What is the barbell?
Have you ever walked into a gym and thought about just walking straight back out again ?
If the answer is yes, we’re not surprised. Sometimes the rows and rows of machines and devices look like something out of a medivial torture chamber rather than a place to get fit. How are you supposed to know where to start or what each of the things do or if you’re even going to benefit from using them?
No one needs complicated. That’s why this week we’re taking a look at your one stop shop bit of kit that you can use to get your body strong in all the right places. The Barbell.
On first glance you might pass over that long metal bar staring at you from the corner of a gym. What could that possibly offer above and beyond a machine that works your biceps, or another machine that works your quads? There is probably a machine that’ll work any muscle you care for somewhere. But that’s the crux of the issue. A machine works your muscles in isolation.
Think about Pinoccio, not specifically his nose, but the fact that to move a part of his body, strings need to be pulled. To move his arm, you pull one string. To move his leg 🦵, another. This is a bit like what machines do, they move one thing at a time. In order to get Pinoccio to dance, you need to move all the strings at once and in the correct pattern. This is what the barbell does when you are taught to use it correctly – it makes your whole body work as one unit so all the parts work together to increase your strength. Here are some more great barbell benefits:
There are four main barbell lifts – the Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press and Military Press and once you have learnt these, you will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend in the gym. These lifts utilise multiple muscle groups, therefore work the body more throughly and are more time-efficient than using multiple machines.
Improve athletic performance
The key to great barbell training is focusing on teaching your body how it should use all of it’s muscles together to move the barbell in the best way possible – this is your form. As your form gets better, you strengthen all the neuromuscular connections which leads to an increase in strength. Not only that, the barbell forces your body to improve balance and coordination (handy for every day life!). You won’t get this with a machine, because machines remove this requirement.
Better movement and posture
Lifting a barbell requires a certain amount of mobility to do well, we can help with that. Once you’re mobile, you can focus on using the barbell correctly. The full range of movement required for the barbell will not only increase strength but will help improve the fundamental muscles involved in maintaining good posture.
Stronger bones & connective tissue
Keeping your bones strong, especially as we age, is super important. Training with a barbell (and any other strength training) helps increase your bone density and keep all the parts that keep your skeleton together stronger. We can’t see any downsides here.
The barbell. Far more than just a rod of steel. Want to learn how to use it correctly? Get in touch!
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