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We’re well into Spring but you still have time to tone your body for this summer. As fitness education is becoming more accessible and mainstream, women are becoming less interested in being “slim” and more aware that what they want is to be toned. We compiled some of the best toning exercises with a women’s barbell to help women look and feel strong.
Why Weight Training is Important for Women
Weight training has become more and more accepted by women in today’s American culture. 10 to 15 short years ago, it was not so common to see women hitting the bench press or squatting big. Most women were afraid of building “bulky” bodies and losing their feminine physique. Instead, they stuck with cardio workouts, aerobic exercises, and other forms of workouts that used little more than bodyweight for training.
Strength training, or weight training, is crucial for both men and women. As we age, all of our bodies tend to decrease in hormones that can support our body, this is particularly the case in women who often have issues with deteriorating cartilage around their joints.
Weight training increases muscle mass which supports physical activity and daily movement, cardiovascular health, and longevity. It also helps increase the strength of joints and bones, supports weight loss and management, as well as mental health and mood.
Many tools can be used for weight training including dumbbells, weight racks, and barbells. A standard barbell alone can weigh between 30 – 45 lbs. The lighter ones are often known as women’s barbells and are designed lighter with a smaller bar circumference to fit easily into smaller grips. A barbell can be a great tool to start your weight training journey because they come standard with nearly any gym membership, you can adjust the weight to your progress level, and you can perform a wide variety of workouts with one.
Try out these excellent toning exercises with a weighted or unweighted barbell. We’re sure you’ll be feeling that good burn in no time.
Women’s Barbell Exercises for Upper Body
Many women who steered away from muscle-building, weight training exercises were concerned that their arms and shoulders would get too big and bulky. However, it takes a lot of exercise, a strict diet, and dedication to achieve these results.
Women who practice weight training exercises for the upper body often get great lean, toned results for their arms, back, and shoulders. Not only do they look great in halter tops, but they also feel strong in their everyday activities.
Try out these upper body women’s barbell exercises and start seeing the results for yourself.
Barbell Bench Press
Muscle Targets: Shoulders, pectoral muscles, and arms.
- Begin by lying on the bench with your eyes directly underneath the barbell.
- Make sure your body is straight, feet flat against the floor.
- Grab the bar a little more than shoulder-width apart with an out-facing grip.
- Engage your core and upper back to unrack the bar, and position it over your shoulders with arms slightly bent.
- In a controlled motion, lower the bar to your chest.
- Engage your arms to push the bar back up to the starting position.
- Repeat 8 -10 reps for 3 sets.
Muscle Targets: Biceps
- Begin by placing your feet hip-width apart.
- Hold the barbell at your hips, hands should be beneath your shoulders and your grip should be underhand.
- Press your elbows to your sides.
- Lift the barbell to your chest by bending your elbows and engaging your biceps.
- In a controlled motion, still engaging the biceps, lower the barbell back to your hips.
- Repeat 8 – 10 sets for 3 reps.
Overhead Press with Barbell
Muscle Targets: Shoulders, Pecs, Triceps, Traps
- Gripping the barbell a little outside of shoulder-width distance, bring the bar close to the top of your chest with elbows bent and close to your sides.
- Press the bar above your head by extending your elbows, engaging your shoulders and arms.
- In a controlled motion, bend your elbows and bring the bar back to the starting position.
- Repeat 8 – 10 reps for 3 sets.
Women’s Barbell Exercises for Lower Body
Weighted lower body exercises can help improve your cardio performance and help you build muscle even faster. If you’re trying to develop strong, lean legs and a round backside, then incorporate some of these lower body barbell exercises into your routine.
Muscle Targets: Hamstrings, Glutes, Quads
- Begin in a standing position with feet hip-width apart, have a slight bend in your knees.
- Place the barbell behind your head just below your neck so it lies across your traps/ shoulders, hands should be holding the bar near your shoulders with an outfacing grip.
- Squat by slowly bending your knees, pushing into your heels, pushing your hips back, and lowering your backside like you’re taking a seat.
- Knees should stay in line with feet (they should not hover over your toes). Torso, chest, and head should be upright.
- Engage the glutes, hamstrings, hips, and core to drive yourself back up to a standing position.
- Keep glutes engaged at the top.
- Repeat 8-10 reps for 3 – 4 sets.
Muscle Targets: Hamstrings, Glutes, Back, Lats
- Begin in a standing position with feet hip-width apart.
- Center the barbell grip over your feet.
- Bending at your hips and knees, grab the bar with an overhand grip. Your hands should be in-line with your shoulders.
- Maintain a neutral spine neutral with a natural arch in your lower back.
- Keeping the bar close to your body at all times, engage your core, arms, and legs as you stand up. Do NOT use your back to lift.
- Slowly lower the bar back down, bending at the knees and hips.
- Repeat 5 – 8 reps for 3 sets.
Barbell Glute Bridge
Muscle Targets: Glutes, Hamstring, Low back, Hips, Abs
- Begin by sitting on the floor with legs extended out in front of you, and your back against a bench.
- Gently place the barbell over your thighs.
- Bend your knees, place your feet on the floor push into your heels and lean back on the bench to gently lift your hips.
- Ensure your shoulder blades are lying on the bench, your spine is in line with your knees, and your heels are firmly planted on the floor.
- Place the bar over hip joints, inhale as you lower your seat towards the ground.
- Exhale as you engage your core, glutes, and legs to lift your hips to the ceiling, reassuming your spine in line with your knees.
- Engage the glutes at the top and hold for 2-3seconds.
- Control your seat back down toward the ground.
- Repeat 10-12 reps for 3 sets
Women’s Barbell Exercises for Core
Both men and women want and need a strong core. The core is about more than just your abs, and the reason for a strong core is more than just a flatter stomach. When you build your core strength, you are helping to support your spine, your hips, and your posture. You not only feel more confident but the physical reflection of your body supported by a strong core makes you look more confident too!
Practice these women’s barbell exercises. They may seem tough in the beginning, but keep practicing and you’ll be a pro in no time.
Women’s Barbell Rollout
Muscle Targets: Abs, Obliques, Low back
- Get into a kneeling position with the barbell in front of you.
- Grab the barbell so your hands are shoulder-width apart with an overhand grip.
- Lean forward and position your shoulders directly over the barbell.
- Maintain the position and placement of your knees, engage your core as you roll the bar out in front of you with your arms extended.
- Maintain a straight spine, pause, and engage your core to roll the bar back to the starting position.
- Repeat 5 reps for 3 sets.
Women’s Barbell Ab Wipers
Muscle Targets: Abs, Obliques, Low back
- Lying on your back, hold a lightly weighted barbell above your chest.
- Lift both legs straight up while your back maintains full contact with the floor.
- Engage your core as you gently lower both legs to the left, trying to touch the bumper plate with your toes.
- Return to center and then lower to the right side.
- Repeat 8 reps on each side for 3 sets.
Archon Fitness Provides Professional Equipment for All
Archon Fitness saw a need for professional, durable, and easily accessible workout equipment.
Most individuals often had to sign up for costly gym memberships to get access to certain machines and equipment. Gyms can often be very full, and with the recent pandemic, some remain closed. Building a home gym can be extremely costly, and sometimes the durability of personal-use fitness tools can be less than adequate.
At Archon Fitness, we provide high-end gym-quality equipment for your personal or professional use. We believe that both men and women have a right to have the tools they need to build stronger, healthier bodies in the comfort of their own homes.
Shop Archon Fitness today to get your home or commercial gym stocked with our professional equipment.