elbow therapy exercises.
This list is growing, so be sure to come back!