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Barbell Exercises That Suit Beginners

Whether you’re new to strength training or a seasoned veteran, barbell exercises are a must-have in any weightlifting routine.

In this article, I will discuss why barbell exercises are beneficial, what barbell exercises are good for beginners and some important tips for incorporating barbells into your routine.

Barbells, like all other free weights, are an effective piece of equipment for weight loss, strength gain, and muscle increase. In addition to this, barbells can be used to train for endurance, strength, power, coordination and speed.

No matter what your goal, adding barbell exercises to your routine will surely help you reach it. Because barbell exercises can be modified in several ways, they are perfect for beginners and those who don’t intend to compete in the next Olympia any time soon. 

There are four major exercises that use the barbell; they are the squat, bench press, row, and deadlift. Unlike machines, the barbell allows you to perform these compound lifts as opposed to isolation exercises like bicep curls and leg extensions. Compound lifts generally recruit more major muscle groups at once, which is why barbell exercises are efficient and very effective. 

For example, during the barbell squat, the primary muscles being used are the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus. Additionally, your core muscles, lower back, shoulders and arms are used to stabilize your body throughout the movement. 

Before we get into each barbell exercise, it is important to note that while performing these exercises, especially if it is your first time, it is essential to warm up sufficiently and perfect the technique before adding any significant amount of weight. 

7 minute muscle

1. Squat: as mentioned above, the squat works the major muscles of the legs as well as the lower back, abs, shoulders, and arms. Work on squatting below parallel, and make sure your knees never bow in or go past your toes.

2. Bench press: this barbell exercise strengthens the pectorals, deltoids, and triceps. Make sure your feet are planted on the ground and you have a strong grip on the bar. Lower the weight to the middle of your chest and bring it back up in a controlled manner.

3. Row: works the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids and trapezius. The barbell row should be performed by bringing the bar to the middle of your stomach while focusing on pulling your shoulder blades together.

4. Deadlift: the quadriceps, hamstrings, and lower back are all used during this exercise. Be sure to extend your hips and knees while you breathe out. When you approach the standing position, drive your hips through the bar.

Beginners will benefit from all four major barbell exercises, but will likely use a lesser amount of weight than intermediate and advanced lifters. While the exercises that you do during your workout will almost always depend on your specific goals, it is rare that a beginner lifter will not benefit from adding a barbell exercise to their bodybuilding workout schedule.

Tips: During all compound barbell lifts, remember to keep your core muscles tight. This will help stabilize your body during the exercise. Also, if you have trouble with the technique, remember that there are a vast amount of resources available to you. Watching videos, talking to lifting partners, or reading books are all good ways to familiarize yourself with the technique and get it right.

critical bench

critical bench

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