Similar to battle rope exercises, even the powerlifting exercises focus on core strength and muscle building. The three basic activities involved in powerlifting are the bench press, the deadlift and the squat. These weight lifting exercises are not only useful for bodybuilders and weight lifters, but also for those looking for a leaner and fitter body in general. It helps in improving athletic performance and is equally beneficial for both men and women. Contrary to popular belief, powerlifting does not make you appear bulky; it makes your stronger, leaner and fitter. In this article, we have jotted down the ten most important powerlifting exercises for improving overall strength and lean muscle mass.
5 Convincing Reasons to Include Powerlifting Exercises in your Workout Routine
Powerlifting is a vital part of resistance training that uses body weight and equipment to enhance skeletal strength and muscle mass. It goes beyond the conventional lifting and helps in strengthening each and every muscle of the body.
Improves Strength – Strength is the basic requirement for bodybuilding workouts and powerlifting exercises provides strength by working the muscles of the upper body, back and legs. Powerlifting workouts strengthens almost all the skeletal muscles.
Increased Muscle Size – Powerlifting exercise promotes the release of growth hormone and increases the growth of lean muscle mass that is very important for athletes and sportspersons playing football and hockey.
Quick Fat Loss – Powerlifting workout sessions include intense exercises that burn a great number of calories within a short period of time. It boosts up the metabolism so that the body continues to burn fat long after the exercises are done.
Enhanced Athletic Performance – Most of the exercises included in powerlifting enhance the speed, mobility and flexibility of the body that helps in enhancing athletic performance in games such as wrestling and martial arts.
Increased Bone Health – Resistance training in the form of powerlifting exercises helps in strengthening the bones and increase bone mineral density, thereby reducing the risk of Osteoporosis and other bone related diseases.
10 Kick Ass Powerlifting Exercises for Bodybuilding
Powerlifting exercises are an important part of bodybuilding and strength enhancement. These exercises don’t call for heavy weights and can be done 2 to 3 times every week in orders to promote lean muscle mass.
Any kinds of bench press either using plates or dumbbells are a power-packed bodybuilding exercise that prepares the body for powerlifting. Bench press exercise strengthens the shoulders, chest and triceps and promotes forearm development. Bench press also stabilizes musculature and helps in building muscle mass. Here, we are describing the method to perform Flat Barbell Bench Press and it is best to start with a light weight barbell.
Lie down on the bench is a relaxed way. Have a natural spinal curve so that you back does not stick flat to the bench. Now, hold the bar with both hands placed shoulder width apart and elbows tucked. Now, lift the bar while exhaling and lower it while inhaling and again push it up by pressing your heels on the ground while exhaling. Continue for 50 total reps with 10 reps in each set.
Pull Ups and Pull Downs
The pull ups and pull downs are fundamental upper body exercises that are an important part of bodybuilding workouts. These exercises target several muscles at a time and promote the release of growth hormone. It targets the biceps, back muscles and latissimus dorsi or lats.
Pull Ups: Stand under a strong bar and hold it with both hands, your palms facing away from your face and hands placed shoulder width apart. Start with a dead hang keeping your arms fully extended and core engaged. No, pull your body up by squeezing the core muscles and continue till your chin moves above the bar. Hold for 10 seconds and move down to the dead hang.
Pull Downs: You can perform the pull down by attaching a wide bar to the basic Pull-Down Machine. Sit on a pull-down machine and grasp the bar with both hands, palms facing forward and hands placed a bit more than shoulder width apart. Now, pull your torso back 30 degrees to create a curvature with your lower back and stick your breast out. Bring down the bar to your upper chest while exhaling (squeeze the back muscles as much as you can). Slowly raise back the bar to the starting position while inhaling. Continue for 30 to 50 reps at a stretch.
Strong biceps are the foundation for powerlifting and what better way to strengthen the arms than with curls which are considered as a foundational strength exercise in the group of weight lifting exercises. Bicep curls are the foundation for building huge and strong biceps. There are various types of bicep curls that target the biceps and triceps.
The Standing Barbell Curl: Stand upright by holding a barbell with both hands. Now, lift the barbell to your chest using your arms and shoulders. Don’t move your upper body at any point during the exercise. Slowly lower it down to the starting position. Continue for 50 reps.
Dumbbell Curl: Hold two dumbbells in both hands. Work one hand at a time. Lift the dumbbell in your one hand to your chest and slowly lower it to the level your waist and again raise it. Keep your wrist steady and stiff at all times and continue for 50 reps on both hands.
The military press is a common part of fitness workouts that concentrate on weight training. This exercise can be done with a barbell or a pair of dumbbells and helps in strengthening the basis for powerlifting. It works the triceps, deltoids and shoulder muscles and helps the perfecting the bench press.
Stand upright with your feet placed shoulders width apart and grab the barbell with both hands placed slightly wider than shoulders width apart. Hold the barbell over your chest and start pushing it up slowly above your chin and above your head. Now, slowly lower it to the level of your chest. Keep your abs and glutes flexed at all times during the exercise. Continue for 30 to 50 reps.
Bent Over Rows
The bent over rows are one of the most effective power exercises that help in working the upper-middle back, lats and core muscles. It also helps in developing lumbar strength and contracting and stabilizing the abdominal and lower back muscles. Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart and hold a barbell with both hands, palms facing inward. Bring your torso slightly forward by bending your waist while keeping your back straight.
Make sure that the barbell is hanging from your hands in front of your knees. Now, exhale and lift the barbell up to your waist, keeping the elbows close to the body and using the forearms to lift the weight. Exhale and gradually lower the barbell back to the initial position. Continue for 12 to 15 repetitions at a stretch.
The farmer’s walk is a traditional powerlifting exercise that is often included in the basic weight lifting tips. It helps in working all the muscles of the arms, improves the cardiovascular system and strengthens the grip. The farmer’s walk is the basic Strongman exercise that takes powerlifting to a whole new level. It is also an integral part of tire training.
This exercise is very simple. Just hold two heavyweight dumbbells in both hands and walk around the training area for a minute or more and put it down when your arms get exhausted. Other heavy weights such as a tire or kettlebells can also be used to perform this exercise.
Deadlifts are the bad ass exercise that is essential to athletes and sportspersons. It is not only effective for fast calorie burning, but also for the development of lean muscle mass and core strength. It is the king of bodybuilding workouts that works all the major muscle groups of the upper and lower body and promotes fast fat burning. Begin in the standing position with your feet placed slightly wider than shoulders width apart and toes of the feet under the bar.
Bend forward and grip the barbell with both hands and keep your head up, back flat and chest out. Now, exhale and bring the weight up past the knees keeping the core engaged at all times and finish the lift by thrusting the hips and squeezing the glutes. Once the barbell has been lifted and the arms are straight, rest the barbell against your thighs, wait for 10 seconds to add an isometric dimension to the workout and slowly bend forward at the waist and put back the barbell to the ground. This makes one repetition. Continue for 15 to 20 reps.
Squats are an important part of all kinds of exercise programs right from weight loss to powerlifting and bodybuilding. It is the ultimate lower body workout that works the hamstrings, quads, glutes, abs and back muscles. Deep squats work much better compared to partial or parallel squats with weight. It helps in increasing stability and strength.
Place a barbell bar over your shoulders and grip it with both arms. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulders width apart and squat all the way down to the floor and push back up to the starting position. This makes one repetition. Continue it for 20 to 30 reps at a stretch.
Lunges are an important part of fitness workouts that helps in working the hamstrings and quads and stretches the hip muscles. It promotes the gain of lean muscle mass and helps in developing core strength. It is a multi-joint exercise that works several joints of the body at the same time and aids in strengthening the legs and hips.
Grip to dumbbells in both hands and stand with your feet placed close to each other. Step forward with your right leg and bend it from the knee so that your left knee touches the ground and your left toes remain curled on the ground. Push your body up with the help of your left toes. Now repeat the same with the other leg by stepping forward with your left leg. Continue for 20 reps on both sides.
Leg Press and Leg Curls
Leg press and leg curls are important parts of bodybuilding workouts that helps in strengthening the base for hardcore powerlifting exercises. These lower body movements increase the power of the knees, calves, hamstrings and glutes, helps in building muscular legs and helps in perfecting the squats.
Leg Press: The leg press can be done using a Leg Press Machine. Sit on the machine and set your legs on the platform shoulders width apart. Now, release the bar holding the weights and push the platform up till your legs are fully stretched in front of you. Now, inhale and gradually lower the platform till your legs form 90-degree angles at the knees and gain push the platform up.
Continue to repeat the move till your legs are exhausted. Keep your torso straight and push with the heels of your feet. Don’t forget to place the safety bar on the weights before stepping away from the machine.
Leg Curls: You can use a Leg curl Machine to perform the leg curls. Adjust the machine liver to suit your height and lie face down on the machine. Stretch your legs fully and curl your legs up to pull up the weight while exhaling. Wait for 2 seconds in the fully contracted position and return your legs to the initial position while inhaling. Repeat this exercise till your feel the burn in your leg muscles.
Make powerlifting exercises a part of your training session and repeat it at least 3 to 4 times every week to enhance your endurance level and improve muscle strength so that you can lift heavier weights with greater ease and precision.