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Barbell Exercises – A Complete Guide To Barbell Exercises

Barbell Exercises

Barbell Exercises - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

The barbell is an active component when it comes to building strength and muscle. Its versatile nature allows it to be used in many different ways while training all major muscle groups in the body.

However, like many people, you may not know the first thing about barbells or weight training, but don’t worry, you’re in luck! In this article, we will go through all the basics with you, explaining all you need to know about barbell exercises, the benefits that come from doing them, and of course, how to do these exercises yourself.

How To Warm Up For The Barbell?

Before beginning your barbell workout, the best this you can do is stretch your muscles, particularly your legs and back. After you have done this, begin some cardio. There are many different cardio workouts you can do. However, running is recommended, and it is suggested that you should start with a light jog, then increase in speed for about 10 minutes.

The Benefits Of Barbell Exercises

Incorporating barbell exercises into your workout routine will benefit you in more ways than one. Listed below are some of the main advantages of using a barbell:

  • Highly Versatile – When doing a barbell workout, you’re not limited to just a single exercise. You can train almost every muscle group in your body when using this piece of equipment.
  • Time Saver – With barbells, you can perform heavy compound exercises. The benefit of this is that compound exercises will train multiple muscle groups at the same time. It means that you can get a good workout with only a few barbell exercises.
  • Affordable – If you’re the type of person that doesn’t like going to the gym, then you’re in luck, as barbells are highly reasonable. You can get a high-quality barbell for $100, which will allow you to work out from the comfort of your own home and not have to worry about paying for a gym membership.
  • Improve Health – Once you start barbell complex workouts, your overall health and strength will increase vastly. Not only that, but you’ll also begin to feel better as your body becomes stronger and more athletic.

When To Use Barbell Exercises?

A barbell workout is good for those who want to build muscle and strengthen their body. Also, given the barbell design, many people prefer them over regular dumbbells as a barbell requires less balance to use efficiently. You will also find that physical aesthetics are not the only reason you should start lifting weights, and many practical benefits come with it also.

Coachmaguk[1] claims that when you start gaining muscle, not only will you feel healthier, but moving daily objects around will become much easier. For example, before you may have had to hire someone to move your old furniture, but now you’ve built some muscle, you can do it yourself!

Lastly, if you or someone you know is physically impaired, barbell workouts are a great way to regain the functionality of muscles. By keeping your muscles active, you are essentially bringing life into them, allowing them to become stronger.

Best Barbell Training Exercises

Barbell Back Squat

1. Barbell Back Squat

When performing a back squat, stand with your feet shoulder-length apart with the barbell held tightly on your upper back. While keeping your back straight, bend your knees, allowing you to lower your body to achieve the squat position. When done correctly, this is a great full body barbell workout for your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes.

2. Barbell Front Squat

Begin this exercise with the barbell placed along the front of your shoulders. Make sure that your hands are placed firmly just over a shoulder length apart. Once you have this position, keep your chest up, bend your knees, and squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Including this barbell complex exercise in your workout will train your quads and core.

3. Barbell Bench Press

Adjust the bench so you can comfortably lie on your back with your feet on the floor to give you balance. Hold the weight above your shoulders with arms slightly wider than shoulder-length. Once you have this position, push the weight up until your arms are at a 45-degree angle, then slowly bring the weight down with your elbows coming out to either side. Ideally, you want to aim for about 5 repetitions before stopping.

According to Legion[2], this is a fantastic full body barbell workout to train your chest area and triceps. It will also help with your balance and increase your overall core strength.

4. Barbell Rack Pull

With your knees bent and your back straight, grip the barbell tightly and bring it upwards towards your body. Once you have achieved this, slowly return the barbell to the rack while lowering your upper body and keeping your legs remained bent. It is a simple exercise that is great for strengthening your lower and upper back and should be included in your barbell workout plan.

5. Barbell Romanian Deadlift

Start with feet shoulder-length apart and keep your knees slightly bent. Grip the barbell with both hands and lean slowly back. While doing this, it is crucial to be sure that your back is straight and aligned with your shoulders. When leaning back forward, tighten your hamstrings and drive your feet into the ground until you are in a straight stationary position. Remember, if you are feeling pain in your lower back, it means that your positioning is wrong. So, if you incorporate this exercise into your barbell workout plan, it will help strengthen your glutes and hamstrings.

6. Barbell Bent Over Row

Barbell Bent Over Row

Start by grabbing the bar with your hands placed slightly further than shoulder-length apart while the barbell is on the ground. Make sure that your knees are bent, and your arms are straight. Bend over slightly, keep your back straight, and bring the weight towards your chest. Once you have done this, lower the weight back down to its starting position and repeat the exercise. When doing workouts such as this one, you want to aim for at least 5 repetitions before stopping. This barbell complex workout is good for training the latissimus dorsi, also known as the wing muscles on your back.

7. Barbell Push Press

Begin by grabbing the barbell and holding it at shoulder height. Stand with your feet at shoulder-length apart and slightly bend your knees. Use the power in your legs to push the barbell up above your head until your arms are almost straight. Once you have completed a repetition, slowly return to the start position. Be careful not to lift too heavy weights to start with as this could be dangerous, particularly if they fall on your neck or head. This workout exercise will train many muscles, mainly your back and triceps, making it a great full body barbell workout.

8. Barbell Hip Thrust

Sit down on the floor with your back resting against a bench. Make sure that your legs are spaced out about shoulder-length apart, and your knees are bent. Place the barbell across your hips, make sure you have a sturdy grip, and then slowly lift the bar with your glutes until the weight aligns with your shoulders. Carefully lower the bar back down until your hips are a few inches above the floor, and repeat. This exercise will help strengthen your hip muscles, such as the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and part of the adductor Magnus.

9. Barbell Bicep Curl

A relatively simple exercise may start by standing up tall while keeping your chest out and your back straight. Squeeze the barbell with your palms facing up and curl the barbell up towards your chest. Then, slowly bring the weight back down to the starting position. You want to aim for at least 10 repetitions when doing this workout. Barbell exercises are brilliant if you want to train your biceps. However, as your biceps are generally considered small in comparison to other bodily muscles, it’s best to start with lighter weights and work your way up.

10. Barbell Hang Clean

Barbell Hang Clean

Hold the barbell with your arms shoulder-length apart, resting it on your thighs. Squat down slightly, then using the power of your feet, jerk in an upwards motion to bring the weight up, so it is resting on your chest/shoulders. Your shoulder muscles and triceps will gain benefits from this full body barbell workout.

11. Barbell Good Morning

With the barbell placed on your shoulders and behind the back of your neck, slowly bend forward at your hips with your knees slightly bent. When doing this, make sure that your back remains straight. You aim to bend until you can feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings, the main muscle worked in this exercise.

12. Barbell Kirk Shrug

Grab the barbell and stand up straight, be sure that the weight is resting near your thighs. Once you have this position, start shrugging while holding the weighted barbell. In doing this, you are training your traps and lats, which are muscles located on the top of your back.

With the barbell in front of you, you lift it upwards until it is held in an overhead position. To do this, keep your torso upright and bend your knees. Then, in one powerful movement using your shoulder and chest muscles, bring the weight above your head.

14. Barbell Skull Crusher

Lay down on your back on a bench rack with the barbell placed on your chest. Then, lift the weight upward until your arms are nearly locked. Once you have this position, slowly tilt the barbell until it is behind your head, then bring it back to the starting position. When doing this barbell complex exercise, you’ll target your triceps muscles.

Barbell Training Tips

Barbell Training Tips

When efficiently used, the barbell can be your best friend when in the gym due to its versatile nature. However, the last thing you want is to cause yourself any unwanted injury or discomfort. Here are a few more tips you should note when starting your barbell workout plan:

  • Technique Is Essential – It may be tempting to try and lift very heavy weights early on. However, this may affect your form. Instead, focus on your technique, this way, you’ll be exercising more efficiently.
  • Safety Is Key – Remember, if you feel any strain on your lower back, it is bad. You need to make sure that you are training the right muscles.

  • Stretch Beforehand – As mentioned in BarBend[3] stretching is a great way to warm up your muscles and be sure you’re not putting yourself at risk of pulling a muscle or getting injured.
  • Find A Workout That Is Right For You – There are many different exercises to choose from when it comes to barbells. That’s why if you find one that you not only benefit from but also enjoy, stick to it because before long, you’ll soon be reaping the benefits.

FAQs

Yes! The barbell is a well-rounded piece of gym equipment that can offer you so much diversity when it comes to exercise. Due to the fact that you customize the weight on the bar, they are fantastic for building muscle.

Using an overhand grip, bend your knees and grab the bar. Keep your back straight and use your core strength to lift the barbell until you are standing upright.

Carefully. Make sure that your positioning is correct and that you are using the correct weights on your barbell.

Absolutely! Like all exercises, using a barbell can burn fat, leading to losing weight and becoming healthier.

Using a barbell is considered a compound exercise. It means that it trains more than one muscle group, resulting in a full-body barbell workout.

Final Thoughts

Overall, barbells are probably one of the best pieces of equipment you can use to build strength in your body, but don’t get ahead of yourself. Always remember to use barbells safely and follow the advice given in this article. If you do this, you’ll soon become stronger than ever before!

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