Barbell Step Ups


Barbell Step Ups

This Step Ups Variation is a Classic Leg Exercise that Builds all the Leg Muscles as well as Coordination

Welcome to our Barbell Step Ups Exercise Instruction Guide!

On this page you’ll learn how to do this step ups variation using the correct technique. Below you’ll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other Leg Exercises so you can immediately add to your Leg Workouts.

Have you checked out our list of the Best Leg Exercises yet? See if this step ups variation made the list.

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name: Barbell Step Ups
Main Muscle: Quadriceps
Secondary Muscle(s): Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings
Exercise Type: Compound
Equipment Required: Barbell, Bench

Exercise Description and Instruction:

Barbell Step Ups are a a great lower body exercise that builds overall strength as well as coordination. This exercise can also be used to lose body fat, but is less effective than Dumbbell Step Ups in this regard.


To Perform This Exercise:

  1. Place a bench or box one and a half to three feet in front of you.
  2. Grasp a loaded barbell with a comfortable grip and lift it off of a weight rack with it placed across your shoulders.
  3. With your left leg, step up on the bench and press upwards by extending the left hip and left knee while keeping equal pressure on the forefoot and heel.
  4. Follow with your right leg so you are standing on the bench with both feet.
  5. Step down with your left leg and then your right leg to the starting position.
  6. Repeat the movement starting with your right leg.


  1. Be sure that you are pressing upwards with only the lead leg.
  2. Keep your torso straight and upright during the exercise.
  3. The lead knee should point in the same direction as the lead foot throughout movement.

Check out some of our other popular Lower Body Exercises. These pages link to all of our variations of the most popular leg exercises:

  • Calf Raises
  • Deadlifts
  • Front Squat
  • Hack Squats
  • Lunges
  • Split Squats
  • Step Ups

Now that you’ve seen Barbell Step Ups, which primarily targets your Quads, check out all of our different Quadriceps Exercises.

Also view our Leg Exercises Page, which links to our Quadriceps Exercises as well as our Calf Exercises, Glute Exercises and Hamstring Exercises.

Finally, if you found this page of interest, check out these related pages:
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