While weightlifting is great for your overall health and fitness, using a barbell is no joke and it's important to know what you're doing before you pick one up for the first time.
And here you can find the instructions and visuals for three basic barbell exercises that will help you improve your overall strength and fitness.
1. If you've never lifted a barbell before, make sure your body is ready for the weight.
2. Always check that your weights are loaded evenly.
3. And always use a clip to secure weight plates onto the barbell.
4. Make sure you check out your surroundings, especially before you unrack your weights.
5. Only lift with flat, stable footwear that doesn't have a ton of cushion.
Matheny recommends staying away from narrow shoes with worn-out soles and lots of foam or bounce because they won't give you the stability you need when balancing that heavy weight. He says it's safest to stick with wide, flat shoes or weightlifting shoes with a dense rubber sole.
A good ol' pair of Converse make a great cheaper option to the expensive weightlifting shoes that most athletic brands sell.
6. Warm up with some empty barbell reps before getting into it.
Matheny says that no matter what exercise you’re about to do you should always warm up beforehand. Doing something like 10 bodyweight reps or some reps with an empty barbell should do the trick. Getting your body comfortable and prepared for the movement will help prevent you from getting injured.
7. After you've warmed up, start out by doing one set with the barbell at a lighter weight than you're planning to use during your workout.
8. Have someone spot you when you’re first learning and any time you’re trying to go up in weight.
9. And you can also set up and use power racks when you're starting out.
10. If you're in the middle of the rep and you know it's too heavy for you to finish, find a safe way to dump the weight.
11. Inhale at the beginning of every movement and exhale towards the top of each movement.
12. Once you start lifting, make sure you can do at least 12 reps with perfect form before trying to go up in weight.
13. Definitely don't do barbell exercises that require heavy lifting at the end of your workout.
If you're looking for a few exercises to get started with, here are three basic barbell moves that will really help you improve your overall strength and fitness.