How to Make a Gymnastic Practice Mini Bar at Home (under $40!)
Don’t miss our latest Do It Yourself Tutorial with easy instructions, plans and a full supply list that shows How to Make a Gymnastics bar! Please make sure to read our caution and disclaimer before building this. If you’re a gymnastic parent like me, then you know how expensive gymnastics meets, leotards, classes and equipment can be! Even the essentials cost a lot. It’s not cheap, that’s for sure! Love cheap gymnastics equipment? Don’t miss our incredibly easy DIY Gymnastic Balance Beam, which takes just a few minutes and costs under $10!!
Our Story: My daughter started gymnastics last year, and now she wants to practice at home. I checked out gymnastics equipment and gymnastics mats on Amazon but couldn’t find anything decent in my price range. So, next I turned to Craigslist and my local Facebook garage sale groups in hopes of finding cheap gymnastics equipment. Sadly, there was nothing available. And, the few things that were for sale either sold incredibly fast before I could respond to the classified ad, or the item was priced higher than new! So, as a last resort I wondered how to make gymnastics practice mini bar at home. I Googled it and got quite a few ideas, but not one single post I found showed actual plans or really explained what they did. So, my husband agreed to help and we headed to the home improvement store.
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Cost Breakdown: I wasn’t able to find a highly rated Gymnastics Practice Bar online for under $300. The cheaper mini bars are rated for 3-4 year old children. My daughter is 9, so that would never work anyway. I really don’t have $800 to spend on a gymnast bar! We had the screws and tools, and we could have used a closet pole we had but decided we wanted to use a steel bar (which was only $8). We got the couplers, small steel end bars and washers in our little town. So, we came in just under $40 for this project. We could have been under $25 if we had done it differently, but I’m happy with it!
- $8.10 = quantity 2 – 12′ 2x4s (we got construction-grade pine lumber at Menard’s)
- $3.09 = quantity 1 – 10′ 2×4
- $7.35 = quantity 3 – 8′ 2x4s
- (we had these) 3″ and 2.5″ wood screws
- $8.48 = quantity 1 – 4′ bar, 3/4″ (inside measurement), black galvanized steel bar with threaded ends
- $4.38 = quantity 2 – 4″ threaded pipe
- $5.96 = quantity 4 – 3/4″ couplers (aka “bushings”)
- $0.92 = quantity 4 – 1″ hole steel washers (True Value Hardware charged us by weight rather than by piece which was much cheaper!)
- (we had) Wood glue
Total = $38.28
Compare to Gymnastics Practice Bars on Amazon.com!
How to Make a Gymnastics Practice Bar
Head on over and get the DIY Gymnastics Bar materials list and step-by-step instructions on our blog here (click link).
How to determine the height of your bar
You can look up Gymnastics regulations which is also a great resource for matting requirements. Standard height for a low bar is anywhere from 5′ to 38″ tall. We went with 53″ for ours. You will need to decide for yourself what’s right for your kids. you can try measuring to chest height and adding a few inches for your floor mats. It really all depends on the size and height of your gymnast. That’s why they sell adjustable bars! 🙂
Before you begin, here are a few things to think about. This is a great way to save money if you’re looking to buy gymnastics equipment. But, this does not replace a trained gymnastics coach or gymnastics classes. Keep in mind that practicing at home might cause sloppiness or bad form if you don’t coach your kids. Talk to your coach about it, and ask for pointers!
Use a gymnastics bar ONLY under strict adult supervision. Although, when built right, it is very sturdy – it is not intended for swinging on, standing on, doing flips or spins or anything else. If, after you build it, then you must inspect it and you determine that it is safe. If it is, it can be used for basic candlesticks with adult supervision. And, it makes a great chin up bar. Again, this is only with the full attention of an adult – always within arm’s reach!
The plans provided here are rough drafts which you need to adjust for you. YOU take full responsibility for what you build. Because of all the variants in how this project could be built, and because you are doing it yourself with an infinite amount of different things you could do, by building or using a structure similar to this – you agree to hold harmless this website and any of the suggestions and tips herein, including those found in the comments, social media, or anywhere relating to this article.
Use your best judgement
If you’re unskilled at building things, ask a friend or family member to help. Please use caution and common sense!! Obviously, if it feels like it might fall down, it’s not safe and should not be used. And, even if it feels solid and sturdy, you still must not let your kids play on it unsupervised.
So, don’t build this if you’re worried your kids might misuse it. We want you to be safe! I don’t know your construction skill level, or your kids’ gymnastics skill level. This is up to you.
For example, gymnastics bars sold on Amazon are restricted to various weight limits, such as under 50 lbs for a basic mini practice bar. If your child is a teenager, this is probably not right for you. Ours can probably support up to 125 lbs, but that’s a guess. So, please check it out thoroughly, and regularly to ensure that it remains sturdy, stable and safe!
And don’t forget you’ll need a good gymnastics landing mat, throw skill cushion or manufactured sting mat for under the bar. The mats shown in picture are little tumbling mats we have, which are not suitable for practice bar landing mats. I haven’t found a great price on gym mats, but sometimes you can find them on Craigslist. Just make sure to do a quick Google search to compare prices since sometimes CL prices can be higher than new!