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Getting Fit with Barbells

Credit: Rdella Training
Raise that object and raise it correctly.

During my childhood, on occasions, I participated in workout sessions with my father. The basement housed various exercise machines, but the barbells were the most daunting. The exact weight eludes my memory, but they were a significant pair indeed; I was unable to even nudge them, let alone lift them. The idea of others doing so seemed like a mere fantasy to me. Now, being older and more knowledgeable, I can confidently state that practically anyone can handle barbells (within limits) and that doing so is remarkably beneficial for strength training. If you have a set of barbells nearby and can lift them securely, you can achieve a substantial workout.

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The primary barbell technique is known as the Clean and Jerk. While technically two distinct exercises, they are frequently combined due to their seamless transition. This practice mirrors how it’s done in the Olympics. A Clean involves raising the barbell from the ground to rest on your shoulders. The crucial aspect involves gradually shifting your weight downwards to utilize your lower body for support. This action should be swift and continuous; prolonged holding may lead to back strain.

Credit: BarBend

Upon completing the Clean, proceed to execute the Jerk. This step is straightforward; shift the barbell from your shoulders to fully extended above your head. The differentiation between a Clean and Jerk and a Deadlift lies in the Deadlift being a continuous, single-motion activity requiring more time. Conversely, a Jerk should take merely a second. With the weight already resting on your shoulders, a quick explosive arm motion propels the barbell upwards. Upon completing the Jerk, cautiously return the barbell to the Clean position and then lower it back to the ground gradually.

Similar to free weights, barbells are available in various weights and densities. Therefore, commence with a manageable weight and gradually progress to more challenging options.

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