Even if you're a fitness ~expert~, there are pieces of gym equipment that will make you go, "huh?" Enter: our WTF Workout Equipment series, which decodes the weirdest workout tools this side of the cable machine. Our expert tips come from Equinox trainer Rachel Mariotti, who's demystified the bumpy foam roller, ViPR, balance board, Pilates Ring, and—the latest in the series—the parallette bars.
You may have seen small ones like these lying around the weight room, or larger ones that look like they belong in Simone Biles' workout routine. Either way, they could be the key to getting a larger range of motion during basic movements and adding some spice (and challenge!) to your normal routine. Try these three moves, and watch other gym-goers ooh and ahh over your impressive skills.
A. Start in high plank position with hands grasping the parallette bars, palms facing in and feet slightly wider than hip-width.
B. Slowly lower chest down to wrist-level, keeping core tight.
C. Push away from the bars to raise chest back to high plank position.
Try 5 sets of 6 reps.
A. Sit on the floor with legs extended and hands gripping the parallette bars by sides. Push into handles and lift butt off the floor so that arms are straight, and body forms a straight line from shoulders to toes. Walk feet away from bars as needed, and open up the chest.
B. Bend elbows straight back to lower body a few inches, keeping body straight and core tight. Then squeeze triceps to straighten arms. Be careful not to sag hips.
Try 5 sets of 8 reps.
A. Sit on the floor with legs extended and hands gripping the parallette bars by sides. Push into handles and lift butt off the floor so that arms are straight, shoulders are directly over wrists, and body forms an "L" position with heels still resting on the floor.
B. Squeeze abs to lift heels and hold legs parallel to the floor, engaging upper body.
Try 5 sets of 10-second holds.