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Sold under such brand names as Gaiam®, Valeo®, and Body Bar®, a body sculpting bar is a piece of strength training equipment that is available in a variety of weights and can be used to perform a wide range of exercises, from lunges to bicep curls. It is offered in weights ranging from three to upwards of 25 pounds, is usually three or four feet long and up to two inches in diameter, and often is encased in rubber for a comfortable grip. This kind of workout equipment is popular in health clubs and home gyms for its convenience because it stores easily and does not require attaching weight plates to a bar. It is also widely considered to be user-friendly and is favored by novice and advanced exercisers alike.
The body sculpting bar can be incorporated into a strength training workout as a substitute for other free-weight equipment such as dumbbells. It can be placed across the shoulders when performing squats or lunges, for instance, to add external resistance to one’s own body weight. When performing presses, rows, tricep extensions, or bicep curls, the body sculpting bar can be used exactly like a barbell. Because it is much shorter than a conventional barbell, however, it can be held in one hand like a dumbbell during unilateral, or one-sided, moves such as single-legged squats. Finally, it can be added to core exercises such as crunches to provide additional resistance.
Though the bar is commonly used in strength-training exercise classes, it is also popping up in hybrid yoga sculpting workouts. Yoga body sculpting classes and videos are gaining popularity through promotion by celebrity trainers such as Tanja Djelevic. In these workouts, the body sculpting bar may be used in conjunction with core-strengthening exercises or used for support during balance moves. For instance, while holding a pose with arms overhead, one can hold the bar in the air for external resistance, or while performing an abdominal-strengthening move such as a core rotation, in which one sits on the floor with knees bent and rotates the torso from side to side, the bar can be held in front of the body for an added challenge.
Body sculpting bars are relatively lightweight. Because of this, the bar is considered versatile enough to tone and strengthen in yoga-inspired workouts as well as more traditional strength workouts. More experienced exercisers, however, are advised to upgrade to heavier free weights once the body sculpting bar no longer provides adequate resistance.
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