The 5 Best Barbell Exercises Without Bench

Not having a bench will not hold you back from reaching your physical goals if you have a barbell and weights to use. These exercises are a great way to build strength and muscle, in fact, they are some of the most effective exercises available to achieve these goals. In this article, we will introduce you to a variety of barbell exercises that can be done standing up or using just a barbell and weight plates.

3 min read
Sean Klein
Written by
Sean Klein
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  • The 5 Best Barbell Exercises Without A Bench

The 5 Best Barbell Exercises Without A Bench

The deadlift is a compound exercise that works a large number of muscles in the lower body and upper body, including the glutes, hamstrings, quads, back, and shoulders. It is a great exercise for building strength and improving overall muscle mass, however it can be a little bit complex to perform with good technique so make sure that you take the time to perfect your technique before you start to increase the weights used on this exercise.

The floor press is the replacement for bench that would be used if you had access to a bench. It’s not as effective as bench press because of its limited range of motion. That being said it’s an excellent exercise all the same, it will help to build great upper body strength and grow both the triceps and pectoral muscles.

The strict press is the most effective exercise for building strength in the shoulders and the vertical press movement pattern. It is a challenging exercise that can be difficult to load, not taking away from its effectiveness.

The back squat is one of the staple exercises in the realm of strength and conditioning, it targets mainly the muscles in the legs but is very much a full body exercise. It requires both strength and skill to perform with good technique at heavy weights. This doesn’t require a bench at all but should be done with a rack especially if your using challenging weights.

The bent over row is one of the best exercise to build the upper back. It is a tough exercise to perform with good technique as it can be very tempting to use momentum to lift the weight. This should be a key emphasis when learning the movement, to not use momentum to lift the weight. Move with control and do not let the weight pull you out of position.

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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.

Sean Klein


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