by Neghar Fonooni
A barbell may seem like something reserved for grunting meatheads, but it's a great training tool for women and an efficient way to create the lean, sculpted body you want. With a barbell, you can increase the amount you lift in smaller increments, which of course leads to more muscle, and using only one piece of equipment makes for a faster workout.
Before you attempt a move with a barbell, you need to first master the exercise using only your bodyweight and then with dumbbells or kettlebells. When you feel ready for the bar, perform the exercise without any weight and slowly add plates as you feel more comfortable and gain strength, but always be sure you're using proper form.
While there are certainly some advanced barbell exercises that will take time to build up to, one of the simplest and most effective exercises you can perform with a barbell is a deadlift. While it might seem like a solely lower-body exercise, it actually engages the entire trunk, shoulders, and back muscles because the rest of your body has to work to stabilize the load of the barbell. It will take your strength (and your booty!) to fabulous new heights. Try 3 to 5 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions to start.
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Barbell deadlift1. How to do a barbell deadlift: Set the bar up on the rack so that you back to bend your knees slightly to reach it. Place your feet under the bar, bend at your hips and knees, and grab the bar with hands shoulder-width apart, engaging your lats by squeezing under your armpits. Stand up and take two small steps back.
Step 2Once you have a firm grip on the bar, breathe in and, without allowing your lower back to round, hinge forward from the hips while keeping your knees soft and maintaining a straight spine. The bar should be very close to your body, even touching your shins if possible, and your torso end up parallel to the ground.
Step 3Then breathe out and aggressively push your feet through the ground to return to the starting position. Make sure you squeeze your glutes and abs at the top.