Bar Workout Routine - Benefits and Exercises to Try

If we have a bar available to train with, we have the ability to practice a multitude of exercises and even form our own bar workout routine.
Bar Workout Routine - Benefits and Exercises to Try

Last update: 29 August, 2018

When we think of a gym, a CrossFit routine, or any other type of muscular training, without a doubt, the first accessory that comes to mind is the bar. Using a bar as part of your workout routine has numerous benefits that meets different needs. Would you like to know more? We’ll show you a bar workout routine for exercises that you can try on your own.

There are two different types of bar workouts. Some exercises require you to pull the bar towards the body, while others consist of exerting force against the floor, to lift your body with your weight to move away from the floor. 

In addition to these two main types of bar exercises, there are many other exercises we can do to create a bar workout routine and gain muscle mass, strength, and resistance. So, what benefits do we get from a bar workout routine?

Benefits of training with a bar

Pull ups are a great addition to a bar workout routine.

These types of exercises can be very beneficial for our bodies. In the beginning, they can prove to be a bit difficult. With time and practice, you’ll start gaining strength , and you’ll be able to increase your repetitions and weight. This initial difficulty is one of the main reasons why the majority of gym-goers turn away from a bar workout routine.

Nevertheless, training with a bar brings many benefits:

  • Increase body strength: this is because the flexor muscles are all being worked – the biceps, the latissimus dorsi, and the trapezius, among others.  
  • Improve functionality in the body: as the body lifts its own weight, these exercises strengthen the connection between the nervous system and the muscular system.
  • Stimulate movement in the upper body: desk jobs today require us to spend a lot of time seated and stationary. Using the bar to do pull-ups will help us to combat this problem.
  • Improve posture: this is because the back muscles are being worked, resulting in a straight and elongated posture.
  • Reduce back pain: by working the back muscles, you’re preventing potential injuries in the back.
  • Burn fat: as you work your abdominal region, you’ll reduce fat in your waist, back, and biceps.

An example of a bar workout routine

There are many types of exercises you can add to your bar workout routine.

If you’ve decided to try a bar workout routine, you can start out with the following sequence of exercises. If you train with a personal trainer or attend a gym, let them know that you’d like to include these exercises in your routine.

1.- Inverted rows

For this exercise, you’ll either need a medium-height bar or two vertical poles that can support your body weight. Hold on to the bar with your grip on the bar, and your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly extend your arms until they’re almost completely extended and then return to the starting position.

Important: correct form requires us to maintain a straight back and a slight squat position throughout the exercise. You’ll need to complete five sets of ten repetitions.

2.- Pull-ups with a supine grip

To work out your biceps on the bar, you can perform pull-ups with a closed, supine grip. The palms of your hands should be facing towards your face, (not away from your face) and your hands should grip the bar at slightly less, than shoulder-width apart.

The exercise consists of lifting your body with your arms, which also requires engaging your back muscles. You want to lift your body so that your chest is as close to the bar as possible, and then slowly let your body return to almost its full extension. Again, it’s a good idea to start with five sets of ten repetitions. As we improve, we can progress to more sets and more repetitions.

3.- Leg lifts with the bar

This is an abdominal exercise that also requires using the bar. You’ll need to hang from the bar with a prone grip (palms facing away from your face) and your hands at shoulder-width apart. Then, lift your knees up to your chest. Repeat this exercise at fifteen repetitions per set, and you can do up to five sets.

4.- Classic pull-ups or pull-ups with assistance

Classic pull-ups are performed with a prone grip and with the hands shoulder-width apart, or maybe slightly wider. We should cross our legs and, keeping our back straight, lift our chest towards the bar using all of our strength to flex our arms.

If you’re new to this exercise, it might be difficult to complete. To start out, you can try placing a chair or a bench beneath you to support you as you lower yourself from the bar. You can also try tying an elastic band to the bar and using the other end to support your feet. This band should help you to lift and lower your body. Or, you could ask a friend to hold your feet for you, as you do the exercise. Start with four, six, or eight, repetitions and do a maximum of three sets.

5.- Burpees with a bar

Lastly, if you’re someone who enjoys challenges, and you want to add a little cardio to your routine, you can combine the bar with a classic CrossFit exercise: the burpee. Perform a regular burpee, except instead of finishing with a jump, finish with a pull-up on the bar.

In this video, you can see how it’s done. You can try with five repetitions per set.

In addition to the exercises that we’ve explained in this article, there are many other alternatives to bar workout routines. Get to know your options and challenge yourself! Soon enough, you’ll notice incredible changes to your body.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.