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When you’re taking on strength training into your fitness routine, it can be common to hear things like “don’t skip leg day.” The importance of focusing on specific areas of the body is to ensure that the areas of your bodywork until they feel fatigued. Working your muscles to fatigue results in microtears in the muscle tissue. Muscles grow in size and strength on the rest days when the body is rebuilding these fibers. When you’re doing strength training, you want to ensure that every muscle group gets worked and gets rest. This is why you want to go to the gym multiple times a week, working on different muscles each day. When you see anything that says “full-body workouts” it could incorporate all muscles of your body. Various tools are great for full-body workouts, one of the best and most iconic pieces of weightlifting equipment is the Olympic barbell. Barbells are a versatile piece of equipment that allows you to perform full-body exercises that allow you to target various areas including your chest, arms, back, legs, glutes, and abdominals.
Some barbell exercises may be familiar while others can take time to get accustomed to – in either case, you don’t need a large space to do them. Whether you’re at a commercial gym or have a small room at home – working out with an Olympic barbell can be an excellent way to build your strength quickly, improve your balance, and help you feel more confident. When you’re ready to take it to the next level, all you need to do is add more weight. Before we get into the exercises that can work your entire body, let’s look at the difference between an Olympic barbell and a standard barbell.
What’s the Difference Between an Olympic Barbell and a Standard Barbell?
Standard weight lifting bars have a shaft that is one inch in diameter on the ends to fit standard bumper plates with a one-inch diameter hole. Olympic barbells are two inches in diameter, with Olympic bumper plate holes alsThey also have a slightly larger weight space than bumper plates. While standard bars come in one option, Olympic bars come in regular and women’s sizes. This is because women often have smaller hands. To help ensure a safe grip on the bar, they need a grip/shaft that is slightly smaller.
Another important difference between the two types is that Olympic bars are designed to carry a heavier weight, hence its name. Standard bars begin to flex badly with about 200 pounds. If you’re pressing anything more than 200, or if you plan to someday, you should invest in an Olympic bar. Olympic bars can only support Olympic plates because of the hole diameter, and you do not want to mix Olympic plates with a standard bar. When shopping for your bars and plates, pick a type and stick to it. It is also an affordable piece of equipment that can be used in a variety of exercises. Try these exercises to get a full-body workout.
UPPER BODY OLYMPIC BARBELL EXERCISES
Build strong shoulders, biceps, and back with these Olympic barbell exercises.
STANDING MILITARY PRESS
Muscle Targets: Shoulders
- In a standing position, hold the Olympic barbell in front of your chest at your collarbone with an outward-facing grip( your palms facing forward). Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width distance.
- Keeping a slight bend in your knees, lift the barbell over your head.
- With control, slowly lower the bar back down to the starting position.
- Repeat 8 – 10 reps for 3 -4 sets.
Muscle Targets: Traps
- In a standing position, hold the Olympic barbell in front of you at your hips, with an overhand grip (palms facing you).
- Grip the bar at about shoulder-width apart. Contract your shoulders up as you inhale. Hold the position for 2-3 seconds. Exhale as you release and lower back to the starting position.
- Repeat 10 – 12 reps for 3 sets.
Muscle Targets: Biceps
- Begin in a standing position, engaging core and chest, holding the bar at your hips, with an underhand grip.
- Keeping your elbows tucked, contract your biceps, and pull your hands up.
- In a controlled motion, lower your arms back down to the starting position.
- Repeat 8 – 10 reps for 3 – 4 sets.
STANDING SKULL CRUSHERS
Muscle Targets: Triceps
- In a standing position, hold the bar overhead with an overhead grip, and a slight bend in your elbows.
- Lower your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows pointing up at a 90-degree angle. In a controlled motion raise the barbell back over your head by straightening your arms.
- Repeat 8-10 reps for 3-4 sets.
CORE OLYMPIC BARBELL EXERCISES
Your core isn’t just your abdominals. You have complex, big burner muscles in your sides and back as well. Use these Olympic barbell exercises to tone and tighten your core.
BARBELL FLOOR WIPER
Muscle Targets: Upper and lower abs
- Begin lying on your back holding the barbell, with your arms extended straight up.
- While keeping your arms extended up, extend your legs out, lifting your feet about 2 inches off the ground.
- Briyour ng legs up and your toes toward the right side of the barbell; flexing your abs as your legs come up.
- Bring your toes back to hover and then move your legs up to reach toward the left side of the barbell.
- Repeat 10 reps on each side for 3 sets.
LOWER BODY OLYMPIC BARBELL EXERCISES
Building a strong foundation is key to developing the rest of your body. Olympic barbells are probably most popular for lower body exercises. Try these popular exercises to round out these full-body exercises.
Muscle Targets: Glutes
- Begin in a standing position with feet shoulder-width distance, with knees slightly bent. Place the barbell on top of your shoulders behind your head, gripping the bar with an out-facing grip.
- Engage your core, push your seat back, bend your knees and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Keep your upper body straight and engage glutes and leg muscles as you push into your heels to rise back to standing.
- Repeat 10-12 reps for 3-4 sets.
BARBELL GLUTE BRIDGE
Muscle Targets: Glutes
- Begin by sitting on the floor with the Olympic barbell over your hips.
- Lie down, bend your knees and plant your feet about hips-width distance apart.
- Holding the barbell in place on your hips, lift your hips up into a bridge position, engaging your core and abs. Hold for 3-5 seconds.
- Keeping feet firmly planted, lower your hips back down in a slow, controlled motion.
- Repeat 10-12 reps for 3-4 sets.
Muscle Targets: Lower Back
- 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.
STANDING CALF RAISE
Muscle Targets: Calves
- Begin in a standing position, holding the bar behind your head on top of your shoulders. Engage your core, keep your back straight, and your chest expanded.
- Lift your heels off the floor by contracting your calves and extending your ankles as high as you can. Hold at your personal highest for 2 seconds.
- Return to the starting position for a second then repeat.
- Perform 12-15 reps for 3-4 sets.
Set Up Your Home Gym with Professional Olympic Barbells and Bumper Plates From Archon Fitness
Whether for a home gym or commercial use, quality fitness equipment is essential for doing the work, reaching benchmarks, and improving your body every day, one rep at a time. If you’re serious about your fitness, then you need to invest in equipment that’s just as serious about it too. Archon Olympic bars and bumper plates are designed with high-quality materials to provide durability and safety in a sexy, sleek package. Our Olympic plates range from 10 pounds to 45 pounds and come in increasing weight sets of three, four, and five plate pairs.
We also offer HTR plates of various weights. These plates are engineered from recycled rubber. This option offers great quality while still allowing you to save money. These plates are tough enough to be perfect for home-gyms or commercial gyms.
Archon Fitness equipment is designed with athletes in mind, to help you stay focused, stay engaged, and stay strong. All of our equipment can be ordered online through our shop or via email. Your order will be carefully shipped straight to your home or commercial gym.
Order your Olympic barbells and bumper plates from Archon today by visiting our website.