Weight Bar Exercises

Resistance training using free weights can not only help to build muscle mass, it can improve your overall health, according to the University of Arizona. Resistance exercises performed using a weight bar and free weights can help to strengthen your bones and help you to lead a more healthy life. Gym exercises with the weight bar are a great way to isolate specific muscle groups and strengthen targeted areas.

Bench Press

The bench press uses a weight bar and free weights to isolate the muscles of your chest and upper arms, according to the bodybuilding website Intense-Workout.com. It can be performed as a flat bench exercise or with the bench declined or inclined to isolate specific chest muscle groups. For the flat bench press, lie on a weight bench with the weight bar and selected weights on the supports of the bench. Keep both feet squarely on the floor with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Make sure that your lower back is pressed firmly into the bench. Lift the weight bar off the support bracket and lower the weight until it almost touches your chest. Exhale sharply and push the weight bar away from your body until both arms are straight. It is important not to bounce the weight bar off your chest, since this can cause injury.

Squat Thrust

The squat thrust is performed using a squat rack in a gym. Select the amount of weight you would like to lift and place those weights on a weight bar located on the squat rack. Position the weight bar so it is just over shoulder height. Step under the weight bar and use your back and leg muscles to rest the weight bar on your arms that are crossed in front of your chest. Lift the weight bar and let the weight rest on your shoulders and arms. Keep your back straight and your eyes looking forward while bending both knees until your thighs are about parallel to the ground. Use your thigh muscles to return to a standing position. When first starting this exercise, it is important to use a light enough weight that you can focus on proper form, since this exercise can injure your back and legs, according to the website criticalbench.com

Barbell Row

The barbell row is performed using a weight bar and free weights that are positioned on the floor. Bend over at your waist while keeping your back straight and your shoulder blades pressed together. Keep your upper back straight by focusing your eyes on a spot in front of you and be sure to keep your eyes on that spot throughout this exercise. Grip the weight bar with a grip about shoulder-width apart and lift the weights using your triceps muscles until the bar nearly touches your chest. Return the bar to the starting position on the floor.

About this Author

Keith Strange spent more than a decade as a staff writer for newspapers and magazines in the Southeast United States, where he polished his skills into an award-winning career. He has a B.S. in sports medicine and attended graduate school to study exercise physiology. Strange is a former competitive martial artist and holds a third degree black belt in taekwondo.