Today we’re going to build an adjustable PVC hurdle. If you ever do plyometrics as part of your training routine, or if you’ve had the unpleasant experience of missing the landing on a box jump, a hurdle can be an excellent addition to your training gear.
- 4 – ¾” PVC schedule 40 pipe @ 48”
- 2 – ¾” PVC elbows
- 3 – ¼” bolts, 3” long
- 1 – ¼” bolt, 4” long
- 4 – ¼” flat washers
- 4 – ¼” nuts
- 1 – ¼” clevis pin, 3” long
- 1 – cotter pin
- Drill guide, if available
Begin by cutting a 6” long piece from one of the long pieces of PVC pipe. Cut the remaining (42”) piece in half. These pieces will be a furring strip and the legs, respectively.
Next, locate and mark the center, lengthwise, of a full piece of pipe. Using the ¼” drill bit, drill straight through the pipe at the center mark. The drill guide came in very handy for ensuring the hole was drilled as intended. Repeat this on a second piece. These are the cross-members of the hurdle.
Before you bolt them together, mark a distance ¾” from the end of each piece. Drill a hole at this mark, making sure that it is co-planar with the center hole in each piece. I used a bolt and a speed square to accomplish this. On one of those pieces, drill two more holes – one at 2”, the other at 5”. Again, make sure the holes are all co-planar.
Now you need to drill the same sequence of holes in the 6” piece of PVC pipe. Mark the locations ¾”, 2” and 5”. Drill all three holes, ensuring they are co-planar. Bolt the 6” piece of pipe to the long piece of pipe with the matching holes. Use 3” bolts to attach the two pieces at the 2” and 5” mark. The third hole will be used later.
Next, bolt the two long piece of pipe together at the center hole. When doing so, make sure the furring strip aligns with the second pipe. This will ensure that the upper piece of the hurdle runs straight across, rather than at an angle. On the ends of the pipes that do not have holes, install the 90-degree elbows. Then, install the two pieces of pipe that form the feet.
With the remaining long piece of pipe, mark and drill a hole at ¾” from one end. Using the 4” bolt, attach this piece to the end of the cross-member with the furring strip. The final step is to mark and drill the holes that correspond to the various heights you wish to achieve. The standard hurdle heights in track and field are 27”, 30”, 33”, 36”, 39” and 42”. Manipulate the hurdle to the corresponding height and mark the intersection of the cross-member and the top bar. Repeat for the remainder of the heights you want to have.
Once marked, remove the top bar and drill the holes for each position. Again, make sure these holes are coplanar with the very first one. Once all the holes are drilled, re-attach the top bar with the 4” bolt. Use the clevis pin and cotter pin to select the desired height.
Lift heavy, run fast and JUMP HIGH!
Should you prefer a simpler design, I mocked up a non-adjustable version. Give either a try and let me know how it works in the comments or over on facebook!