In the past few months, I’ve received several questions about performing handstand pushups from homemade (PVC) parallettes. The PVC parallettes were added to the homemade equipment archive several months ago.
Unfortunately, I do not have experience with PVC parallettes. I’ve never built them, nor have I used them. I have seen a few videos of handstand pushups performed from PVC handles, but I do not know the weight limit. I’m guessing that smaller athletes wouldn’t have any issues. As for the heavyweights (or those using weighted vests), I honestly do not know.
Personally, I built handstand pushup handles from wood and pipe. The handles are very strong and are tall enough to maximize range of motion. I made these handles a few years ago from scrap wood that was leftover from another project.
A picture of one handle can be seen below.
The gripping area is made from a 6 inch piece of pipe (3/4″ thick). Each end attaches to a 90 degree elbow, which then attaches to a pipe flange. It’s been a few years since I built the handles, but I’m guessing the pipe cost around $15.
As for lumber, I screwed each pipe flange to a 4×4″ piece of wood. The 4×4’s then attach to a 2×10″ piece. Finally, the 2×10″ has a 2×4″ on each end to stabilize the high handles.
My initial reason for tackling this project was that I wanted a tall enough handle to allow for a full range of motion (without compromising stability). The 4×4″ pieces are 12 inches long. As you can see below, I’m able to lower myself fully with each repetition. The taller pushup handles that I had seen on the market lacked stability. My DIY handles are very strong and are quite stable on the ground. There is no tipping or rocking.
I also enjoy these handles as I can vary my hand position.
I realize that this DIY project may not be the most popular or exciting, but the handles have been quite useful over the years. Looking back, I may not have taken on the project if I didn’t already have the scrap wood. I’m glad I did however as I’ve gotten plenty of use from these handles.
As for the PVC parallettes, they are certainly less expensive to build if you needed to purchase the lumber for my handles. I will say however that it is nice to have a solid handle underneath you when standing on your hands.
For more homemade equipment ideas, please refer to the link below:
For more information regarding hand balancing and handstand pushups, please refer to the entry below from early 2007: