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Steve Berry > Blog  > Studio Barbell Exercises for Home Workouts
studio barbell workout

Studio Barbell Exercises for Home Workouts

A studio barbell is designed for compound exercises that train multiple muscle groups at the same time. Exercises include squats, deadlifts, rows, lunges, curls and presses. This is great for all-round strength, muscular endurance, muscle tone and shape.

 

Studio barbell sets do not require much space, especially sets which have a 3-piece bar that you can take apart. I have one that I use for home or park personal training and it’s easy to assemble and disassemble, making it great for home workouts. No gym, no problem!

 

Let’s take a look at 5 main compound exercises that target all muscle groups. I would recommend performing 3-5 sets with 12-20 repetitions of each exercise, with 45-90 seconds rest between sets. This will vary from person to person depending on your fitness levels.

1. Squat (Back or Front Squat)

The barbell squat is a full-body compound exercise that primarily targets the thighs, hips and glutes, as well as the core and back muscles. Front squats focus more on the quads and upper back because the weight is shifted to the front of the upper body. Back squats focus more on the glutes, hips and lower back.

Position: To perform this exercise, stand holding the bar with an over-hand grip, with hands one-and-a-half times shoulder-width apart. Place the bar on your upper back/trapezius (or on your upper chest when doing a front squat). Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

Movement: Gradually lower your body by bending your knees to around 90 degrees, keeping your heels flat and your back in a neutral upright position. Slowly raise to the starting position and repeat.

 

2. Lunge (Front, Reverse or Walking)

The lunge is a lower body exercise that primarily targets the glutes, hip, thighs and calf muscles, as well as the back and abdominals (stabilisers). The muscles trained in a front and reverse lunge are identical, however a reverse lunge could be a safer option if you suffer with knee problems. The walking lunge activates more stabiliser muscles to help with movement and balance.

Position: To perform this exercise, stand holding the bar with an over-hand grip, with hands one-and-a-half times shoulder-width apart. Place the bar on your upper back/trapezius. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

Movement: Step forward with one leg and bend both of your knees to 90 degrees, keeping your back and head in an upright neutral position. Push off your front foot (or back foot if performing a reverse lunge) and return to the starting position. You can alternate and switch to the opposite leg or do a number of reps on the same leg before switching.

Lunge to Press: try doing a lunge into a military press. This is a great total-body exercise. See “Shoulder Press” below for teaching points.

 

3. Deadlift

The deadlift is a full-body compound exercise that primarily targets the glutes, thighs, upper and lower back.

Position: To perform this exercise, stand holding the bar with an over-hand grip, with hands shoulder-width apart. Place your feet one-and-a-half times hip width apart.

Movement: Bend your knees to around 90 degrees, keeping your heels flat and your back in a neutral upright position. Drop the bar down to the floor, getting your bum low. The lower your bum, the less chance of leaning forwards which places stress on your lower back. Raise the bar to the starting position and repeat in a slow and controlled manner.

Deadlift to Upright Row: perform a deadlift as normal. As you begin to stand to the starting position, pull the bar to chest height, keeping your elbows up. Slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position and repeat. Do NOT go heavy on this exercise because it could lead to a shoulder injury.

 

4. Shoulder Press (Military Press)

The shoulder press is an upper body compound exercise that targets the upper back, shoulders, triceps and core. This can be performed in a standing or seated position.

Position: To perform this exercise, stand holding the bar with an over-hand grip, with hands one-and-a-half times shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Curl the bar to your chest.

Movement: Press the bar directly above your head by extending your elbows, keeping your core engaged and your back in a neutral upright position. Slowly lower the bar back to your collarbone / chest and repeat.

Squat to Press: try doing a squat into a military press. This is a great total-body exercise that allows your legs to generate power to assist with the lift.

 

5. Bent-Over Rows

This powerful compound exercise primarily works on the back muscles (latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, rear deltoids, erector spinae) as well as the forearms and biceps. It is the perfect exercise for improving posture.

Position: To perform this exercise, stand holding the bar with an under-hand grip, with hands shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Now lean forwards to 45 degrees, keeping your back flat and arms straight.

Movement: Gently pull the barbell towards your torso, keeping the elbows close to your body. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Avoid doing this exercise if you suffer with back problems.

 

 

Book a PT session with me if you are unsure how to perform these exercises with good form. I can write you a home workout to do after your first session. Studio barbell sets (up to 20kg) are £29.99 at Argos (prices checked 14.01.2019). This set can be disassembled to save space.

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