For those of you out there who have a personal trainer, first off, congrats–you have made one of the greatest investments you can make in your fitness life. It is like having the best gym buddy off all time. Someone who pushes you to hit your goals time and time again and always push you to be your best self. One thing we can all relate to though is wanting to impress your trainer. There is no better feeling then when you can exceed your trainers’ expectations. In this article I have broken down 3 basic lifts that you can do on your off-training days with simply just a barbell to help you build strength to impress your personal trainer.
1. Barbell Bench Press
Bench press feels like the exercise everyone wants to be the best at and when you hit a new max makes you feel like you’re Arnold at muscle beach. This is a pretty essential part of every lifter’s chest day. Chest is not the only muscle in your body that bench press works though. This exercise also helps strengthen your triceps, deltoids (shoulder muscles), lats (a major muscle group in the back), and quadriceps.
The reason for this is when you are bringing the bar down, your body is engaging the biceps and lats to steady the bar as you bring it down. Then when you push the bar up, you are engaging your triceps, deltoids, some quadriceps and of course your chest. This is why this exercise is a great one for adding strength to your whole upper body.
2. Barbell Deadlift
Deadlift is a great exercise for both your upper body and lower body. The muscle groups used in this exercise are the lower back, glute muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps you should also feel your forearms getting a little bit of work in the exercise as well.
In this exercise, you should feel your quadriceps and back mainly engaged in your pulling motion. You will also feel your hamstrings and glutes engaged towards the top of your pulling motion. Then as you lower the bar, the main muscles you should feel engaged is your quadriceps, glutes and back. You should feel your forearms engaged through the whole lift, as they are the main muscle helping you hold onto the bar as you lift it.
3. Barbell Squat
Barbell squats are great for adding strength to your lower body and core. This is a foundational exercise that will help you leaps and bounds with your other exercises. Unfortunately this is often overlooked on off-training days. To have a balanced physique, you need to incorporate this is your off-training day workouts.
The muscles used in this exercise are your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. As you lower your body with the bar on shoulders you should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and quadriceps you should also feel your core becoming engaged to help you stabilize as you lower yourself. Then when you push yourself back up, you should feel your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings engaged. You will also feel your core engaged in the push as it is engaged again to help stabilize your upper body.