When it comes to strength training in general, the #barbell is a signature tool. It’s for good reason, too. Various barbell strength training movements can produce phenomenal results when done correctly. However, traditional barbell training can come at a cost.
Understanding how to perform various barbell movements such as the #deadlift and back squat takes a fair amount of skill. From the setup to the finish, many beginner and intermediate lifters will have trouble learning how to perform them correctly.
Our daily lives require a lot of sitting which can cause us to become tight and lack the proper range of motion in the hip and #shoulder areas. In order to perform many of the classic barbell lifts, an adequate amount of mobility is required.
Most of the barbell lifts load the spine, in particular the lumbar area. If you have any previous or current issues, loading the spine, on top of lack of mobility and skill can backfire on you and lead to possible pain and injury.
There are many alternatives that spare the joints while producing great results. They are easy to learn and are for beginners and avid lifters alike.
INSTEAD OF BARBELL SQUATS: Goblet Squats
Use a dumbbell or #kettlebell and tuck it into the upper chest.
Keep your elbows in tight.
Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with 0-30 degrees of foot flare.
Pull yourself down into the #squat slowly.
Push your knees out to the sides and have your elbows track inside the knees.
Push all the weight of your body through the heals.
Keep your chest up and stand up.
INSTEAD OF BARBELL DEADLIFTS: Kettlebell deadlifts
Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart and keep the kettlebell in line with the heels.
Perform a hip hinge pattern by flexing at the hips while maintaining a neutral #spine.
Once the hands are near the weight, grasp the handle tightly to promote spinal stability.
Engage the hamstrings by slightly raising the hips so that the knees are vertical. Once the #hamstrings feel taut, begin to extend the hips forward until the proper posture is achieved.
Pull your shoulder blades down and back as if you are trying to put them in your back pocket. This will help activate the lats and other back #muscles.
Throughout the movement, make sure the head and neck are neutral and there is no rounding of the back.
INSTEAD OF BARBELL BENCH PRESS: Classic Push-Ups
Start by lying down on the floor to prep the body.
Bring your legs together and tuck your toes.
Straighten your legs out and keep them tight.
Squeeze your butt and abs.