THE BARBELL. It’s perhaps the original fitness tool. You’ll never skill out of it, it’ll challenge your whole body, and there’s something deeply satisfying about picking up a weight and putting it down. But it’s possible your go-to routine has gotten stale, which means you might be missing out on certain areas, or are limiting your movement patterns. So we asked Adam Aguilera of CrossFit Sprag, outside Austin, Texas, to put together a set of moves you maybe don’t do. They emphasize functional movement patterns as well. (You can hoist a weight, but can you move it forward and to the side?) Aguilera has put a spotlight on flexibility, as well as greater depth of movement, to improve strength and help stave off injury. The first couple of times doing this workout, keep the weight lighter and find a good tempo, Aguilera says. If you want to load up at the end for a nice deadlift, nothing’s stopping you.
Get to Work
Load plates (the bar is usually 45 pounds) and do 4 sets of a move; rest 1 minute between sets. For each rep, take 5 seconds to move the weight, and hold 5 seconds at the end range of the movement.
Expert Tip: Super-Set Your Workout
While challenging, these movements are fairly straightforward, unlike, say, hang cleans. That’s by design. You can load on more weight, go slow, and focus on strength. Or ease up on the plates, aim for speed, and add in supersets. For instance, pepper in the warmup cardio movements between sets, or slot in flexibility/stability exercises (think Superman holds and bird-dogs). That’ll help maintain mobility through the workout, and it’ll also mean you can breeze through a post-lifting stretch session.
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