Barbells has been the equipment of choice to train with ever since we started training and will be around much longer, outlasting all the different training fads that comes along the way!

Barbell exercises are very good to work into your routine if you are training to build strength, gain extra muscle mass, loose weight or training to improve sport performance.

Subjectively speaking there are 3 barbell exercises everyone should incorporate into their own routines(Squat, Deadlift and standing Shoulder press).


Mastering these will open up many other training options to challenge the body in different ways. Training variables like tempo, intensity etc will depend on your eventual goal of training and is a topic all on it’s own.

The three exercises;

1) Squats

Technique; Start with feet shoulder with apart, the bar resting on your upper back/trapezius muscle and hands grabbing on to the bar. Keeping the spine tall the whole time lower the hips to the ground as if sitting down onto a chair.

The aim is to get the upper legs at least parallel to the ground, individual hip anatomy will determine how low a person can go. The upper busy should always be upright through the whole movement. Pause at the bottom then return to the starting position.

The primary muscles used in a squat are; Quadriseps, Glutes, Adductors, hamstring, Erector Spinae and Rectus Abdominus

2) Deadlifts

Technique; start with feet flat on the ground and bar close to the chins. Grab the bar shoulder width apart, keeping the back straight and hips below the shoulders, lift the bar off the ground pushing your hips forward as you stand up. Pause at the top, then lower the bar back to the ground.

The primary muscles used in deadlifts are; Erector Spinae, Trapezius, Glutes, Quadriseps and Rectus abdominals.

3) Shoulder Press

barbell exercises_2

Technique; Grab the bar shoulder width apart, draw elbows close to the body. With one smooth movement push the bar up ending with the bar above the head elbows extended.

Focus on transferring force through the heels of your feet. Pause and slowly lower the bar back to the shoulders.

The Primary muscles used in shoulder press are; Anterior and Medial Deltoid, Trapezius, upper Pectoralis, Tricep Brachii, Serratus Anterior and Supraspinatus.

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