Workout of the week: 20-min barbell strength workout
ALL LEVELS / barbell strength workout / 20 minutes
The barbell is probably one of the most intimidating gym equipment, and it’s often associated with bodybuilders or powerlifters only. Yet, hitting the squat rack can be beneficial to everyone. Barbell exercises help you build muscle mass throughout your entire body, improving your athletic performance and posture. Plus, it’s a great tool to perform a challenging and effective workout such as this one.
Our barbell strength workout is, as the name indicates, a workout where you’ll only need one piece of equipment: the barbell. Make sure you choose a demanding but suitable weight. One that allows you to complete every rep.
This workout is divided into 2 groups, each with 4 exercises. You’ll perform each group for 4 rounds.The first 3 exercises of each round have only 7 reps. The last one, however, has 21 reps. You’ll have 1-minute to rest between groups. All combined, this workout will take you around 20 minutes to complete.
Barbell overhead press
Barbell front squat
Barbell push press
Barbell bench press
Ready? Grab that barbell and let’s go!
4 exercises each group
First 3 exercises 7 reps, last exercise 21 reps
4 rounds each group
1-min rest between groups
WORKING OUT FROM HOME? NO PROBLEM.
If you don’t have the equipment originally needed for this workout, you can substitute it with these everyday items or use these alternative exercises.
Barbell = a broom handle with a gym bag with weights on it
WORKOUT EXERCISE LIST
1 – BARBELL DEADLIFT
Stand behind the bar with feet hip to shoulder-width apart. The feet should be close to the bar.
From here, bend the knees slightly and push the hips back to bend down and grab the bar, keeping back straight. Once you have the bar, keep the back straight, engage the core, and drive the hips forward and up, returning to standing. Keep the shoulder and core set through the movement.
When you have a full hip extension, keep everything engaged as you slightly bend the knees and reverse the move to lower the bar (either back to the floor or a low hang position).
2 – BARBELL CLEAN
Stand over the barbell, feet hip-width apart. Engage the core and keep the spine neutral as you squat down and lift the bar to standing.
In this position, set the shoulders and core. Keep the knees slightly bent, and allow the bar to rest against the front of the thighs.
Begin the movement by forcefully driving the hips up and forwards as you straighten the legs.
As soon as the hips are fully extended, quickly drop the body under the bar. Catch the barbell in the front rack position (across the front of shoulders and elbows as high as possible) in a quarter squat.
Lower the barbell to the start position (standing with bent knees).
3 – BARBELL OVERHEAD PRESS
Grab a suitably-weighted barbell in a rack position (barbell resting loosely in palms, at your chest level). Make sure you choose a weight that allows you to perform the 4 rounds.
Engage your core, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and press the barbell overhead, pausing for a few seconds at the top.
Make sure you press until you lock out your arms.
Then, engage your back muscles and return the barbell to the rack position. That’s one rep.
Repeat 7 times.
4 – LONG JUMPS
Find a space where you have 2-3m in front of you, and stand with feet hip-width apart. Engage the core and set the shoulders slightly, ready for movement.
Quickly bend the knees and hips (to about a ½ squat position) and swing the arms backwards. Keep the knees over the toes throughout.
As soon as you hit the lowest position, rapidly extend the hips and drive the arms forwards and up (about a 45-degree angle) to straighten the body and jump forwards.
Keep the core tight and remain balanced during the leap. As you land, drive the legs forwards, allowing the knees and hips to bend slightly to absorb the landing.
1 – BARBELL ROW
Grab a suitably loaded barbell with a shoulder-width grip. Engage the core and set the shoulders. Lift the bar to assume a standing position – this is your start position.
Keeping the core engaged and the shoulders set, hinge at the hips until the bar is just below the knees. Row the bar towards your belly button and lower again. Immediately deadlift the bar to a standing position – this combination movement completes one repetition.
Return under control and repeat.
2 – BARBELL FRONT SQUAT
Start in a standing position with the barbell in a rack position (barbell resting loosely in palms, upper arm horizontal).
Begin the movement by squatting down, keeping the back straight. Aim to drop the hips just below the knees while maintaining balance and control of the bar.
Return to the start position and repeat.
3 – BARBELL PUSH PRESS
With your feet shoulder-width apart, grab the barbell.
Place the bar on the front of your shoulders.
Drop into a shallow squat.
Then, press up using your heels while simultaneously driving the bar above your head until your arms are straight.
Lower the bar down to your chest.
4 – BARBELL BENCH PRESS
Grab a barbell and lie back on the bench.
Engage your core, set the shoulders, and turn the barbell so that the fingers are facing forwards. Position the barbell so that the elbows are bent to 90 degrees and in line with the shoulders. The barbell should sit close to the armpits (a maximum stretch for the chest). This is the starting position.
Keeping the core engaged and low back in neutral, press the barbell straight up and in towards each other, squeezing the chest muscles as you press. Pause at the top before returning to the start position.
Repeat for reps or time.
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