Thursday, January 12, 2012

Best Powerlifting Exercise Workouts

To compete in powerlifting you must master the squat, bench press and deadlift. Extra exercises -- called assistance work -- help you build muscle and improve your ability to execute the core lifts. Specific work helps specific lifts, but there is some overlap between the squat and deadlift. Consult a health-care practitioner before beginning any strength-training program.
Assistance work for your squat builds your hamstrings and lower back. These muscles help you straighten up from the bottom of a squat. Your quadriceps -- the muscles on the front of your thighs -- are very active in the squat, but they are most active near the top, when your leverage is superior. Strengthening the muscles that work harder when your leverage is poor is critical. Exercises such as the good morning, razor curl or glute-ham raise, and reverse hyperextension build these critical muscles.
The deadlift requires strength in the lower back and hamstrings, so many of the exercises that build your squat help build your deadlift. Specific exercises for the deadlift include deficit deadlifts, in which you pull from a small platform no more than four or five inches high. This makes the start of your deadlift harder and forces you to work through a greater range of motion. Rack pulls, in which you deadlift from pins set up off of the ground, allow you to work using more weight and specifically overload the muscles used in the deadlift.
Bench Press
Your triceps are the most active muscle in the bench press, according to a 1995 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Extra work for your triceps through close-grip bench pressing builds triceps size and strength and gives you extra pressing practice. Some form of extension, such as lying barbell or dumbbell triceps extensions, also contributes to triceps power. Heavy overhead pressing, whether using a barbell or dumbbells, seated or standing, builds shoulder power that contributes to your bench press.
General Assistance
The wide muscles of your back -- the latissimus dorsi -- contribute to power or stability on all three lifts. Some type of chinup and some type of row are essential. Perform chinups using whatever grip you are comfortable with, and row with either a barbell or a dumbbell. Strong abdominals keep you vertical when deadlifting and help you avoid collapsing under a heavy squat. Some form of heavy, weighted situps or crunches helps build strong abdominals.

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