If you are looking for essential strength-building lifts for a muscular and stellar body, then powerlifting exercises are the ones that you should try and incorporate in your daily fitness regime. Powerlifting consists of three attempts at maximum weight in three big lifts, which consists of squat, bench press, and deadlift. But it’s so much more than lifting heavy things and then putting them back down. Powerlifting follows a periodized strength training approach and values efficiency, safety, and strength. In powerlifting, the body is exposed to different stressors over a period of time, and these periods are organized appropriately to develop a training plan within each workout and strength cycle ranging from 4-6 weeks at a time.
Difference Between Powerlifting and Bodybuilding
Powerlifting training aims to increase maximal strength, especially in movements such as the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Bodybuilding training is less concerned with how much weight is lifted but aims to maximize muscle hypertrophy (growth) as much as possible.
In powerlifting, you compete in the squat, bench press, and deadlift, with the goal of lifting as much weight as possible for 1 repetition. When you compete in powerlifting, you have 3 attempts to reach your max capacity. The winner is determined by adding up the heaviest squat, bench press, and deadlift attempt, which gives you what’s called the powerlifting total. Whereas in bodybuilding, you compete in different physique categories, such as bodybuilding, fitness, wellness, and bikini. Each of these categories has a different type off look that the judges will be basing their criteria on. Generally speaking, the criteria is based on how much ‘muscle mass’ is acceptable and the types of posing routines that are required.
Benefits of Powerlifting Exercises
Powerlifting is capable of boosting your health to the extent. This exercise is way different from the regular weightlifting you do in your gym. While regular weightlifting consists of lifting the weight on a large number of sets and repetitions without involving that much weight. However, powerlifting, on the other hand, is quite contrary to the exercise as powerlifting is a sport where you need to lift as heavy as it’s humanly possible. With the help of this article let’s figure out some of the best powerlifting exercises that are quite beneficial for you.
- Builds Bones – Powerlifting is a weight-bearing exercise which is popularly practised to make muscles stronger. However, there is another aspect of powerlifting which is overlooked by most individuals! Well, with strong and bigger muscles, powerlifting also offers bigger bones. When you involve yourself in a weight-bearing exercise, it will force the osteoblasts in your bones to lay down new bone mass. The more you do powerlifting, the more osteoblasts will lay down which means your bones will be thicker, stronger, and denser with daily practice.
- Builds Muscles Mass – The strength of your muscles can grow exponentially if you are able to reap some regular powerlifting. When you exercise through weightlifting and move to powerlifting eventually, your muscles develop small tears which are termed micro tears. Well, these micro-tears are not necessarily good elements since they do a little damage to your muscles and hurt but a little damage is always good for the greater good. These micro-tears in your muscles heal or grow over a short while with scar tissue or more muscle tissue. This will result in your muscles growing stronger and bigger with time. It is to be noted that the powerlifter should ensure that they are getting enough protein for themselves in order to let their muscles grow fast.
- Promotes Weight Loss – Besides bone and muscle growth, powerlifting also allows to be one of the forefront among the top calorie-intensive types of workouts owing to the amount of strength and energy required for performing this exercise that involves lifting hundreds of pounds at once. It’s quite simply an exercise that requires a lot of energy will obviously be the exercise that will burn a great number of calories on your body real powerlifting can burn calories beyond your imagination.
- Promotes flexibility – Flexibility gets generated while performing powerlifting exercises. Squat one of the powerlifting exercises swells the muscle power of your legs, which eventually helps in making us better at running and jumping. Moreover, the strong legs will come in handy for better balancing abilities because of having a more solid base to stand on.
Best 10 Powerlifting Exercises
1.) Barbell Back Squat – If done right, the barbell back squat is highly effective at strengthening your legs and hips and adding mobility and stability to the whole body. It targets your quads, glutes, hammies, calves, hip flexors, and even abs. With the barbell resting across your traps, stand with your feet a bit wider apart than your shoulders, heels directly under the shoulders (keeping all the weight), toes slightly pointed out, back straight, and core and lats engaged.
2.) Barbell Bench Press – The barbell bench press is another fundamental classic powerlifting exercise fantastic for developing your strength and size. It targets your chest, triceps, front delts, and abs. Lie on a flat bench with both feet flat on the ground, heels pressed into the ground and traps into the bench, shoulders squeezed together for better stability, core braced, lower back slightly arched, and elbows tucked at 45 degrees. Grip the barbell slightly wider than your shoulders and push it straight up without locking out your elbows. Then, lower the bar slowly and pause, ensuring it touches your chest before you press it back up.
3.) Military Press – Overhead or military press can be done using a barbell or dumbbells while sitting or standing. If you’re standing, make sure to get someone to spot you, and always flex your abs and glutes to stabilize the whole body. This movement mostly engages your shoulders and chest, and it’s excellent for increasing your muscle mass, power-based lifts, and promoting good posture. Hold the weight at your shoulder level with the front-facing palms and core braced as you’re pushing the weight over your head. Pause briefly at the top, and bring it back down slowly, without resting at the bottom. Do the next rep immediately.
4.) Barbell Deadlift – The deadlift activates traps, back, abs, hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves. This tried-and-tested exercise’s perfect to increase total-body strength, build muscle, and developing explosive power. Keep your back straight, chest up, and core engaged. Bend with the hips above knees and shoulders over the bar. Grab the barbell with an overhand grip and straight arms around double your shoulder width. Stand up and pull the barbell up your legs in a straight line, locking out your hips, and engaging the glutes and lats. Don’t lean back, shrug your shoulders, or round your lower back. Then, lower the barbell back to the ground, keeping it close to your body while pushing your hips back.
5.) Power Clean – This hip-dominant lift activates almost every muscle, helping you develop speed, increase power, and gain strength if you excel at proper technique. Stand in a deadlift stance, bent down with your back straight, chest out, shoulders squeezed, abs tight, hips pushed back, feet hip-width apart, and a bar across your shins. Grab the bar with a thumb-locked grip, palms facing backwards, arms just outside your legs, and deadlift it. Fully extend your knees and hips to pull the bar straight up past your stomach explosively while quickly dropping your body under it in a partial squat. Rotate your elbows forward to flip the grip and let the bar rest on your shoulders.
6.) Bent-Over Barbell Row – This free-weight exercise in many variations is great for recruiting your biceps, traps, lats, rhomboids, rotator cuffs, back, glutes, and legs. Focusing on these muscles increases your core and lumbar strength, balance out your upper body muscles, improves posture and stabilizes the entire body. Lean forward from the waist, standing with your back straight, neck in line with the spine, core braced, shoulder blades squeezed together, and feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the barbell in an overhand grip with your palms down and arms straight, slightly wider than your shoulders. Pull your elbows behind you, simultaneously pulling the bar up to your lower chest. Hold, then lower it back down in a slow controlled movement.
7.) Farmer’s Walk – This fantastic exercise can help powerlifters build great grip and overall strength and endurance in the farmer’s walk. It’s stupid-simple to perform and engages your shoulders, arms, abs, and legs. Just grab a pair of heavy dumbbells (40-100 pounds), tighten your core, straighten your back, and start walking forward until you’re unable to hold the weights anymore. If you want to take this exercise to the next level, try carrying heavier weights every time, prolonging your time goals, or doing the single-arm version.
8.) Sledgehammer Hits – This is yet another super easy yet highly beneficial powerlifting exercise that can give you a great cardio workout and intensively engage your upper body, core, and leg muscles. Just take a sledgehammer and repeatedly hit the tire with it over your shoulder.
9.) Weighted Pull-Up – This compound one of the powerlifting exercises is great for your biceps and lats can help enhance your neuromuscular stability, athletic performance, connective tissue and bone strength. It prevents muscle imbalances, and shoulder injuries common in powerlifting. The strength you build doing pull-ups may help better control the barbell and increase your strength for the deadlift, bench press, and squats. Attach one end of a resistance band to your waist and the other end to a heavy dumbbell, kettlebell, or barbell on the floor beneath the pull-up bar. Hanging with fully extended arms, pull yourself up explosively until your chin gets above the pull-up bar. Then, return to the starting position using controlled movements.
10.) Lunges – Lunges are one of the best powerlifting exercises, as it offers a complete workout for your hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves, and hip flexors, not putting extra strain on your back. Different exercise variations (front, lateral, and reverse lunges) emphasize different lower body parts. Stand tall, holding a barbell across your traps or a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand. Step forward with one foot, bending your knees to lower the body till your front thigh gets parallel to the floor and your rear knee almost touches the floor.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.