You might be intimidated at the idea of doing barbell exercises, especially if you’re a beginner. Maybe you have tried using barbells before, or perhaps you’ve only used kettlebells or dumbbells. Whatever the case may be, we’ve put together a helpful guide on working out with barbells for the beginner to advanced.
Before we get into the workout itself it’s important that you understand proper technique when it comes to workout out with barbells. If you are already familiar with them and confident in your barbell back squat technique, feel free to skip this section!
First things first – you need to make sure the bar is low enough for you to take out off the pegs. It is preferable for the bar to be a little low than for you to have to get up on your toes to unhook it, think mid-chest level. Before getting under the bar, make sure your hands are in the right position. If you are a smaller lifter or have shoulder and spine mobility your hands should relatively close. If you are a larger lifter or someone you should consider a wider grip.
Many beginners tend to favor a high bar position while experienced lifters tend to favor a low bar position. A high-bar position is set up right at the base of the neck across the top of your traps.
To get into this position you must first squeeze your shoulder blades together to create a pillow for the bar to sit on to make it feel more comfortable. Be sure to do this before you set the bar across your back and remember to stay tight the whole time.
For a low-bar position, the bar will sit lower on your back, just under the spine of your shoulder blade. Like the high bar position, squeeze your shoulder blades together first before setting the bar on your back.
This is a very important step that can make or break your squat since it is easy to lose your bar position if you don’t take the bar off the rack properly.
Remember! If anything doesn’t feel right, rerack the bar and start over.
Foot position is a key step since it is what provides you with your base and allows for proper joint mechanics in your body. The squat stance will vary a bit from person to person but generally, you should start with your heels directly under your shoulders with your feet slightly toed out. Test your positioning by doing a bodyweight squat and get your butt as low to the ground as comfortable.
You should keep your eyes on a fixed point on the horizon never the ceiling. Pick a point on the rack or about in front of you on the floor and stare at it. Looking straight is also ok. Keep your eyes on a fixed point will allow you to maintain cervical alignment. You can also try visualizing standing tall and driving the back of your head back and up as if to produce a ‘double chin’.
Now that you’ve got your positioning down, you’re ready to do some squats!
To do this exercise get into position with the barbell on your back.
Stand up tall and walk a few steps away from the squat rack. Your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet turned out slightly.
Now push your hips back and bend your knees to lower your body into a squat, push your knees slightly out to the sides. Go down until your hip goes just below your kneecaps. (Squat only as low as your mobility allows you to, don’t force yourself to go lower if you can’t.)
Next push through both feet to stand back up. This is one rep.
If you find that it’s difficult for you to squat down low or that you feel ‘stuck,’ or like you will fall forward when you squat there are some things that can help with mobility issues in your ankles. This is common and Body-Solid has the solution!
We recommend using the Body-Solid SCB26 Power Lift Squat and Calf Block Platform to help stabilize yourself during squat exercises. The SCB26 provides users with a full range of motion and total comfort.
Full 18” long x 6-1/2” high calf block allows greater stretch and contraction of all calf muscles. Full 26” long squat platform allows the user to elevate heels for better balance and concentration. Solid steel, 2 bolt assembly, includes welded carrying handle and textured no-slip surfaces. 2000 lb. capacity.
To learn more about this product or for help purchasing a press rack like the Body-Solid Multi Press Rack GPR370 Squat Rack contact us today by calling (844) 442-7232 or emailing us at Sales@expertfitnesssupply.com.