Given that lift­ing an­other glass of Prosecco to your mouth doesn’t quite count as a bi­cep curl (sadly), load up a bar­bell for a fes­tive fit­ness blast

Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Five moves to raise your game us­ing just a bar­bell

If the only bar you’ve en­coun­tered this month is the kind that serves vodka (we hear you), it’s time to get reac­quainted with a dif­fer­ent type: the bar­bell. ‘No other piece of equip­ment can help de­velop strength and ath­leti­cism like a bar­bell,’ ex­plains Lee Steggles, co-owner of Crossfit Shape­smiths in Lon­don. ‘The sim­ple move­ments in this bar­bell work­out are ex­tremely ef­fec­tive. They en­hance the func­tions of all the joints and mus­cles in the body, and are a great tool to help you get in shape and ready for any chal­lenge.’ (No, not the shots va­ri­ety, why are you ob­sessed with booze?) Give Lee’s cir­cuit a go and blast away those Christ­mas party cob­webs…

1 DEAD­LIFT Tar­gets: Ham­strings, glutes, up­per back, abs

(a) Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes un­der the bar. With a neu­tral spine, hinge at the hips and knees to lower down and grip the bar.

(b) Brace your back mus­cles and, keep­ing your arms straight, push through your heels to drive up to stand­ing. Squeeze your glutes at the top. Re­turn the bar­bell to the floor by re­vers­ing the mo­tion. You so tough.


Tar­gets: Quads, abs, glutes, up­per back, erec­tor spinae

(a) Set the bar­bell just be­low shoul­der-height on the rack. Stand with your feet shoul­der-width apart and grasp the bar with your hands slightly wider than your shoul­ders, palms fac­ing up­wards. With your el­bows out in front of you, rest the bar on your col­lar­bone.

(b) Take a step back and move your hips back and down into a squat. Aim to get your hips be­low your knees. Yes, we know it burns. Drive through your heels to push back up to the start­ing po­si­tion.

3 PUSH PRESS Tar­gets: Shoul­ders, triceps, quads, traps

(a) As be­fore, set the bar­bell on the rack at shoul­der-height and stand in front of it with your feet shoul­der-width apart. Grab the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoul­der-width apart, palms fac­ing up. Your el­bows should be out in front of you.

(b) Step back and slightly bend your knees, then push through your heels to straighten your legs as you press the bar­bell up over­head. Slowly lower it back down, then re­peat. Watch out, Arnie.

4 BAR­BELL BURPEE Tar­gets: Legs, core, shoul­ders, arms, chest

(a) Place a loaded bar­bell on the floor and stand par­al­lel to the bar with your feet hip-width apart. Crouch down and plant your hands on the floor in front of your toes.

(b) Quickly jump your feet back to a high plank po­si­tion, then lower your body to the floor, bend­ing your el­bows.

(c) Push back up into a high plank and jump your feet back to­wards your hands, pre­par­ing to jump up. Jump lat­er­ally over the bar and get ready to re­peat on the other side. Bru­tal.


Tar­gets: Glutes, ham­strings, quads, shoul­ders, core

(a) Set the bar­bell just be­low shoul­der-height on the rack. Grip the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoul­der-width apart and palms fac­ing up­wards. With your el­bows out in front of you as be­fore, take a step back and lower into a squat.

(b) In one swift move­ment, push through your heels to re­turn to stand­ing and straighten your arms to press the bar­bell over­head. Slowly lower it back down to shoul­der­height and re­peat.

Com­ing on strong.

FYI 1. Choose a weight that is mod­er­ately chal­leng­ing, but can be main­tained for the des­ig­nated num­ber of reps with­out los­ing form. 2. Aim to com­plete 5 sets of 8 reps for each ex­er­cise. Rest for 1-2 mins be­tween sets. 3. Mov­ing through the full range of mo­tion is the most im­por­tant part of this work­out so ad­just the weight as needed.

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