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All You Need Is A Barbell – A Whole Body Workout

The barbell might be the most iconic piece of weightlifting equipment you can own. With just a barbell in hand, you can do a plethora of full-body exercises, targeting your chest, biceps, back, quads and abdominals. 

These exercises are easy to perform, don't require a large space at home, and can be performed on your own, any time of the day. It is also affordable, since it only requires a barbell, which you may already possess, and is not an expensive item to purchase. If you would like to add more weight, simply get yourself a set of weight plates and some safety collars. Enjoy these 14 barbell exercises designed to work your entire body!

UPPER BODY EXERCISES

Standing Military Press

Targets: Shoulders
Level: Beginner to intermediate
How: Place the barbell adjacent to your collarbone with your palms facing forward. Slightly bend your knees and make sure you grip the bar slightly wider than your shoulders (This will be your starting position). Next, lift the barbell over your head with your feet still laying flat on the ground. Slowly lower it back down to the starting position and repeat.

Standing Military Press Barbell Exercise

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Floor Press 

Targets: Chest 
Level: Beginner  
How: Sit on the ground and place the bar over your hips. Lie back, with your back flat against the floor and bend your knees, putting your feet flat on the ground. Hold the barbell with a wide overhand grip, just beyond shoulder-width. Extend arms upward, keeping the elbows locked. Pause. Slowly lower the barbell until your elbows are resting on the ground. Repeat.

Floor Press Exercise

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Shoulder Shrugs

Targets: Traps
Level: Beginner 
How: Stand holding the barbell with both of your hands. Your palms should be facing towards you, and your grip should be a little wider than your shoulders. Raise your shoulders as high as you can while you inhale. Hold that position for 2-3 seconds and then exhale when going back to starting position.

Shoulder Shrugs Barbell Exercise

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ARM EXERCISES

Barbell Curls

Targets: Biceps
Level: Beginner to intermediate
How: Stand tall with your chest up and core braced, holding the barbell with your hands just outside of your hips, using an underhand grip. Keeping your chest up and your elbows tight to your sides, initiate the move by raising your hands slightly, so you feel your biceps become engaged. Repeat.

Barbell Curls Exercise

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Standing Skull Crushers

Targets: Triceps
Level: Intermediate to advanced
How: Stand up and hold a barbell behind your shoulders, upper arms pointing up and elbows at a 90-degree angle. Raise the barbell by straightening your arms and slowly lower it back after a short pause. Be careful not to lower the barbell too low to the point where it is difficult to raise it back.

Standing Skull Crushers

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Behind-the-back Wrist Curls

Targets: Forearms
Level: Beginner to intermediate
How: Assume the standing position and hold the barbell behind you, arms extended, palms facing back. Raise the barbell upwards by curling your wrists and slowly lower it back down after a short pause. Keep your arms still throughout. 

Behind-The-Back Wrist Curls

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CORE EXERCISES

Barbell Floor Wiper

Targets: Upper and lower abs
Level: Intermediate
How: Lay on your back with your arms extended straight up into the air while holding the barbell. While keeping your arms extended straight extend your legs straight out in front of you about 15cm off of the ground with your knees locked. Bring your toes up to the right side of the barbell and flex your abs when your toes reach as high and as far back as possible. Bring your toes back down and then repeat the lift on the left side to complete one-floor wiper.

Barbell Floor Wiper Barbell Exercise

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Barbell Side Bend

Targets: Obliques
Level: Intermediate to advanced
How: With a barbell placed on the back of your neck (palms facing forward), stand straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean your upper body sideways and bring it back after a short pause. Alternate sides. Keep your back straight throughout.

Barbell Side Bend Exercise

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LOWER BODY EXERCISES

Bent-Over Barbell Row 

Targets: Lower Back 
Level: Beginner to intermediate 
How: Grasp the bar overhand at shoulder width and let it hang in front of your thighs. Bend at the hips and lower your torso until it's nearly parallel to the floor. Bend your knees a bit to take tension off your hamstrings. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the bar to your belly.

Bent-Over Barbell Row Exercise

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Barbell Glute Bridge

Targets: Glutes
Level: Intermediate
How: Begin by putting a towel or Booty Block Hip Thrust Pad around your barbell to prevent it from digging into your hips when you thrust. Place your upper back on your bench with your barbell across your hips. Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, close to your glutes. Drive your hips skyward, engaging your core and abs. Keep the movement in the lower body as much as possible (don’t “rock” your upper body to complete the move).

Barbell Glute Bridge Exercise

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Romanian Deadlift 

Targets: Hamstrings
Level: Beginner
How: Bend your knees slightly and keep your shins, hips and back straight at all times. Use your hips to lift the bar while exhaling. Once you're in your standing position, lower the bar by pushing your hips backwards and just slightly bending your knees.

Romanian Deadlift Barbell Exercise

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FRONT-GRIP REVERSE BARBELL Lunges 

Targets: Hip Flexors
Level: Beginner to intermediate
How: Place your hands under the barbell with your palms facing up gripping the bar like you would for a reverse curl. Step backwards with your left foot. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Without letting your left knee touch the floor. Push back up to the starting position. Change sides and repeat.

Front-Grip Reverse Barbell Lunges

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Rocking Standing Calf Raise 

Targets: Calves
Level: Beginner 
How: Hold the bar behind your shoulders; keep your back straight and chest out. Raise your heels by extending your ankles as high as you can go while flexing your calves. Hold this position for a second and then go back to starting position. Next, lift your toes and drop your heels while maintaining your balance. Take a quick 1-second pause and go back to the initial position. Make sure your knees should not bend at all times.

Rocking Standing Calf Raise

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Barbell Deadlifts 

Targets: Lower Back 
Level: Intermediate 
How: Bend at hips and knees, and grab a loaded barbell with an overhand grip about twice as wide as shoulder-width. Without allowing your lower back to round, stand up and thrust your hips forward as you squeeze your glutes. Pause, then lower the bar back to the floor while keeping it as close to your body as possible.

Barbell Deadlifts Exercise

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So, there you have it guys, 14 barbell exercises for a full-body workout!



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