The barbell is an incredibly diverse and durable piece of exercise equipment. In our exercise database there are more than 50 separate barbell exercises that you can do. You do not have to limit yourself to just doing presses on a bench as the barbell can help you work out many other muscle groups. You can use barbell exercises to increase your strength and rev your metabolism.
Barbells are relatively inexpensive pieces of exercise equipment. You can easily find them for less than $40 at fitness or sporting goods stores. Wal-mart and Target may even carry them in some areas. If you are a barbell exercise beginner, you could consider using a broom handle or plain aluminum pipe until you feel comfortable with the form and movement of barbell exercises. Barbells also come in sets with weights and if you intend to do most of your workouts at home these can be a good investment. You may want to consider buying a few sets of weight plates and then increase your plate collection as your strength increases.
When you are doing barbell exercises, use caution and make sure you pay extra attention to your form. Unlike when you are on gym equipment, you need to be extra careful to keep your posture correct. There is nothing to offer support to you as you move through the range of motion in each exercise. The benefit of this is that you must engage your core effectively during a barbell exercise, and this will result in improvements all over, not just in the main muscle group you are trying to work. Do not cheat and let your body sway to compensate for a weaker side. This will just exacerbate that sides' weakness and leave your body unbalanced.
It is possible to work out all of your major muscle groups with a barbell, with or without extra weight plates. There are barbell exercises for your abdomen, back, biceps, chest, forearms, legs, shoulders, and triceps. For optimum exercise economy, choose those barbell exercises that combine more than a single muscle. For intensely building up or shaping your body in a specific way, choose barbell exercises that focus on a single muscle or muscle pair.
And remember, when lifting anything, always use your knees. Bending at the waist only is a sure way to injure your back. Another time when it is important to be extra cautious with barbells is when you are removing or returning them to the rack. Make sure no one is standing next to you when you turn around with the barbell and also make sure they are securely seated before you walk away after racking it up.
Finally, no matter who you are, it is always best to have someone spotting you if you are lifting a barbell over your body.