This post is by OYS writer Melissa. You can read more of her posts here.
Body toning bars are another piece of exercise equipment you can rotate into your workout routine to mix things up and work your body in different ways. Most gyms have them hanging out in the weight section, or you can opt to buy your own to have at home for around $30. They come in all different weight ranges, so be sure to pick the right weight for you that will be challenging but not impossible.
Body bars can help you with your strength-training routine. As with exercise balls and bands, body bars will work your muscles in completely different ways than dumbbells. You have to have a lot more control when using a body bar since it is so much longer. It takes practice and coordination, but will really improve your control as your core muscles really kick in to help. As always, any small change to your exercise routine is good, to prevent boredom and to keep getting the results you want.
The key to a successful body bar workout is control. You must perform these moves with correct form, or the bar will just be flying all over the place and you might end up getting injured. As with trying out any new piece of equipment, you will become more comfortable with the bar the more you use it.
So here are six moves you can do with a body bar. Always warm up with some light cardio, and cool down and stretch after.
Move #1 – Reverse lunge and curl
If you can, do this move off of a step or stair to increase the difficulty, but on a flat surface is just fine too. Stand with your feet together and hold the bar underhanded with both hands in front of you. Lunge back with your right leg as you curl the bar up towards your chest. Bring your right foot back to center as you lower the bar down. Next, lunge back with your left leg as you curl the bar up. Step together and lower. That is one rep. Do 10-12 reps.
Move #2 – Squat and twist
Stand with your feet apart and hold the bar up near your shoulders. Squat down and back. As you come out of the squat, pivot on your left foot, twist to the right, and turn the bar up and over to the right so that it is vertical. Lower the bar back down as you come back into a center squat. Next, come out of the squat, pivot on your right foot, twist to the left, and turn the bar up and over to the left so that it is vertical. That is one rep. Do 10-12 reps.
Move #3 – Press, pull, plié
Stand with your feet apart and slightly turned out to the sides. Hold the bar behind your back. Press the bar back, then pull it up your back as you lower into a plié squat, letting your knees go out to the sides. Come out of the squat as you lower the bar and bring it back in. That is one rep. Do 10-12 reps. It is important that you keep your butt tucked under and squat straight down. Also, your arm movements are going to be small, but keep it tight.
Move #4 – Outer thigh lifts
Hold the bar against the side of your right foot and leg. Lean onto your left leg and keep your left knee bent. Lift and lower your right leg out to the side slowly. Hold the bar lightly with your hand and really let the bar rest its weight on your thigh. Do 10-12 reps on the right, and then 10-12 on the left.
Move #5 – Inner thigh lifts
Bring your right leg slightly forward. Hold the bar against the inside of your right foot and leg. Lean onto your left leg and keep your left knee bent. Lift and lower your right leg to the left, kind of in front of your left leg, slowly. Hold the bar lightly with your hand and really let the bar rest its weight on your thigh. Squeeze your inner thigh as you lift. Do 10-12 reps on the right, and then 10-12 on the left.
Move #6 – Lying chest press and triceps
Lie on a step or other raised surface with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold the bar directly over your chest. Press the bar up, squeezing your chest muscles. Then bend your elbows and bring the bar down and back towards your forehead. Press your arms back up straight through your triceps. Then lower the bar back down to your chest. That is one rep. Do 10-12 reps. Also think about pressing your feet into the floor and squeezing your glutes for added booty benefits.
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