12 Best Weighted Bar Exercises That Can Help You Build Lean Muscles

Strength training at home may require, many gym equipment, some of which could be expensive. You will need room to set them up and or store But, you can opt for these weighted bar exercises to help you achieve your strength training goals.

woman doing weighted bar exercises

Exercising in paid-membership gyms could sometimes get a little too expensive. Getting gym equipment and exercise machines could also be a challenging option for some.

Setting up a home gym requires space and financial resources. But there are various steps you can take to help you cut down the number of equipment and the cost. You will need good planning to help you do that. The type of exercises you go for can play a role as well.

Strength training can help burn body fat and keep you fitter and healthy. It can also help you build lean muscle mass for a well-toned body. Thus, it must be an integral part of any fitness program you put in place.

Strength training at home may require, in some cases, many gym equipment, some of which could be expensive. You will need room to set them up and or store them.

But, you can opt for weighted bar exercises to help you achieve your strength training goals.

Weighted Bar exercises can help you avoid all the limitations of paid gyms while still assuring you of an excellent and effective home workout routine.

weighted bar for weighted bar exercises

Weighted bar exercises can add variety to your bodyweight exercises. They can make the exercises more challenging and help you get better results.

What is a Weighted Bar?

The weighted bar is a slender pole with weights usually between 3 and 36 pounds but can vary. It is, in many cases, metallic with some soft material covering and about four feet long.

Weighted Bars make regular bodyweight exercises more intensive, adding more efficacy to your home exercises (1).

Best weighted bar exercises for building strength and lean muscle mass

Lunges

Like squats, lunges target the legs. They also stimulate body balance and coordination. The lunges stimulate all the muscles in your lower body (2).

You can activate many muscle groups by turning your lunges into weighted bar exercises to move them to challenging heights.

Lunges are one-sided exercises (3). That means that you train one side of the body at a time. You must ensure uniformity to achieve similar effects on both sides of the body.

Steps to follow

  • Put the weighted bar at the back of your neck over your shoulders.
  • Stand straight up and hold the weighted bar tightly.
  • Put your right foot in front by 2 or 3 feet. Place your foot on the floor and let your left heel come slightly off the ground.
  • Flex your knees and bring your left knee toward the floor. Stop when it is on the floor or when it is almost touching the floor.
  • While lowering yourself, maintain a straight and forward-facing torso.
  • From that position, do the opposite movement by pressing through the front heel as you get up and put your right foot back to its beginning position.
  • Repeat the movement on the other side. Count one complete repetition after you perform a lunge on both sides.
  • Repeat for about 12 (10 to 15) reps and three sets per session.

Back Squats

back squat weighted bar exercises

Squats! Yes! You probably guessed right. Squats are some of the most popular bodyweight exercises that work your whole lower body and core.

You can turn your squats into weighted bar exercises for some excellent results’

Steps to follow

  • Put the weighted bar at the back of your neck over your shoulders.
  • Stand straight up and hold the weighted bar tightly.
  • Maintain a shoulder-width stance. You should point your toes outward just a little.
  • Move your hips to the back and squat down to your thighs are almost parallel to the floor.
  • Make sure you move both thighs downward together when doing the exercise. Your knees should align if you do this correctly.
  • Extend your knees and go back into standing.
  • Repeat for about 12 (10 to 15) reps and three sets per session.

Front Squats

You hold the weighted bar across the shoulders when doing the front squats weighted bar exercises, . That makes it possible for you to stand upright. It also makes the exercise more stimulating than the back squats for all four limbs.

You must have good upper body strength to perform the front squats weighted bar exercises. Thus, it would be better to start your squats weighted bar exercises with back squats, which are easier to do than the front squats.

Proceed to the front squats weighted bar exercises only after attaining some degree of perfection (4).

Steps to follow

  • Put the weighted bar at the front of your neck across your shoulders.
  • Stand straight up and hold the weighted bar tightly with your palms facing upwards.
  • Use a shoulder-width stance. Allow your toes point outward just a little.
  • Squat down. Keep your chest up.
  • Drive up using your heels to stand.
  • Repeat the movement for another repetition
  • Repeat for about 12 (10 to 15) reps and three sets per session.

Good Morning

good morning weighted bar exercises

You can turn your good mornings into high-resistance weighted body bar exercises to stimulate many muscle groups in your body.

Steps to follow

  • Grab the weighted bar and place it behind your shoulders. This placement follows a pattern similar to back squats.
  • Maintain a stance, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lean forward and bring your hips backward as much as you can.
  • When you start feeling stretches in your hamstrings, move your hips forward and put your chest on while you straighten up your body.
  • Repeat for about 12 (10 to 15) reps and three sets per session.

Tip
Maintain a solid and rigid back while performing the exercise. Your lats should be tightened and engaged throughout the movement.

Bicep curls

Biceps curls are the moves to beat when thinking about upper arm exercises (2). And you can make them more demanding by turning them into weighted bar exercises

Steps to follow

  • Stand straight up with your feet at hip-width and hold the weighted bar tightly.
  • Hold the weighted bar across your thighs. Your palm should face away from you.
  • Squeeze your core muscles and flex your elbows, bringing the bar up to your shoulders.
  • Take the weighted bar back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for about 12 (10 to 15) reps and three sets per session.

Tips

  • Use an underhand grip while holding the weighted bar,
  • Your elbows should be beside you during the exercise.
  • Take a slight pause at the top of the movement before lowering the bar to the starting position.
  • Choose a weight that will let you complete your sets.
  • To make this move very efficient, contract your core muscles during the exercise. Avoid using your legs or back in lifting the weight.

Bicep Curl with Leg Extension

The exercise is like the biceps curl exercises, but with the addition of an extra movement in the legs. They help you to strengthen core muscles and your legs. Turn them into weighted bar exercises to make them more strenuous.

Steps to follow

  • Stand upright with your feet at hip-width.
  • Grab the weighted bar with a shoulder-width grip, your palms facing away from you.
  • Bring the bar up to chest level while raising one of your knees to 90 degrees and straightening it to the front. Inhale while you do this.
  • Bring the leg back to a flexed position – 90 degrees. Exhale as you do this.
  • Bring your foot to the floor and gradually return the bar to your hip level.
  • Repeat the movement with the opposite leg.
  • A complete cycle of both legs is a repetition.
  • Aim for 12 reps per session

Tip:
Avoid raising your hips when you extend your leg.

Front Raises

Front raises are a weight training exercise that targets the muscles of the shoulders and the forearms.

Steps to follow

  • Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart
  • Using a pronated grip, grasp the weighted bar. Ensure you hold the bar on your thighs, move your shoulders back and keep your chest out
  • Exhale, while pulling the bar in the direction of your chin. Keep pulling till you get the bar around the middle of your chest and stop
  • Hold for a second or two, inhale and lower the bar slowly to the position at which you started from
  • Repeat for up to 10 reps for a set and 3 sets per session

Bench Press/Floor Press

Also called the chest press. You can perform the bench press weighted bar exercises on a weight bench, any stable platform, or even on the floor. The different names reflect where you perform the exercise.

The exercises will target your pecs, especially when you combine them with push-ups.

Steps to follow

  • Lie with your back on the floor or the weight bench,
  • Keep your knees flexed and your feet solidly planted on the floor or the bench.
  • Grab the weighted bar across your chest, holding it with both hands. Your grips should be shoulder-width apart. Ensure you bend your elbows.
  • Push the weighted bar upward till your elbows are almost fully stretched out.
  • Lower the bar while reversing the movement, and bring it towards your chest.
  • Repeat for 12 to 15 reps and three sets per session.

Tips
If your main objective is to increase the bulk of your pecs, combine this exercise with push-ups to achieve significant results.

Upright Row

An upright row is a great exercise to build strength in your shoulders and upper back. Make it more demanding by upgrading it into weighted bar exercises.

The upright row weighted bar exercises involve pulling the weight toward you. It targets your posterior chain, which is the backside of your body.

Steps to follow

  • Stand upright with your chest up.
  • Grab the weighted bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip.
  • Pull the weight toward your chin. Lead the movement with your elbows.
  • Bring the weight back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement. Target doing three sets of 12 to 15 reps each.

Tips

  • Ensure you keep other areas of your body, especially your upper body steady during the exercise. Avoid rowing with your back.
  • Ensure you concentrate all your effort on the upper arm when doing the upward pull.

Hip Thrust

Hip thrusts allow you to isolate your glutes and hamstrings. There is so much reduced movement in the knees. It also places very little stress on the lower back, making it a good workout for you, especially if you have low back pain.

Hip thrusts weighted bar exercises are another option to consider if you are looking for ways to get great returns from your bodyweight exercises.

Steps to follow

  • Lie on the floor. Ensure you flex your knees and plant your feet firmly on the ground.
  • Maintain a shoulder-width distance between your feet.
  • Grab the bar over your hips with two hands.
  • Thrust your hips upwards, putting your body weight on your heels. Ensure your upper back is flat on the floor.
  • At the top of the movement, contract your glutes and then take your weight back to the starting position.
  • Allow the weight to go down until it is about to touch the floor, then take it back up.
  • Target to complete 10 reps per session.

Side Lunges

The quads, glutes, and hamstrings are usually the focus of most lower body exercises (9).

The side lunge is one of the few exercises that target your hip adductors.

Your hip adductors are muscles that help you bring your leg towards the center of your body. Strong adductors mean improved hip mobility and stability (10).

Turn your side lunges into weighted bar exercises to target your hip adductors and other lower body muscles much better.

Steps to follow

  • Place the bar over your upper back and stand upright.
  • Put one leg forward and allow the bar to rest on the heel of the other leg.
  • Lower your hips while keeping the other leg stretched with your foot firmly flat on the floor.
  • Use the heel of your flexed leg as a pivot to get back into the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement on the other side.

Tips
Ensure that you keep the forward knee aligned with the foot. You could injure your tendons if it caves in.

Overhead Press

The overhead press is also called the shoulder press.

Like all the exercises listed here, you can do the overhead press without a weighted bar.

But the overhead press weighted bar exercises, which are exercises with a weighted bar, are more effective and a great way to build upper body strength.

Steps to follow

  • Stand up, keeping your feet hip distance apart. Also, keep your knees slightly flexed.
  • Grab the bar and place it across your shoulders. Hold it in front of your neck, over your upper shirt, and with a forward-facing palm and bent elbow.
  • Move the bar directly over your head upward. Do this until you extend your hands completely.
  • In a controlled manner, move it back into the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement.
  • Tips
  • Squeeze your abs, quads, and glutes as you move the bar up.
  • Target doing two sets of about 12 repetitions each.

Bent-Over Row

bent over row weighted bar exercises

Bent-over rows exercise works several muscle groups, including the upper body muscles. Such muscles include the lats, trapezius, biceps, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, and biceps. They also target some of the muscles in the lower body (3).

You can change the bodyweight exercises into bent-over rows weighted bar exercises for some impressive results.

Steps to follow

  • Maintain a hip-width stance.
  • Grab the bar and hold it with two hands across your thighs.
  • Move your hip backward and your torso forward. Your hips should serve as the pivot for this movement. Continue the movement till your body forms a 45-degree angle.
  • Then, let your hands drop directly below your shoulders.
  • Squeeze your back muscles and bring your elbows toward yourself, bringing them to your waist level.
  • Return the weight to the starting position and repeat the movement.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 reps and up to three sets per session.

Tips
Ensure you do not perform the movements with a rounder back. That can result in injuries like strain and is a necessary precaution in most weighted bar exercises.

Final Words from LiveLife

The weighted bar is a simple, but effective gym equipment. You can use it to support many bodyweight exercises to make them more challenging. Using the bar when doing those exercises can help speed up the time you need to see some results from your training.

Weighted bar exercises can help you target muscles that you may struggle to tone with just your body weight. Weighted bars are not expensive to buy and are easy to store.

If you are not a frequent gym goer and want to spice up your bodyweight exercises, get one of these bars and start reaping the benefits from weighted bar exercises.

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