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Build Functional Fitness With This 20-Minute Barbell Workout

If, like many men, your main goal is to trim a bit of excess padding off your waistline, this workout will help you achieve that aim. It will also give you some extra benefits, such as helping you move better. That may not sound exciting but in the long run, it will help you stay injury-free and lift more weight – which, in turn, will make your workouts more effective so that you burn even more fat and add even more muscle.

The workout includes one exercise for each of the four major movement patterns – a pushing exercise, a pulling exercise, a squat and a hinge movement. And for a couple of bonus benefits, we’ve included an explosive move and an abs exercise.

So, to recap, this workout will make you slimmer, faster, stronger and more muscular, while helping you build a six-pack. You’re welcome.

How to do the workout

Do the six exercises in order, sticking to the reps detailed, without resting until you finish all the reps of the sixth and final move of the circuit. Rest for two minutes, then repeat the circuit. Do three circuits in total.

1 Romanian deadlift

Reps 10 Rest 0sec

Stand with your weight on your heels and mid-foot and hold the bar with a shoulder-width grip. With knees slightly bent, hinge at the hips to send the bar down the front of your thighs until you feel a strong hamstring stretch.

2 Bent-over row

Reps 10 Rest 0sec

At the bottom of the final Romanian deadlift, set yourself so that your shoulders are retracted and your core is engaged. Pull the bar up to your bellybutton, leading with your elbows and without changing the angle of your torso.

3 Hang clean

Reps 10 Rest 0sec

Start at the low point of the final bent-over row, making sure your shoulders are retracted and your core is engaged. Explosively push your hips forwards to straighten up, and pull the bar up to catch it at the top of a front squat.

4 Front squat

Reps 10 Rest 0sec

Start at the end of the final hang clean, so the bar is across the front of your shoulders with your elbows and palms up. Keeping your chest up, simultaneously bend at the hips and knees to lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

5 Overhead press

Reps 10 Rest 0sec

From the top position of the front squat, with the bar across the front of your shoulders, lower your elbows so they’re below the bar. Press the bar directly overhead, ensuring that your elbows are directly below the bar throughout the move.

6 Plank

Time 40 seconds Rest 2min

Position yourself so that your body is in a straight line from head to heels with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Don’t let your hips sag because that will stress and potentially injure your back. If your hips sag, stop the exercise.

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