5 barbell exercises for women

Achieve your dream physique with these intense and effective barbell exercises. Here are some of the best barbell exercises for women.

Muscle loss causes metabolism to stall, resulting in flabby skin, physical weakness and fat accumulation. But panic won’t help! Doing weight exercises thrice a week may help to prevent or even reverse this. Although dumbbells are often used during weight training, barbells have also gained popularity in the fitness world. Let us tell you some of the best barbell exercises for women, their benefits and side effects.

What is a barbell?

A barbell is a long, straight, cylindrical rod with varying diameters that is used to burn fat and assist in toning and tightening muscles. You may use it for a range of activities. It’s safe and ideal for beginners, but must be used under expert guidance.

Woman doing barbell exercise
Barbell exercises have many benefits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Barbell workouts for women

Take a look at these five full-body barbell exercises for women, suggested by fitness instructor Yash Agarwal, who has also shared the benefits and side effects of workout with barbells.



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Place the barbell on the upper back (traps). Feet shoulder-width apart.


  • Lower hips back and down.
  • Keep knees in line with toes.
  • Descend until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Drive through heels to return to the starting position.

2. Deadlifts


  • Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • Grip the barbell with hands shoulder-width apart.


  • Hinge at the hips, keeping the back straight.
  • Lower the barbell towards the ground.
  • Keep the bar close to the body.
  • Lift by extending the hips and knees simultaneously.

3. Overhead press


  • Start with the barbell at shoulder height.
  • Grip slightly wider than shoulder-width.


  • Press the barbell overhead.
  • Keep the core engaged to protect the lower back.
  • Lower the barbell back to shoulder height.

4. Bent-over rows


  • Hinge at the hips, chest parallel to the ground.
  • Grip the barbell with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.


  • Pull the barbell towards the lower chest.
  • Keep elbows close to the body.
  • Lower the barbell with control.

5. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) with barbells

Barbell complex

Combine exercises like squats, deadlifts, rows, and presses into a sequence. Perform each exercise for a set number of reps without resting between. Rest for a short period between rounds. Repeat for multiple rounds to elevate heart rate and burn calories.

Tabata barbells

Choose one or more barbell exercises. Perform each exercise at maximum effort for 20 seconds.

“Always prioritise proper form over heavy weights, gradually increasing intensity to avoid injuries. Consider consulting a fitness professional for personalised guidance,” says Agarwal.

Woman doing barbell exercise
Know the side effects of doing barbell exercises. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the benefits of barbell exercises for women?

1.Strengthens body

Exercises with a barbell are a good way to increase the amount of muscle in your entire body. For those who want to improve their pecs, quads, and other muscles, barbell workouts are an excellent option.

2. Improves your athletic performance

Exercises with barbells assist in developing upper and lower body muscles, which enhances power and speed in a variety of sports.

3. Improves your posture

Barbell exercises, when performed correctly, will strengthen the muscles in your stabiliser, which will help you maintain a straight back and erect posture.

What are the side effects of using a barbell?

There are always pros and cons of everything. Similarly, using a barbell for workouts has some side effects.

Which is the appropriate weight of barbells for women?

The weight depends on the following factors:

  • Beginners: Start with a light barbell (15-20 lbs) to focus on form.
  • Intermediate: Gradually increase to a weight challenging for 8-12 reps.
  • Advanced: Tailor weights based on fitness goals; vary between light and heavy for diverse training.

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