Apart from giving your upper body a massive workout, barbells can also be used to tone up your core and midsection. Inject some variety into your core routine by doing these challenging barbell-oriented abdominal exercises.
Start: Load a pair of small (1 or 2kg) plates onto a barbell. Kneel on an exercise mat or towel with your shoulders directly over the bar. Grab the bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Put your butt in the air. Start with your back in a somewhat-rounded position, allow-ing it to extend into a more neutral position as you execute -the movement.
Finish: Roll the bar out in front of you, holding your knees in place as your hips, torso, and arms go forward. Keeping your arms taut, advance as far as you can without arching your back or touching the floor with anything above your knees. Pause for a split second, then pull back to the starting position, feeling your abs contracting forcefully as you do.
Advanced Variation – On-Your-Feet Barbell Rollout
If you’re strong enough, do this on the balls of your feet instead of on your knees.
Start: Load a barbell lightly on one end. Wrap the other end in a towel and stick it into a corner of your workout room. Stand facing the loaded end, lock your fingers around the end of the bar (in front of the plate), and hold it in front of your face.
Finish: Pivot your feet and torso simultaneously to move the top of the bar down and to your nondominant side so it ends up just above your nondominant knee. Feel your torso muscles work as you lift the bar up and then down toward your other knee. That’s 1 repetition.
Caution: Make sure your shoes and the floor allow smooth pivots on the balls of your feet. On carpet, for example, you may want to be in your stocking feet.