Free weights are generally better to do than barbells since they require more strength from primary and secondary muscle groups to stabilize your movements and posture. Barbells are usually better to do than machines for the same reason, although barbells often do not allow for the variety for motion that free weights or different machines allow.
Here are three exercises that target different muscles and can be done using barbells:
1. Biceps curls - Choose a barbell weight that will give you a challenge but that you can move for ten repetitions with a full range of motion. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Lift the barbell up until it almost touches your chest, and then down so that your elbows are almost straight. Do not lock your elbows. Do four sets of ten repetitions.
2. Chest press - Choose a barbell weight that will give you a challenge but that you can move for ten repetitions with a full range of motion. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Push the barbell out until your elbows are almost straight, and then bring it back until it almost touches your chest. Do not lock your elbows. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Do four sets of ten repetitions.
3. Leg muscles - Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. This time point your toes diagonally out, each toward opposite corners of the room if you are facing the wall. Keep your wrists resting on your quadriceps with your palms facing outward, grasping the barbell. Relax your arms. Sit and get up. Make sure that your knees do not extend beyond your toes. This works your legs muscles and gluteus maximus. It works your adductor muscles especially and is a good variation to cable exercises, squats and lunges. Do five sets of ten repetitions.
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Disclaimer: information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.