No Barbell? Grab a Fitness Bar and Try these Exercises Instead
The barbell is one of the most important pieces of exercise equipment for strength training. It offers versatility for a wide range of upper and lower body exercises and — when accompanied by a bench, rack, and a variety of weight plates — gives you everything you need for a full-body workout. The drawback is that it’s cumbersome. If you don’t have a gym membership, and you don’t have a lot of space in your home to dedicate to a permanent workout station, you’re out of luck. That’s where the ExerBand Fitness Bar comes in.
Designed to work with elastic resistance tubing instead of weight plates, the ExerBand Fitness Bar is a barbell alternative that is low cost, takes up very little space, and can be used to replicate just about any barbell exercise. If you want the best at-home exercise equipment but you’ve got a limited budget and limited space, it’s worth a look.
Strength Training with the ExerBand Fitness Bar
A barbell works best with a variety of weights along with an adjustable bench for certain exercises. For squats, a rack to hold and load the barbell can be helpful. With the ExerBand Fitness Bar, no bench is necessary. You do need resistance tubing, which comes in a variety of strengths from light to extra heavy. Also helpful (but not necessary) is a device like an exercise rail that lets you easily anchor the tubing to a wall. (Without an exercise rail, you can use a door as an anchor point.)
Squat — For squats with a barbell, you stand with feet shoulder width apart and rest the barbell across the posterior part of your shoulders. Flex at the hip and bend the knees, lowering yourself as if you’re sitting onto a chair. Form is important. You want to send your butt back without crossing your knees over your toes. The exercise is similar with the ExerBand Fitness Bar. The only difference is that instead of weights, you have resistance tubing attached to the bar and anchored underfoot.
Chest Press — With the barbell, a bench press is performed by lying on a bench and pushing the bar up above your chest. Inclining the bench upward changes the angle a bit, working a different part of your chest. Alternatively with the ExerBand Fitness Bar, the exercise is performed standing up with the resistance tubing anchored to the wall or door behind you. Instead of pushing up, you push out from your chest. You’re not working against gravity here, but against the anchored resistance tubing. Lowering the anchor point of the tubing turns this into an incline exercise.
Bicep Curls — As with the squat, bicep curls with the Fitness Bar are performed standing up, with the resistance tubing anchored underfoot. For both exercises, resistance can be changed either by changing the tubing to a different weight or adjusting the amount of slack that you’re standing on.
Rows — With the barbell, you perform bent-over rows by standing with knees slightly bent and torso angled forward, then you pull the barbell up while bending your elbows and pulling your shoulder blades inward toward the spine. The equivalent exercise with the ExerBand Fitness Bar works against the band’s resistance, not against gravity. You can be either standing or seated with the band anchored to the wall or door in front of you. Then pull the bar toward you, moving your elbows and a shoulder blades in a similar fashion.
Shoulder Press — Like a military press or push press with the barbell, the shoulder press with the Fitness Bar involves standing and pushing the bar overhead from the upper chest toward the ceiling. Stand on the resistance tubing and adjust the resistance as necessary. Alternatively, the exercise can be performed seated with the tubing anchored low to a wall or door.
As you can see, most exercises performed with the barbell can be replicated (if not exactly duplicated) with the ExerBand Fitness Bar. Even if you can’t get to the gym and you don’t have the space in your house for a full weight set, there’s still no reason you can’t get in some full body strength training.