Among so many variants of exercises and routines within the world of fitness, it can sometimes be difficult to determine which of them is best for each need. A key to clearing up these confusions is knowing the benefits of each type.
To this end, today I will talk to you about the advantages of exercises with parallel bars so that you can know, with total clarity, what they are capable of contributing to your physical work.
Let's not waste any more time and dive into the world of these highly effective bars.
About Parallel Bars
The parallel bars allow you to develop a very powerful type of functional exercise. This power comes from the fact that the movements made combine the use of one's own body weight with gravity.
This combination is ideal for the development of certain specific areas of the body, such as arms, chest, shoulders and abdomen.
It is commonly believed that they only strengthen arms, but this is not the case. If you don't believe me, just try a few exercises and feel for yourself how much other muscle groups work.
It is a very versatile element that allows many benefits at the level of physical condition and definition, as well as being very useful in rehabilitation.
Of course, I must make an important recommendation before moving forward: it is necessary that you use it only if you already have a state of form that allows you to support your own body weight. Otherwise, do other types of muscle-building exercises first, until you get into proper physical shape.
Benefits of Parallel Bars
In my opinion, although sometimes they are not included in routines because not everyone can support their own weight, they are one of the most effective supplements for chest and arm work, offering enormous benefits at the muscular level. Which? I explain them below.
The parallel bars allow you to effectively work the triceps, lower pectorals and deltoids.
Depending on the incline you choose and the movement you choose, you can achieve a very effective job.
A study has shown, in a group of Egyptian students, that those who trained using parallel bars achieved greater muscular development and more strength than those who performed the same routine, but without including these elements ( study ).
To see it in something more everyday and not just in a scientific study, I suggest that we think about how the body works when we do push-ups.
If you refer to your sensations, you will realize that, although you work against the force of gravity, you only put part of your body weight on your arms and chest, the part that is usually lighter.
The legs have the heaviest muscle groups and this weight is not sustained during a push-up. On the parallel bars, on the other hand, although you follow gravity, you have to support the whole weight of your body.
Work of this type involves combined exercises that not only require exerting strength, but also stabilizing the body, so the muscle fibers must do harder work. Result: more effective exercise.
They increase the strength
As the study cited above has shown, working with parallel bars and with well-designed routines increases strength in a short period of time, both in men ( study ) as in women.
Pushing is one of the fundamental movement patterns and one of the most used in everyday life. Therefore, improving strength using the bars will not only boost your sports performance, but will help you perform many common tasks more effectively.
Allows you to burn calories effectively
The use of parallel bars, which, as I have explained, implies supporting the entire weight of your body and in turn stabilizing it, generates a more intense work of the muscle fibers.
In addition, several groups are worked at the same time, which multiplies the impact on the body, increasing the intensity and, therefore, burning more calories and eliminating fat.
A A study conducted on junior and senior gymnasts showed that those who performed routines on parallel bars, horizontal bars, and rings achieved a better Lean Body Mass Index (FFMI) than the group that performed other routines.
Additionally, the senior gymnasts who had performed these routines for a longer time, showed even higher rates.
They are valuable allies for Functional Exercise
Like I said, the exercises in Parallel bars require the combined work of several muscles at the same time, right? This leads us to the conclusion that it is a great tool for functional training, as it stimulates muscle groups to learn to work together.
This type of work generates more efficient movements, helping to avoid injuries, protecting joints and improving posture, which makes it possible to reduce common aches and pains.
Also, these routines are often safer than those that require free weights. With the latter, if there is an incorrect compensation, the joints can be affected.
Improve Stability, Balance and Body Control
The exercises that use this type of bars greatly stimulate the work of the abdominal muscles, including the stabilizers.
Studies have shown that this strengthening has a positive impact on the stability of the trunk and the body in general, which also improves the performance of gymnasts.
scientific reviews show that the spine and balance are closely related and that the muscles of the abdomen play an important role in stabilizing the lumbar vertebrae.
By contributing to the improvement of stability, parallel bars are used in medical rehabilitation and physiotherapy, especially in injuries or debilitating diseases. They allow you to regain strength, body control, range of motion and independence.
Other studies suggest that therapists should consider working deep abdominal muscles, such as the transverse muscles, when improving stability ( study ) , and parallel bars can greatly help this work.
Other Advantages of Parallel Bars
Now that you know the benefits of routines that use this type of bar, I will tell you about some more advantages, such as:
- You don't need to go to the gym to work with them. There are very good parallel bar options on the market that do not take up much space or require large investments, making them an excellent option for exercising at home.
- You can perform routines of various intensities, which allows you greater versatility in your training or physical work.
- With just a few exercises you can achieve many goals at the same time: burn calories, achieve a joint work of several muscle groups and improve your body control.
- As it does not require additional weight, it is safer against injuries, which makes it especially interesting if you are new to the world of weight-bearing exercises.
Parallel bars are a tool that many workouts and gyms have forgotten, but they are more effective and safer than many other methods, since the routines they allow to perform work several muscles at the same time and do not require external weights.
In addition to the benefits it provides on a physical level, this effective sports implement can be incorporated into your training even without leaving home, or even in a park, which offers you greater independence and ease of practice.
Resources and further reading
- Specific strength training on parallel bars and its influence on the technical performance level of Gymnastics (2018)
- Somatotype, body composition, and physical fitness in artistic gymnasts depending on age and preferred event. Plos One (2019).
- The Relationship of Abdominal Muscles Balance and Body Balance. Journal of Body Science (2013) The Impact of Strengthening the Core Muscles on the Improvement of Parallel Bars Hands Balancing for the PE Students (2014)
- Contraction of the Abdominal Muscles Associated With Movement of the Lower Limb. Physical Therapy. Volume 77. Number 2 (1997).
- Effects of Systematic Gymnastic Training On Postural Control in Young and Adult Men. Science of Gymnastics Journal. Vol. 9 Issue 1
Founder of Skilledfitness.com . Passionate about the world of fitness and sports. Defender of science as a fundamental basis to master your physique. Self-taught by nature and researcher of the human body. I help you meet your goals and get fit with sports science.