When people think of bodybuilding exercises, they inevitably think of weights. That’s because all of the classic bodybuilding moves are performed with the help of a barbell. The squat, bench press, power clean, overhead press, and deadlift all make use of a barbell to get the job done. However, there are many bodybuilding exercises that can be performed without a barbell, which will help open the doors to even greater success with your training.
There are several different reasons why you may be interested in bodybuilding exercises without using weights. On the one hand, you can exercise at home and not have the services of a bar. Or maybe you travel a lot and have to use hotel gyms and the like that have a few machines and some free weights, but no barbell. Suddenly, when you’re used to having weights around and then not, you realize you’ve been taking them for granted all this time.
Alternatively, you may be looking for a way to inject some fresh life into a boring routine, or target different parts of your body individually to help balance weak spots and prevent injury. Regardless of the reason, all bodybuilding exercises can be changed to be performed without the traditional barbell.
Starting with a few simple changes, you can remove the bar from many exercises and replace it with two dumbbells without having to change the movement itself much. The bench press, for example, can be performed with two dumbbells, either pressing at the same time or alternately. Squats can be performed by holding a dumbbell on each side of your body with your arms straight, or they can be performed by holding a dumbbell in front of your chest. The last of which is called the goblet squat.
Deadlifts can be performed in the same movement but with the use of two dumbbells placed in front of your feet, and of course you can also complete shoulder presses with dumbbells. Clearly, the barbell can be completely eliminated from your routine if you want to or need to for any of the reasons listed above.
The only one of the bodybuilding exercises mentioned above that cannot be switched directly to dumbbells is the power clean. However, there are many exercises you can do instead that will provide great benefits. For example, you can perform bent-arm rows for your mid-back and you can perform dumbbell shrugs at your sides. You can also perform pull-ups and chin-ups for the back.
Don’t be afraid that if you lose access to a barbell, you’ll also lose your muscle-building exercises. Almost all of the great barbell exercises can be performed using dumbbells, or replaced with other effective bodybuilding movements and routines. So whether you’re looking for some variation or a way to ensure your workout stays intact in your basement, you don’t have to worry.