In the gym we can find numerous devices, machines and elements with which to carry out our workouts in multiple ways, and one of them is the bars (to which we can incorporate disks of different weight). Mainly there are usually two types of bars: a short bar that normally weighs ten kilosand the so-called olympic bar weighing twenty kilos .

As the intention of today is to plan a full body workout with just one bar, we are not going to talk about the Z bar , since it is used almost exclusively for monoarticular exercises and today we will focus on multiarticles basically.

Press bench

The bench press is one of the great exercises that everyone, except for the existence of injury or functional limitation , should include in their routine because of the impact it has on increasing the strength of our upper body , since it does not only work pectoral musculature as the main muscle but also affects our triceps greatly (in addition, the more we close the width of the grip, the more we will be recruiting the triceps and less the pectorals).

In addition to the pectorals and triceps , another muscle that will work during the execution of this exercise to provide stability is the shoulder , especially the sleeves of the rollers, which will be the main victim in case we do not use an adequate technique to perform it


As we have said on many occasions, squats are the star exercise when we talk about working the anterior muscles of the lower body , that is, the quadriceps, although this exercise will also require a great activation of our entire central segment (also called core) to stabilize us and help us adopt a more compact posture that minimizes the risk of injury .

Military Press

Classic exercise to work the shoulders and we can do both with the bar of ten kilos and the twenty. Obviously, and leaving aside the difference of ten kilos between both, an aspect that will mark the difficulty of this exercise is the length of the bar that we use, since the longer, the farther the weight of our vertical axis will beand the more effort we will have to perform to keep us balanced laterally.

As it happens in squats, in the realization of the military press our core will intervene in a primordial way to perform a stabilization of the whole body , so the higher the loads, the more the core will work and, if we lean too much backwards to compensate for the lack of strength of our core, the greater risk of injury at the lumbar level we will have .

Dead weight

The deadlift is an exercise that usually generates some debate, because there are those who include it among the exercises focused on the work of the femoral muscles and those who place it in the section of exercises for the back , and the truth is that both approaches are totally valid : works both parts, although perhaps with a certain predominance of back work.

From my experience, if we want to try to focus a little more work on our femorals , a small one that we can use is the “chicken ass”: take the ass as far back as possible without this supposing that we destabilize. But I repeat, this is a way of working that personally helps me to feel more work in the femorals . If you want to try it and leave here some comment on what you think, great.

Rowing with bar

The main objective of this already classic exercise is the work of the musculature of our back . Generally, when we go to a gym we tend to train more that “we can see” muscles, that is, the anterior part of our body: chest, biceps or quadriceps and we leave a little careless the muscles of our posterior chain: back, deltoid posterior or femoral. And this is a very serious error that, in the long run, will cause us injuries due to the muscular decompensations that we are creating ourselves.

In addition, our back is part of a fundamental axis in our body, and as a fact to point out, approximately 80-85% of the population suffers or has suffered at some time back problems that could have been prevented with an adequate strengthening work of the posterior musculature .

Strings with bar

To carry out this exercise we must bear in mind that, unless we have a rack on which to place the bar at the beginning, we will not be able to work with an excessive weight , since we will have to take the bar from the ground and place it after the nape (and this without hitting our heads or arching our backs or suffer any type of injury).

Once this has been clarified, we must point out that the strides are a great complement to the work of squats and deadlifts , and they will contribute to forming an iron quadriceps. In addition to working the anterior muscles of our lower body , the strides will also allow us to work our core as a stabilizing element , since the weight handled is on both sides of our body and will generate some instability.

Front elevations with bar with supine grip

In the article about the best exercises to work the shoulders in the gym , I presented this exercise to you. It is undoubtedly a magnificent work focused almost exclusively on the anterior head of our shoulders , and that the moment we select a high weight, it will be very difficult to perform, so again I remind you again the recommendation to start with light weights until you acquire enough strength (do not trust the first repetitions, because it is an exercise that burns a lot and you could suffer an injury ).

You can start to make, for example, only with the short bar weighing ten kilos and gradually add weight.

Abdominal wheel with bar

For this exercise we only need to place a disc on each end of the bar, regardless of the weight (yes, the larger the disc, the higher the bar will be located.) As you can see in the video, the movement It is simple, but at the same time it is demanding for our core.

Full body routine proposal to perform in the gym

Com final point, let’s propose a routine full body type to be able to perform in the gym with only one bar (and the disks that we load, obviously). Keep in mind that all the proposed exercises are multiarticular exercises, so the loads that we will have to work with will be moderate pulling to light, or else our body will suffer. I can not specify a weight to select because each person is a world, but if you want to make an idea, I would not use a weight greater than 30-40% of your 1RM .

I wanted to choose a structure “from top to bottom” to organize the exercises in some way, but you can try to intersperse the exercises in the way you like.

  • Military Press : 2 sets of 8 repetitions.
  • Front elevations with supine grip bar : 2 sets of 6 repetitions.
  • Press bench : 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Rowing with bar : 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Squats : 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Deadlift : 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Strings with bar : 2 sets of 10 repetitions (with each leg).
  • Abdominal wheel with bar : 3 sets of 10 repetitions.