Start with a difficult compound movement and finish with an isolation movement. The big weights do the first training move and the slow movement squeeze does the last. This method doesn't always work all the time and breaks down muscle memory, here are 5 barbell moves to strengthen your workout
1. Floor Bench Press
This movement targets the pecs. Find a power rack, or if you don't have one, then place the safety bar under the deep squat rack just at arm extension height.
The correct way to do this is to lie under the barbell, which should be above your eyes, as if you were going to do a bench press. Extend your legs and place them flat on the floor so that your legs are completely out of the movement and the rest of your body is engaged. This will put pressure on the upper body. It is recommended to do this with the same grip distance as a normal bench press, and the forearms should be perpendicular to the floor when the elbows reach their lowest point.
Start by raising the bar and locking it in position just above the sternum. Slowly move closer to the chest until your elbows touch the floor. After that, push the barbell upwards to a position where the joints are almost locked and repeat.
If you want to do your best, take your time with the movements. You especially don't want to over-impact your elbows, so remember that the range of motion is not very long.
2. One-arm barbell row
This movement targets the back. To complete this movement, snap one end of the barbell to a solid object or corner and place the barbell piece on the other end of the bar. Then, move your body to a position away from the corner while standing with your legs back and forth. The front leg is not on the side of the movement movement.
If the right side of the back muscles is dominant, the left leg goes forward and vice versa. Hold the end of the barbell so that your thumbs are just under the barbell piece. Make sure that there is not too much pressure on your lower back by supporting yourself on your elbows - put your forearm on your knee or flat bench on the stationary side and use it to keep your body stable.
Do this with your back upright and contract the muscles on the active side so that the heavier end of the barbell moves towards your shoulders, while keeping your elbow joints as high as possible. Hold for a few seconds and then lower the weight slowly and with complete control. As you lower the barbell, make sure the muscles are tight.
It is recommended to use a combination of pull-ups and a dip barbell row for this movement, and for maximum effect, do some borrowing towards the end of the set.
3. Zecchi Squat
This movement targets the legs. If doing this without a deep squat rack, always start with a weighted barbell on the floor and then grab the barbell with a narrower grip, just like a hard pull. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed outwards, your calves should touch the barbell.
Lift the barbell above the knee with a narrower inward hanging grip within the width of the knee. Afterwards squat down until your thigh muscles are parallel to the floor. I recommend placing the barbell on the thighs as close to the hips as possible. Then place your arms under the barbell and lock the barbell at the elbows.
Do this correctly, keeping your back straight and your torso vertical. Squeeze the posterior chain muscles of the body, such as the gluteus maximus, erector spinae and hamstrings, then rise up from the bar and stand up, making sure the knee and hip joints are as extended as possible.
In the squat, the barbell will pull the body forward, but this force must be resisted. The elbows can be between the legs or even supported by the thigh muscles. To complete a set, place the barbell on the thighs and change the grip to a narrow, hard pull.
It is recommended to combine this movement with barbell front squats and Romanian hard pulls. Alternatively, wrap the barbell in a mat, towel or something else that does not allow the barbell to slide down.
4. Barbell curl
This movement targets the biceps. Start with a reverse grip of the barbell at shoulder-width apart (palms facing up). Do not put your hands too close together as this will put too much pressure on your wrists and may strain them. Place the barbell on your thighs, lift your chest and tighten your shoulder blades.
Do this, keeping your elbows locked to your sides while keeping your upper arms stable. Squeeze your biceps and raise the barbell towards your shoulders. If you want to put sustained pressure on the activating muscles, end the movement when the upper arms reach a 45 degree angle. It is recommended to pair this movement with wide grip barbell curls and narrow grip pull-ups.
5. Floor triceps arm curl
This movement targets the triceps. Choose a barbell of suitable weight and lie on the floor with the barbell only a dozen centimetres above your head. Raise your arms with your elbows facing upwards and hold the barbell. Grip at shoulder width or a little wider. If you have a wrist injury, or feel uncomfortable with this grip, then use a bar with a curl.
To do this, you need to start from a resting point, with your forearms in a vertical position. Squeeze your triceps and extend your elbows, this will allow you to raise the barbell to a locked position above your shoulders. At the top position, squeeze the triceps as hard as you can to return to the starting point.
However, do not let the barbell face towards your skull, instead remember the position of your upper arms so that the barbell will rest above your head before you do the next movement. The elbows need to be tensed so that the triceps are fully stressed throughout the movement.
It is recommended that this movement is combined with weighted plank arm curls and narrow pitch dips.
In fact, all 5 of these barbell movements will result in a gradual increase in muscle, strength and a more comfortable return to training on the machines.
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