Barbell Exercises

Weight lifters and bodybuilders are very much familiar with barbell exercises. Barbell, a type of free weights, is simple to use. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg but it does deliver wonderful results—tight, ripped body—when utilized properly. The weights can be adjusted by adding or removing plates on either side. Beginners could start with the lightest weight that they can handle. It shouldn’t be as intimidating as it may initially seem once you’ve gotten a hold of a barbell.

There are several advantages in doing barbell exercises. First, you can do the workout at home. There are not much equipment to use except for a workout bench, barbell, set of weights, and a small space. Gym gloves are optional. Second, the exercises help in stabilizing muscles and increasing muscle strength. They are a great way to blast the fats, bulk muscles up, tone and sculpt problematic areas.

Word of Caution:

Before starting with barbell exercises, consult with your doctor for clearance. Since you’ll be dealing with weights, there are definitely some risks posed by carrying loads. Have your shoulders and back assessed to avoid any injury. In contrast to gym machines, the use of barbells entails active participation on your part— maintaining proper posture, picking up barbell, and controlling movements. As you are dealing with free weights, there might be a tendency to sway, arch, or swing your body parts i.e. unnecessarily just to raise the barbell. Now this is cheating. Follow thoroughly barbell exercise instructions to make the most out of your workout.

Basic Types of Grips

• False Grip – The dorsum of your hands are facing the ceiling while your thumbs are in the same level as your other fingers when you grab the barbell.

• True Grip – Similar to how you would hold a bar, your hands are completely wrapped around the bar. Your thumbs are opposed to your other fingers. It could be an overhand grip (pronated grip) or underhand grip (supinated grip).

Sample barbell exercises

1. Barbell Trunk Rotation (works the lower and upper abdominals plus obliques)

Sit on a flat bench or armless chair. Place a barbell behind your neck, parallel to your shoulders, and hold it in a wide grip position. Carefully rotate your body from left to right, pausing for a couple of seconds in between. Avoid slouching. Keep your back straight.

2. Bench Press -Wide Grip (works the pectoral muscles)

Lie with your back flat on a bench. Grasp a barbell with both hands in a wide grip position (your hands relatively far apart from each other). Extend your arms while maintaining a slight curve. Slowly lower down the weights mid chest. Pause. Then press the barbell back up. Repeat 10 to 12 times per set. Aim to do 2 to 4 sets.

3. Barbell Push Press (works the shoulders and upper back)

Stand up with feet apart, knees slightly bent. Grab the barbell with an overhand grip and position it at the level of your neck, a little above the shoulders. Press it up until your arms are almost straight without locking your elbows. Lower it down slowly to starting position.

4. Barbell Squat (works the abs and lower body)

Stand up straight with feet apart. Hold the barbell behind your neck, at the level of the shoulders, in a wide grip. Lower your body by flexing your knees as if you’re going to sit. Then pop your self back up.

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