6 Unconventional Barbell Exercises

By Lauren Bedosky |

Barbells are most often used for squats and deadlifts, but their potential extends beyond these traditional moves. Landmine exercises offer a multidimensional twist.

Landmine training — which involves anchoring one end of a barbell to the floor and holding the other end to perform strength exercises — combines the effects of barbell and free-weight training. “This allows you to create some unique movements that you can’t do otherwise,” notes personal trainer Cliff Edberg, RD/LD, director of strategic growth initiatives at Life Time.

And because the barbell is anchored at one end, you can position yourself to safely accommodate any pain or limitations in your range of motion. “You can move around the bar instead of forcing yourself into a fixed point,” Edberg explains.

Edberg’s full-body circuit workout features several key movements that recruit multiple muscle groups at once. You can also incorporate the individual moves into your existing routine. Do an anchored offset reverse lunge instead of a walking lunge, for instance, or an anchored squat instead of a barbell back squat.

Before you begin, set up the barbell in a landmine anchor, an attachment now found in most health clubs and gyms. You can also use a corner wall to secure the barbell in place if you don’t have the right equipment.

When you’re ready, start with the first circuit and move from one exercise to the next, stopping only as long as it takes to adjust the weight, as needed. (Do this by adding and removing weight plates from the free end of the barbell.) Rest for one minute at the bottom of the circuit before repeating. Once you’ve finished three rounds of the first circuit, rest for two minutes, then move on to the second circuit. Focus on completing every rep with good form.

Unilateral exercises like the reverse lunge best mimic our everyday movements, Edberg says. And since you have to work harder to maintain your balance, unilateral exercises are very effective for training core stabilization.The landmine allows you to press in an arc, as opposed to straight overhead which can be difficult or painful for people with limited shoulder and neck mobility. And by performing the movement in a half-kneeling position, you’ll build core stability and boost glute activation.This move teaches your core to resist rotation while maintaining a neutral spine. As Edberg explains, building core strength and stability creates a sturdier environment for your spine.

Thanks to the natural arc pattern created by the landmine attachment, the weight only gets lighter as you stand, making thisvariation gentle on the lower back.According to Edberg, a T-bar rowing variation targets your lats and biceps, while the hip-hinge position recruits your glutes and hamstrings.The rotating lunge strengthens your deep core muscles while increasing hip mobility, Edberg says. Plus, the addition of a lunge will work your lower body.To watch the full video, check out “.”Experience Life.

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