Monday, November 09, 2009

Powerlifting Basics and Key Points, by Joe

Powerlifting Movements


1. Low Bar Position
2. Wide Leg
3. Use Box as aid
4. Increased hip flexion
5. Knees perpendicular to floor

The purpose of this squat is to train the hips. Therefore we use a box, a wide stance, and a low bar position (across the shoulders below the upper traps).

Pull yourself into the box by using your hip flexors. Keep the shins perpendicular to the floor which places the load in the hips and leads to a greater forward bend with the back….your stomach will pretty much rest between your legs. Make sure to keep yours eyes up which will help keep your spine neutral. Also, be sure to pull the bar through your lats down into your body creating a strong back.

Breathe deep and push against the belt as you squat. Make sure your breathe in through the nose. Hold the breath to create internal pressure and stabilize the spine giving you additional strength. Exhale at the top as you come out of the box.

Once you touch the box, relax your hip flexors slightly erecting your body count one one thousand and re-engage your hip flexors exploding up through your hips.

Conventional Deadlift

1. Feet Hip Width (tighter COG)
2. Greater emphasis on hips and back
3. Arms outside legs
4. Shoulders/Arm pits over bar for leverage…different leverage than sumo
5. Great for improving Clean

Start with a legs hip distance apart and hands grab the bar in a double over or mixed grip (over/under) position. Shoulders over the bar, arm pits in line with bar and bar touching the shins. Stay tight and compact and imagine that you are wedging yourself into the ground.

Once you set engage the lats linking your arms to the shoulders and the bar to your body and take a deep breathe through the nose to the belly bracing your core against a belt (imaginary or real), keep your head up and eyes forward to make sure you keep your back in a neutral position.

To begin the lift push your feet into the ground driving through your hips and legs as you explosively lift the bar of the gorund, grazing your shins as it travels beyond your knees and you pull your hips through making sure that your hips, knees and shoulders all finish at the same time.

This is a single movement and all major parts and joints involved should start and finish the move at the same time. Do not be lazy in the hips or back, making sure to keep a strong neutral spine, lats tight, core engaged and hips aggressively extending in an effort to lift the bar off the floor.

Sumo Deadlift

1. Wide Leg Stance, toes out to accommodate
2. Less Hip Flexion
3. More Leg Drive
4. Arms inside hips

Wide stance with toes turned out so the knees and toes can track properly (knee should point in same direction of middle toes). Place hands on bar shoulder width apart and shoulders slightly over the bar for optimal leverage. Sit in your hips as you pull the bar up your body sliding along the shins. Make sure to lock the shoulders into the sockets connection the bar, arms,and shoulders to the upper torso and more importantly making the body and bar all in piece and connected to the ground.

Bench Press

1. Engage your lats and retract your shoulder blades
2. Lift your rib cage and keep lifted throughout movement & do not round your shoulders at all!
3. Push yourself away from bar and into bench
4. Crush the grip and bend the bar as you press
5. Push in a straight line, bar comes to lower part of chest (nipple area)

Bench Press in powerlifting terms is a lat and triceps exercise. Prior to performing the move be sure to set your shoulder blades into the bench creating an arch in your low back. Note: tight your glutes and press your feet in the floor to prevent your low back from compressing and to give you additional pressing power due to the whole body being tight and engaged.

Get help with the lift off bringing the bar over your chest, check that your lats are engaged, shoulders pinned back against the bench and chest/ribcage lifted.

Lower in a controlled manner to the nipple area pulling the bar into your chest, then press explosively from the lats and triceps pushing yourself away from the bar and into the bench…stay arched and make sure not to round the shoulders as you press. Remember the bar travels a straight path up, once locked out either repeat or set the bar back onto the rack.

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