The Basis of Barbell Exercises

The Basis of Barbell Exercises

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Rest the barbell on your natural shoulder shelf as you do barbell back squats.

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The basis of barbell exercises is to build muscle mass and strength. Barbells are more effective than other free weights, such as dumbbells, because they can hold heavier weight. It is also easier to lift heavier weights with barbells because you are using both sides of your body at once, which creates greater stability. To build maximum muscle strength and mass, incorporate barbell exercises into your workout routine once or twice per week. Complete eight to 12 reps of each barbell exercise, and one to three sets.

Barbell Back Squats for Bigger Thighs and Glutes

Barbell back squats will target your glutes and quadriceps and engage your hamstrings and calves. Throughout the exercise, keep your core muscles tight and engage your glutes. The barbell should be placed on the rack before you start. Place your hands on the barbell grips, and bring your body completely under the bar so that the bar is resting on the natural shelf of your back. Stand with your feet about shoulders-width apart, toes slightly turned out and bend your knees as you lift the bar off the rack. Stay in the rack while doing the exercise. As you inhale, bend your knees keeping them stacked over your ankles and lower your hips into a squat. As you exhale, explode back up to standing.

Barbell Deadlifts to Maximize Your Glutes

Start with the barbell on the floor. Stand with your feet about shoulders-width apart and slightly turn your feet out. Place your hands on the barbell grips about shoulders-width, palms facing in. Bend your knees so they're stacked over your ankles and your hips are back as though you're sitting on a chair. Engage your abs, quadriceps and glutes, straighten your legs and keep your arms straight as you lift the weight off the floor. Lower the weight back to the floor while keeping your core engaged, back straight and bending your knees. Lift the weight on your exhale and lower the weight on your inhale.

Barbell Bench Press for Defined Chest and Shoulders

The Barbell bench press will build strength and muscle mass in your pectorals and deltoids. First, set up your bench with your barbell. The barbell should be a height where you can lift it off the peg. Place your middle fingers or ring fingers on the lines on your barbell to correctly position your hands. Keep your wrists neutral, in line with your forearms. Lift the barbell off the peg, squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly lower it 90 degrees toward your chest, keeping the bar in line with your nipples. Be careful not to lower the bar past 90 degrees to avoid injuring your rotator cuff. Push the bar straight up. Inhale as you lower the bar and exhale as you lift the bar.

Barbell Bicep Curls for Massive Biceps

Barbell bicep curls will target both of your biceps evenly to build strength and definition. Start with the barbell on the rack. Stand with your feet shoulders-width, toes slightly turned out. Place your hands on the barbell about shoulders-width apart with your palms facing out. Slightly bend your knees as you lift the barbell off the rack, and hold the barbell with your arms straight. Keep your core muscles engaged and your back straight as you curl the barbell up toward your shoulders. Your elbows should remain slightly in front of your hips and against your side body as you lift and lower the bar. Always keep your wrists in line with your forearms. Lift the bar as you exhale, and lower the bar as you inhale.

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