Basic barbell exercises
Basic exercises with a barbell are multi-joint exercises used in strength training to gain muscle mass. Squats with a barbell on the shoulders, a bench press lying on a straight bench, a bench press standing above your head, deadlift and barbell pull to the belt in an incline are considered basic. Studies suggest that when they are performed, the body produces the most testosterone¹.
Five of these exercises make up the basic weight training program . It should be noted that other multi-joint exercises can repeat and supplement the basic exercises. For example, the platform press with your feet is able to replace squats, and the thrust of the block to the sitting belt is the draft of the bar in a slope. The only exception is deadlift - it is impossible to replace it.
The main advantage of basic exercises is the fact that, when performed correctly, they involve all muscle groups in the work - including the press and arms. However, the wrong technique can cause serious harm to the athlete. Since multi-joint exercises are performed with a barbell and other free weight, there is a risk of sports injuries to the joints.
Training for muscle hypertrophy (that is, for mass gain) involves performing heavy multi-joint exercises a low number of times. Most often we are talking about 5-7 repetitions of exercises performed with the most heavy barbell. The start of muscle growth processes requires that the last repetition be completed, if not to failure, then with great difficulty.
When performing basic exercises, the production of testosterone and growth hormone increases, as well as a powerful load on the respiratory and central nervous system. Note that such workouts are recommended for ectomorphs - naturally thin men who have difficulty gaining muscle mass. In their cases, basic training can increase body weight by 5-7 kg in 1-2 months.
- Bench press
- Bench press
- Inclined rod pull
Multi joint exercises
When performing multi-joint basic exercises with heavy weight, the entire body of the athlete is subjected to stress. In addition to the muscles of the arms, body and legs, the respiratory and even the central nervous system are included in the work - this is what provides a significant hormonal response, leading, ultimately, to muscle growth.
It is important that the greatest efficiency for muscle growth is achieved with heavy strength training and performing a low number of repetitions of exercises - no more than 5-7 repetitions. This, in turn, requires not only the use of large working weights and perfect adherence to the correct technique, but also full recovery.
Pluses of basic exercises:
- All muscle groups are involved.
- Increase hormone production
- Develop strength and stamina
- No sophisticated training equipment required
5 basic exercises
Basic exercises are five multi-joint exercises performed with a barbell: bench press lying, bench press standing, squats with a barbell, tilt barbell rod and deadlift. It is these strength exercises that most actively affect the growth of muscle mass and increase the hormonal levels of the body of even the novice athlete.
However, most of the secondary exercises performed with dumbbells or on simulators are variations of the basic exercises. For example, a dumbbell bench press or a shoulder press in the simulator is a modified standing barbell press. Exactly like a bench press, this is, in fact, a variation of push-ups. The only exceptions are pull-ups .
Deadlift is the number one basic exercise for body muscles. If you perform only it and refuse any others, you will still see the result in the form of a set of masses, since it is the deadlift that involves the maximum number of muscles in the work.
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Squats with a barbell is a basic exercise for the development of leg muscles, from the gluteal muscles and quadriceps of the thigh to the calves. With the right technique, the spine and abdominal muscles are also included in the work, forming a steel press.
3. Bench press
Bench press on the bench is a key exercise for developing the muscles of the chest, triceps and the front of the deltoid muscles. Depending on the angle of the bench and the width of the arms on the bar, various bundles of the pectoral muscle can be included in the work.
4. Rod pull to belt
The pull of the barbell to the belt is a basic exercise for developing the muscles of the back and giving it visual width. When done correctly, deltas, pectoral muscles, forearms, and numerous muscles are also included in the arms.
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5. Standing barbell press
The standing bench press (also called the “army bench”) develops the shoulder girdle, deltoid muscles, arms, improves posture and strengthens the muscles of the abdominal press. It is this basic exercise that forms the classic sports figure with broad shoulders.
Benefits of Basic Exercises for Muscle Growth
The main advantage of basic exercises is the simultaneous growth of muscles and fat burning. The reason is that basic exercises require an increased consumption of nutrients from the body. During strength training, glycogen is actively used, and after the training is completed, recovery processes that burn fat are launched.
With regular training using basic exercises, the metabolism gradually increases, leading to an increase in appetite - which, again, is necessary for gaining muscle mass, because without additional calories the muscles simply will not grow. This plays a particularly important role for nature-thin ectomorphs who are experiencing problems with weight gain.
Creating a sports physique
Technically correct performance of basic exercises has a positive effect on the symmetry of muscle development. As a result of training according to the basic program, not only a pumped-up, but a powerful and athletic physique is formed. In addition, basic exercises positively affect the connection of the brain with muscles.
Most beginners can’t strain a certain muscle by force of will (not to mention consciously involving this muscle during training), which indicates a weak neuromuscular connection between the brain and muscles. Performing heavy basic exercises can improve this connection, increasing the effectiveness of the training.
Cons of basic exercises
The main disadvantage of basic exercises is that they really require perfect knowledge of the right technique. Performing these exercises with a lot of weight significantly increases the risk of injury even with the slightest mistakes - that is why it is best to learn the correct technique of these exercises with a personal trainer.
In addition, many beginners tend to progress too quickly, unjustifiably increasing their working weight and conducting more frequent strength training than their body needs. It must be remembered that basic training should be performed no more than once every 48-72 hours . Otherwise, the result will be chronic overtraining.
The most important for gaining muscle mass are multi-joint basic exercises that increase the level of testosterone and other hormones due to the complex effect on the body and central nervous system. Five such exercises are allocated to the basic group - deadlift, squats, bench press, standing bench press and pull to the belt.
- Best Stimulators of Growth by Tom McCullough, MEd., Source
- Research 'The Effects of Testosterone on Muscle Size', source