Top 5 Barbell Exercises for a Great Physique

Top 5 Barbell Exercises for a Great Physique


The foundation to a great exercise program is the barbell. The list of what you can do with one is almost endless but here at Rug & Rig, we have put together our top 5 for you to have a play with in your home gym.

1. Overhead Press

We are going to start the list with a compound movement that should be a part of everyone’s workout routine. Whether you are looking to drop some weight and get lean, or if you want to pack on the muscle, the barbell overhead press is something you should not look past. 

To perform this you will need to set a barbell at shoulder height on your weight rack. Start without any weight on the bar and warm up as you go through the motion. Squeeze your glutes (bum muscles) to protect your lower back and also try to suck your belly button towards your back to activate your core.

Grab the bar at shoulder width and un-rack it while resting it in front of your shoulders. From there, press it above your head while keeping your core and glues active, and bring it back down, trying to control it the entire way. 


2. Floor Press

This variation to the traditional bench press has worked wonders for people who have shoulder issues. To set this one up you will need to adjust the height to where the barbell sits around shin height. From there, you will lay on the floor under the bar and aim to grab the bar just outside of shoulder width.

The beauty of the floor press, is that as you come down, you are limited with the range of motion due to the floor stopping you. Your shoulders will thank you for this! The focus will be completely on the pecs and less on your shoulders. We aren’t saying skip the traditional bench press but try this variation and see how you go!

3. Squat

You simply can’t skip leg day! The squat is either your best friend or your worst enemy. Another exercise recommended for everyone. It is easy to get the squat wrong and hurt yourself. It is important to warm up properly before adding weight to your squat. 

Set the bar up just under shoulder height. Set yourself up under the bar just along your shoulder line just under the top of your trapezius muscle. Grab it where your are most comfortable and you will be good to go.

Keep your core activated, watch your knees and enjoy the results. 

Start with just the barbell and once confident that your technique is correct, you can start to add some kgs!


4. Rows

Now let’s focus on the pull! One of the best exercises to develop your back is the barbell row. Focussing on your lats and traps, rows also are great to improve your posture. 

The bar will need to be set at around hip height. Try to grab it around shoulder width, but a little wider is also okay. Once you un-rack the weight, unhinge at the hips and angle your body so that the bar can be pulled in a rowing motion. Try to feel a stretch in your hamstring while keeping your back straight for this one. 

Keep the core active the entire time and try to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of each rep. 


5. Deadlifts

The crème de la crème of what you can do with a barbell. Great for lower and upper body development.

This movement looks simple but there is a lot to focus on so that you can do it safely and maximise results. As you have picked up by now, core activation is very important for almost everything you will do with a barbell, and it is most important with a deadlift. 

Posture is everything. For this exercise all you need is the barbell placed on the floor with light weights placed on either side.

To set yourself up, walk up to the bar and rest it on your shins. Squat down and grab it just outside of your knees. Roll your shoulders back, push your chest forward.

As you lift the bar, lift with your legs first, then squeeze your glutes, and then your core as your finish the movement and stand up. Control it on the way down and reset yourself before your next rep.





Rug & Rig are committed to bringing you quality equipment at affordable prices. To bring the full gym experience to the comfort of your home, check out our huge range and shop with confidence! Our hands-on team are ready to help if you have any questions on getting the most out of your training.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published