If you’re not doing some sort of training with a barbell, your training is incomplete.  The barbell is one of those pieces of equipment that is synonymous with working out and lifting weights.


It is essentiaal to your program. Now as soon as you read the title of this article, you probably went straight to the squat, the deadlift, and the press.  Those three are great exercises and if you are not doing them already, you need to be doing them now.  They utilize just about every muscle in the body, can build a great deal of strength, and can pack on a lot of metabolically active muscle.  In fact, they should be a staple of your routine when it comes to barbell exercises.


However, those exercises have been mentioned time and time again when it comes to picking up a barbell. It’s why there are multiple benches and squat racks in any given gym. It’s time to think outside the box and include other types of exercises in your routine.  Ones that you may not have thought of before that can seriously add some awesomeness to your routine.

The 3 barbell exercises you must include in your routin_2

Front Loaded Reverse Lunges

One of the most beneficial aspects of the front rack position with a barbell is the intense stress it puts on your core muscles.  Now I’m sure you’ve tried Front Squats, and if you haven’t what are you waiting for, but using that front rack position for a single leg exercise will really challenge you.

You will get a whole host of benefits including increased stability in the hips, increased core strength and stability, and single leg strength.  I like this variation, especially the reverse lunge aspect as it is easier on the knees than a forward lunge.

Make sure the bar is resting on your shoulders, close to your neck.  You can either grip it by crossing your hands, or using a clean grip.  I prefer the cross grip as my wrist flexibility isn’t great, plus I have better control.  Now you’ll step back into a reverse lunge, keeping your weight on the front leg.  Then stand back up.  The biggest cue would be to keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement.  You’re going to need it.

Landmine Presses

While I love the overhead press and bench press, it’s just not for everyone, especially going overhead.  If you do not have the requisite shoulder mobility for an over head press, but still want to do some sort of barbell press, then look no further than the Landmine Press.  Because of the angle of the bar, you still get the upward movement of the bar, without any of the compensation patterns from pressing overhead.

For starters, you’ll want to set up the bar with one end in a corner spot.  Load the opposite end of the barbell appropriately for the rep scheme in your program.  Grab the loaded end and hold it in the middle of your chest, right in front of the sternum, then press it straight out.

The great thing about including Landmine Presses into your routine is that you can simply vary one or two things to further challenge yourself.  Altering foot position, switching to a single arm press, or kneeling can make a huge difference in this barbell exercise.

Pendlay Row

While the typical barbell row you’d see in a gym is a good exercise, Pendlay rows takes it up a notch.  Named after Coach Glen Pendlay, this exercise puts your typical barbell row to shame in that it requires a little more control and explosiveness.  These may look like typical barbell rows, however with a Pendlay row, the barbell touches the ground with each rep, much like a deadlift.

What you’ll accomplish with this row is massive strength in your entire posterior chain, namely the lats, traps, and erectors.  Due to the fact that you are resetting in between each rep, you’ll be able to handle more weight and you won’t be able to cheat with momentum.  Building strength and stability in this position has big carryover into your deadlift as well, so consider that a bonus.

Start in a position similar to your deadlift, and once you have your feet and hips set, pull the bar towards your chest, maybe just a little below and squeeze your lats as hard as you can.  As you do that you should see zero change in your leg and hip positioning.


If you look to the powerlifting world, the 3 barbell exercises you need are the squat, bench and deadlift.  However, the barbell can be used for a whole lot more than that.  Given that, these three exercises may have you on the other end of odd looks from people once you put them into your training routine.  Not only are these exercises unique, they also challenge your body in a way you may not be used to.

Additionally, there is a laundry list of other barbell exercises you could throw into your routine that will build muscle & strength as well as challenge every muscle in your body.

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