Previously, powerlifting was only associated with men. Over the past few years, however, women have made their way into this area of exercise, showcasing incredible endurance, strength and dedication that surpasses everyday gender stereotypes.
Powerlifting tests the body’s maximum strength with the goal of lifting as much weight as possible in a deadlift, bench press and squat. The goal is to always be increasing the weight while maintaining good form. Although challenging, the satisfaction and pride you’ll have from achieving these goals will make you want to keep going! One of the most empowering parts of powerlifting is that there are no requirements for body size , allowing anyone who wants to join in on the fun. The only time that weight is taken into consideration is to create categories in a competition, in order to encourage fairness.
Before you start make sure to always have a workout buddy around to spot you as injuries happen to even the most experienced lifters.
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The deadlift engages multiple muscle groups, including your lower back, hamstrings and glutes, as well as your calves, quads and abs.
With the barbell on the ground, stand above it with your hips above your knees. Flatten your back, and use an overhand grip and straight arms as you slowly pull the barbell up towards you. Tighten your glutes when the barbell is at your thighs. Then, exhale and slowly lower the barbell back down towards the ground.
THE BENCH PRESS
TARGET ZONES: chest, front deltoids, triceps and abs
Lie down on a bench, with your feet fl at on the ground. Place your hands on the barbell just outside of shoulder width. Lift the barbell up, with a focus on your chest, and then lower it back downdown towards your chest. Momentarily pause at the bottom, then push the barbell back up.
TARGET ZONES: glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and quads
This workout is the foundation of powerlifting, as it strengthens tons of muscles needed for other exercises.
First, place your feet at shoulder width, and then place the barbell on your traps. Bend at the knees and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. As you stand back up, contract your glutes. It’s especially important to keep your form during this exercise to avoid injury.
Although competitive powerlifting is focused only on these three exercises, you can add in other moves to help reach your goal or substitute if one of the three are causing pain. The incline press, rack pulls and front squats are some alternatives you can add to your workout routine.
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