Compound exercises are the best if you want to gain muscle mass quickly without gaining a lot of weight. Studies show that compound exercises are more effective for burning fat and building muscle than isolation and single-joint exercises. Compound exercises utilize more muscle groups, allowing for your muscles to work harder during the movements which directly translates to more calories burned and increased metabolism.
Here are five great compound exercises using barbells you should be doing in your workouts, with tips on how to perform each exercise as part of your goals to build the muscle mass you desire and lose fat:
1. Barbell deadlifts
The barbell deadlift is a compound exercise that mainly targets the muscles of the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings but also heavily involves the quadriceps and forearms. If you want to build a strong backside and your lower back, then this exercise is for you. It’s also a great exercise for increasing your overall strength.
Here’s how to perform a barbell deadlift properly:
- Place a barbell on the ground in front of you.
- Bend at your hips and knees and grip the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your back straight, lift the barbell off the ground and stand up straight.
- Lower the barbell back to the ground and repeat.
There are a lot of benefits to adding a barbell compound exercise routine to your fitness regimen. If you want big, strong, and balanced muscles, you should be doing barbell deadlifts. To get the most out of barbell deadlifts and similar weight-training exercises, you should combine them with other exercises for the same muscle groups.
2. Barbell Squats
Squats are considered the king of all compound exercises. They are an excellent exercise that will build muscle in your legs, butt and back, and even help build muscle in your upper body. They also help improve your overall strength and athletic performance.
To perform this exercise:
- Start with the barbell on the ground and your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grasp the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Lift the barbell off the ground and position it at your shoulders.
- Lower your body by bending your knees and hips until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Pause for a moment and then press back up to the starting position.
The barbell squat is a very easy and effective way to build leg size and strength. Along with the deadlift, it’s considered one of the best mass building exercises. Remember that consistency is key to improving form, so always make an effort to use the same technique for your squat rep by rep. For more of a challenge, try adding weights to your barbell over time or switching from low reps to high reps. With consistent practice and attention, you’ll soon see your form improve and can take advantage of building strength and increasing muscle mass with the barbell squat.
3. Barbell Lunges
Barbell lunges are a great exercise for strengthening the target muscles in your lower body, which includes the gluteus maximus, quads, hamstrings, and calves. It is also an exercise that works to strengthen your core. The barbell lunge is a great exercise for building lower body strength and size. It’s also a great way to improve your balance and coordination as well as improve mobility in your hips and knees.
To perform this exercise correctly:
- Start with your feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell in the rack across your upper back.
- Step forward with your right foot, landing on the heel first, then the ball of your foot.
- Lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor and your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees.
- Drive through your right heel to press back up to the starting position.
- That’s one rep. Repeat, leading with your left leg.
The best way to perform lunges is by choosing the right weight for you and working out the correct form before adding complexity to the exercise. Next time you are in the gym, give Barbell Lunges a try! They will be a great addition to your workout routine.
4. Barbell Bench Press
The Barbell Bench Press is a great tool for developing chest strength and building muscle mass. With proper form, you can prep your body for the weight training to come. Whether you’re at home or in the gym, this exercise will help you tone your chest while strengthening your pectoral muscles.
Here is how you do the barbell bench press:
- Start by lying on your back on a flat bench.
- Grasp the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly lower the barbell to your chest, pause, and then press the barbell back up to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
The Barbell Bench Press is a safe and effective way to build your pectorals and improve your chest strength. Just remember to maintain proper form at all times to prevent injuries and ensure the most efficient workout. Most importantly, be sure to have a spotter when you lift heavyweight.
5. Barbell Push Press
The barbell push press is a bodyweight exercise that targets a variety of muscles in the upper body. It is a highly effective movement for the muscles in the chest, shoulders, and triceps. For maximum effectiveness, the barbell push press should be performed with the correct technique. When you use a barbell you can add more weight, and thus you will burn more calories and work for more muscle groups.
Here is how you do this exercise:
- Start with the barbell on the floor in front of you.
- Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, and position it at shoulder level.
- Bend your knees slightly, and then explosively extend them as you press the barbell overhead.
- Return to the starting position, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
The barbell push press adds an extra element of difficulty to the standard bodyweight push-up. By adding weight, you can get a more intense workout that targets more muscle groups and burns more calories. Incorporating a barbell in your workout also increases strength, endurance, and overall health.
Proper technique is a must when performing compound exercises. If you don’t perform the movements with good form, you’ll either injure yourself or not see the results you want. Learning these barbell exercises correctly upfront will get you started on the path to building muscle mass and burning fat. As always, be sure to have a certified fitness professional show you how to perform them properly and if possible, have him or her spot you until you feel competent enough to do them without assistance.