Barbell strength training can apply to all fitness levels. Whether you want weight loss or pure performance, you'll improve muscular strength and endurance. Here are three moves to add to your fitness routine from Jerod Langness with Lifetime Fitness:
Barbell Deadlift (also known as the Romanian deadlift) – Start by holding the barbell in a standing position with your palms facing down and your hands just outside your hips. Your feet should be within shoulder width apart. Keep your shoulders down and back by squeezing your shoulder blades together during the entire exercise. It is very important that you keep your back straight throughout the exercise as well. Bend at your hips to lower the bar while keeping the bar close to your thighs. Lower your body as low as you can without bending your back or separating your shoulder blades. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings as you lower your body. Return to the starting position and repeat. Reps can vary depending on goals and fitness level. It is vital to maintain proper form throughout the exercise to prevent injury.
Barbell Lunges – Place the barbell on your back between your neck and shoulders. Hold the bar with your hands outside your shoulders and your elbows underneath the bar. Keep your abs drawn in and take a large step forward. Bend both knees to 90 degrees without letting the back leg touch the floor. Be sure to not let the knee of the front leg move forward as you bend. Return to the starting position by pressing through the heel of the front leg. Alternate legs and repeat. Repetitions may be 10 to 40, depending on goals and fitness level.
Barbell Squat – Place the barbell on your back between your neck and shoulders. Hold the bar with your hands outside your shoulders and your elbows underneath the bar. Have your feet shoulder width apart with your feet pointing straight. Bend with your hips and knees while keeping your chest high and eyes forward. Be sure to keep your weight back in your hips. Keep your knees slightly out and back as well. Get as low as you can while still maintaining form. It is important to not lean forward. Keep your chest up and your spine neutral during the movement. Return to the starting position by pushing though your hips. Keep your abs drawn in during the exercise. Repeat for 3 to 20 repetitions depending on goals.
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