An effective barbell workout program not only helps you look tightened and toned, but it’s also amazing to help you strengthen your body. And no, you won’t come out looking big and bulky. With the right exercises, you’ll become lean and fit, so don’t be afraid to pack on the weight and get to work!
The thing I love most about barbell exercises is you can strengthen and tone your upper and lower body, as well as your core. You can tighten your entire body with just one piece of equipment – how awesome is that! So this workout is all about getting an athletic, toned, fabulous beach body.
Velocity training is athletic and will create a shape as well as that leanness. It also burns more calories and will exhaust the muscle groups you want to target — shoulders, stomach, and that bit between your butt and your thighs!
1. One-Arm Power Press:
This move is actually like two stations in one, since you will repeat the reps on each side of your body. So four on each arm, eight on each arm and so on. And it’s great because it works the glutes, waist and shoulders all at once.
- Take one plate off the end of your barbell and place it flat on the floor.
- Position the end of the barbell inside the hole in the plate to create a makeshift landmine.
- On the opposite end, hold the bar with your left hand just behind the plate and adopt a staggered stance with your left foot slightly behind and your hips and body turned slightly away from the bar.
- Bend your knees and load up, then explode upward, turning your hips and shoulders toward the bar and pressing the barbell up and forward to a full extension of your arm.
- Slowly return to the start. Do all reps on one side before switching.
Tip: Transfer the power of your hip drive up through your shoulder and out the end of your arm to push the bar up and forward with as much velocity as possible.
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2. Ab Roller:
The pelvis needs to be neutral in order to engage your lower pelvic floor and transverse abdominis. No dog-going-to-the-bathroom-tucked-under-tailbones here — that shuts down your core.
- Slide the plate back onto your barbell and secure it with a clip.
- Kneel in front of the bar with your knees under your hips and place your hands on the bar directly underneath your shoulders.
- Lock your shoulder blades down to secure your shoulder girdle and brace your core.
- Keeping your core tight, slowly roll the bar away from you while keeping your pelvis neutral.
- When you feel some tension in your abs, exhale and pull from your lower abs — the belly button and below — to roll the bar back quickly toward your knees and return to the start.
Tip: If you’re a new athlete or are not comfortable with this movement, don’t roll out quite as far. Roll a shorter distance to begin and work your way up to longer distances as you get stronger.
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3. Tempo Back Squat:
This tempo technique generates a different kind of muscle engagement, activating your posterior chain and absolutely attacking those 3 inches under your ass that hang out of your bathing suit!
- Position the barbell across your upper back and shoulders — not on your neck — and hold it outside your shoulders with your elbows pointing downward.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, core braced.
- Kick your hips back, then bend your knees and descend to the bottom of your squat using a slow count of three.
- Hold at the bottom for one count, then drive up explosively, pushing through your heels and quickly extending your knees and hips to return to standing.
Tip: For an additional challenge, add a hop to this move: Explode out of the hole and accelerate so powerfully that you leave the ground.
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4. Shoulder Push Press:
Your vertical energy should stay vertical. Don’t let your rib cage pop — that changes the movement. Pull your belly button in and keep your rib cage connected to your stomach to keep everything moving straight upward.
- Hold the barbell in the front rack position — across your front delts and clavicle with your hands just outside your shoulders, elbows lifted.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, legs turned out slightly.
- Dip down to load up your legs and hips, then extend quickly, transferring the energy from your hips through your arms and using it to push the barbell up powerfully overhead to full extension. Slowly lower the bar to the start.
Tip: It’s OK if your heels come up a little during the movement, but do your best to keep them down and really engage your glutes to best transfer the energy upward.
5. Sumo Deadlift:
Here’s a good visual to help engage the glutes and inner/outer thigh: As you come to standing, push your toes outward and drag your heels inward. Don’t really do that, just imagine your feet putting pressure in those directions to engage those muscles.
- Stand behind the barbell with a wide stance, legs turned out and toes underneath the bar.
- Take an overhand shoulder-width grip on the barbell and drop your hips down and back so that your shoulders are directly over your hands and your chest is over the bar.
- Pack your shoulder blades to secure your shoulder girdle.
- Your head and spine should be aligned; don’t arch your neck.
- Quickly extend your legs and hips, keeping your back flat as you pull the bar upward in a straight line and come to standing.
- Slowly return to the start and repeat right away.
Tip: Look down at the floor in front of the bar — not forward or at yourself in the mirror — to keep your spine aligned and your head neutral.