Barbells are great pieces of fitness equipment if your goal is to tone your biceps, build your triceps, work your chest, or firm your back, abs, and legs. The question is: what exercises can you do with them that benefit your total body? Here are five:
- Alternating Squats
Perform this move and you’ll work your upper body, lower body, and midsections all at the same time. To do it, simply start in a squat position with one end of the barbell in your right hand (with weights on it if you wish), the other end placed so that it won’t move. Then stand up and lower to the squat position again, transferring the barbell to your left hand at the same time.
- Barbell Rollout
Place the barbell on the floor and kneel in front of it, putting your hands on the bar about shoulder width apart. Slowly push the bar out in front of you as far as you can while balancing on your hands and knees. You’ll feel it in your core, but you’ll also be taxing your legs and arms too.
- Overhead Lunges
Engage in lunge movements while holding the barbell overhead, placing weights on it if you need more resistance. This will isolate your hamstrings and thighs, but it will also help work your shoulders, arms, and core.
- Overhead Thrust
This exercise involves doing a squat with your barbell on your shoulders, forcefully thrusting it off your shoulders as you transition to the upright position. By engaging all of your muscle groups at the same time, you’ll notice total body results.
- Straight Leg Deadlift
By doing a straight leg deadlift—which means starting with the bar on the front of your thighs and then bending forward at the hip, slowly lowering the bar toward the floor until you feel it in your hamstrings (keep your back slightly arched)—this will work your legs, buttocks, back, and core.