Barbell Biceps Curl
The barbell curl is a pure biceps mass builder. This is very simple exercise to perform but as with all other exercises, the form is very important. To get the most from this exercise, you must learn to use your biceps to move the weight. Learn how to use your biceps to move the weight without using your body weight and you’ll start to build well shaped biceps.
Hold a barbell or E-Z bar with palms facing forward. Your grip should be shoulder-width apart. The bar should rest on the front of your thighs with your wrists straight, not bent.
Stand in a split-stance position with knees slightly bent to stabilize your body. Brace your torso by contracting your abs. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Your head and neck should be aligned with your spine.
Exhale. Contract your biceps, bending your elbows, and raising the bar toward the front of your shoulders in a slow and controlled manner. Keep your torso erect and the wrists in neutral. Do not allow the shoulders to shrug, the back to arch or the elbows to move forward throughout this movement.
Inhale. Straighten the elbows and lower the barbell back to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner. Do not bounce the bar off the front of your thighs.
As some of us show structural differences at the elbow, we may not be able to grip the barbell with our arms against our sides in the lowered position unless we force a bend at our wrists. The grip position you select should be the one that is most comfortable and enables you to keep the wrists aligned with the forearm.
Barbell Overhead Triceps Extension
This is a classic exercise for triceps, but you should be careful and I don´t recommend it if you have lower back issues. As you imagine, holding a weight behind your head creates tension in your lower back.
Stand-up holding a barbell or e-z bar with palms facing forward and hands closer than shoulder width apart. Feet about shoulder width apart. Lift the barbell above your head until your arms are fully extended. Keep your elbows in.
Inhale. Keeping your upper arms close to your head and elbows in, lower the barbell behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move.
Exhale as you contract your triceps, extending your arms to the starting position.
Barbell Upright Row
This is a basic exercise for your trapezius and will help to build a strong back.
Grasp a barbell with a grip slightly less than shoulder width. The bar should be resting on your thighs with your arms extended and a slight bend in your elbows. Keep your back straight.
Exhale and use the traps to lift the bar, raising your elbows up and to the side. Keep the bar close to your body as you raise it as much as you can. Your elbows should drive the motion, and should always be higher than your wrists.
Inhale and lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position. Repeat.
Reverse Grip Bent-Over Row
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, with your toes pointed forward.
Grasp the bar just wider than the knees with palms facing up. Keep your spine straight, shoulder blades pulling down and back, chest lifted and head in line with your spine. Your heels should be on the floor.
Exhale. Lift the bar off the floor by simultaneously straightening your hips and knees to a 3/4 upright position where the barbell rests midway on your thigh with your arms straight. This is the starting position. Inhale.
Exhale again and slowly pull the bar toward your torso, contracting your lats, until it touches your abdomen. Maintain a rigid spine without any movement or change in the shape in your back. Keep both feet firmly planted on the floor while maintaining a slight bend in the knees and hips.
Inhale and slowly lower the bar back to the starting position while maintaining your back, hip, knee, and foot position. Keep the shoulder blades squeezing together and the abdominal muscles engaged. Repeat.
At the end of the set, bend the hips and knees to lower the bar to the floor.