It is necessary to exercise on a daily basis, to target a specific group of muscles. Exercises are a good method to keep fit and stay in shape. Strength training forms an integral part of a good exercise regime, which includes activities like aerobics and general flexibility routines. It has been observed that some people like it and some dislike working out with weights. Mostly, the weights which are used consist of free weights, dumbbells and barbells. While everyone’s training routine is a little different, as are their overall fitness goals, there are some things that appeal to all gym-goers. Effective exercises that make you stronger without having to spend hours in the weights room definitely fall into that category, and here is what barbell exercises step in.
Barbell exercises are a one-stop shop for strength, muscle mass, fat loss, and power. That’s because you can load up the barbell with more weight compared to the potential of kettlebells and dumbbells. The almighty barbell which has a rich history in strength sports can also be used in various ways. You can squat it, press it, load it on your back or your front, and even jump with it. The thing is, there are so many ample numbers of exercises available today that knowing which to focus on. With the help of this article, we will try to figure out some of the top 5 barbell exercises that you can incorporate into your fitness regime.
Benefits of Barbell Exercises
- Builds Strength – Barbell exercises build strength throughout your body. Barbell exercises are effective exercises for building muscle mass throughout your entire body. Exercises with this equipment are considered a great choice for anyone looking to strengthen their lats, pecs, quads, and more.
- Improves athletic performance – Barbell exercises help to improve your athletic performance. While performing the exercise with this equipment builds muscle in the upper and lower body, helping add power and speed to a wide range of athletic activities.
- Improves Posture – Barbell exercises help to improve your posture. When practised with proper form, barbell exercises can help build strength in your stabilizer muscle groups, helping you stand up tall and keep your back straight.
Top 5 Barbell Exercises
Below we have mentioned some of the best barbell exercises that you can incorporate into your daily workout regime for a stellar image.
1.) Barbell Back Squat – Back squat is one of the barbell exercises that you can perform conveniently. Squatting with a heavy barbell on your back allows you to overload your leg muscles with more weight than you could with other tools. Your core works overtime as you brace to ensure that your torso is rigid throughout the movement, which promotes a stable and safe spine. And your back, which is supporting the physical load, will also reap some strength gains. Back squats are also great for both heavy, low-rep training and lighter, high-rep training.
Steps To Perform
- Step under a barbell and set a good foundation by flexing your core to lift the barbell off the squat rack.
- Grip the barbell wherever allows you optimal shoulder mobility to get your elbows under the bar.
- Set it either high or low on your upper back, unrack it, and take a few steps back.
- Pull the bar down to your shoulders to create tension. Keep your chest up, take a deep breath in and squat down to a comfortable depth and pause for a beat.
- Drive your feet through the floor until lockout.
2.) Barbell Front Squat – The front squat is one of the barbell exercises that you can perform conveniently. In the front squat, you support the barbell in the front rack position, resting across your shoulders. This position takes the load off your back, reduces spinal compression, and forces you to contract your upper back muscles better to prevent the bar from falling forward mid-lift. Compared to the back squat, the front squat trains the body’s anterior muscles more heavily, engaging the quads and anterior core to a greater degree.
Steps To Perform
- Assume a proper front rack position by putting the barbell high up onto the shoulders, ensuring the bar is supported by the shoulders and upper chest.
- Keep your shoulders down and chest up and take three steps back from the rack.
- Descend into a squat keeping the back in neutral while minimizing the forward lean of the torso.
- Once you have hit the bottom position, push through the whole foot and stand up, maintaining an upright torso, chest, and forward elbow position.
3.) Barbell Rack Pull – Rack Pull is one of the barbell exercises that you can perform conveniently. Basically, the rack pull is a deadlift variation similar that trains all the same muscles in the standard deadlift but with a reduced range of motion (ROM). For rack pulls, you start with the barbell at or just below knee height. You can elevate the barbell on blocks, weight plates, or the safety arms of a power rack. Because of the reduced range of motion, it’s easier to maintain a neutral spine.
Steps To Perform
- Set the barbell up in the squat rack either above or below the knees.
- Assume your standard deadlift stance and grip.
- Hinge down and grip the barbell with an overhand shoulder-width grip and squeeze your armpits together, keep your chest up and shoulders back and pull up until lockout, finishing with your glutes.
- Hinge back to the starting position and repeat.
4.) Barbell Bench Press – Bench Press is one of the barbell exercises that you can perform conveniently. The bench press and all its variations such as incline, decline, close-grip, with dumbbells, and the floor press target the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Like most barbell exercises, it allows you to use a greater load because of the relatively straight bar path and the stability of the bench, than you could muster with kettlebells or dumbbells. For powerlifters, this move is a must-do as it’s one of the three main competition lifts.
Steps To Perform
- Lie flat on your back on a bench and get your eyes directly underneath the barbell.
- Grip the bar with hands wider than shoulder-width apart with a neutral wrist.
- Bring your feet closer to your glutes, push your feet back and un-rack the bar in the lockout position.
- Then bring the bar slowly down to your chest as you breathe in and push your feet back.
- Arch your back slightly to push the barbell until lockout.
5.) Barbell Push Press – Push Press is one of the barbell exercises that you can perform conveniently. The overhead press is a fantastic shoulder exercise. But how often do you find yourself not moving your lower body to get something overhead? The push press uses the triple extension of the ankles, knees, and hips, which closely mimics what most overhead athletes do on the field and what you do at home or in the gym.
Steps To Perform
- Stand in front of a loaded barbell, set to about chin height in a power rack.
- Grab the bar with a grip that’s slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Brace your abs, dip your knees a little bit, and then explosively push the bar overhead.
- Catch the bar gently on your chest and then repeat.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.