Bar training is not for the faint hearted; it’s one of the most challenging workouts you will ever try. With great difficulty, comes huge rewards and in time you will be stronger, leaner and overall more athletic.
When getting into bar training, it’s important that you start with the basics and add in some athletic cardio conditioning. You can train on the local playground, gym or even get a pull-up bar installed in your home. Cardio can be done in your house by following a classic at home workout DVD or outside running interval sprints or in your local gym. If you’re new to bar workouts you should start with just the bar and your bodyweight. Bar workouts involve various techniques and movements and you will train every muscle in your body with the right routine.
GET STARTED WITH BAR TRAINING
Pull-Ups - Works your back and shoulder muscles, remember to grip the bar with hands spread shoulder width apart, palms facing away. Pull up until your chin touches the bar, and then lower yourself all the way down.
Dips – Trains your triceps and chest, you will need a bar at hip level. This can be done with your feet touching the ground or for maximum resistance you can use two bars parallel and elevate your feet off the ground. Palms facing you grip the bar and lower yourself while keeping your feet off the ground and your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Press using your triceps and raise your body back up and extend your elbows/arms (DO NOT LOCKOUT YOUR ELBOWS)
Chin-Ups - Chin-ups focuses on your biceps and anterior deltoid. Grip the bar with your palms facing toward you, this is the differentiating factor between the pull-up and it’s important you do both exercises as they target different muscle groups.
Hanging Leg Raises – Trains your entire core, hang from the bar, keep your legs straight and bring them up to touch your feet to the bar. Lower your legs back down and repeat, this is an advance core workout, don’t expect to get too many reps done your first try. If you are struggling with this exercise, you can start with Knee Raises; which are a great way to Segway into this exercise.
Climber Pull-Ups – An advanced pull-up technique that will build your strength and mobility in your shoulders and back muscles. Do a regular pull-up, but before lowering yourself, shift your weight to the right, then to the left.
Muscle-up – Trains multiple muscles by transitioning your body from pull-up to dip in one fluid movement, this exercise is advanced and requires tremendous explosive strength. Hang from a pull-up bar with a false grip (thumbs on top the bar, not around) Pull yourself up (chin to the bar) 'Roll' your chest over the bar as a transition from a pull-up to a dip, Press your hands down and drive your body upwards (the dip)
Negative Pull-Ups – A great variation from regular pull-ups and will add size to your biceps. Stand on a chair or bench, grip the bar like you are doing a pull up, then step off and slowly lower yourself until your arms are fully extended.
Windshield Wipers – Trains your entire core and is more advanced than your hanging leg raises. Grip the bar in the chin-up position, keep your legs straight, and swing them from right to left.
Love a good bodyweight workout? Check out our beginners guide to bouldering here.
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