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The Guide to Powerlifting Technique article series endeavors to address Powerlifting technique in a very different way from the usual. Unlike so many others, I do not suggest that you “do what works for you”. To paraphrase legendary powerlifter Rickey Dale Crain, individual muscular strengths and weaknesses might dictate where your stance and grip width are at the present, but not where they should be. Rather than simply trying to do “what works for me”, this article series uses biomechanics, physics, logic, AND real world results to present the optimal techniques for powerlifting. Rather than suggest you copy a world recorder holder, or merely tell you how to perform the lifts, this series provides precise scientific explanations for WHY you should perform the lifts as suggested.
This article lays the foundation for the rest of the series. If you plan to get anything out of the technique guides and how-to’s, this is a must read. Without a solid understanding of moment force, leverage, and efficiency in the context of the lifter/barbell system, the reasons why I suggest why I suggest, in terms of technique, will not make sense to you. Regardless of whether or not you intend to make any technical changes, the physics discussed in this article will help you refine and improve the techniques you already use.
Using the principles put forth in the first installment of the series, this piece delves deeply into the leverages involved in squatting. Many people make reference to “powerlifting leverages”, but few talk about the fact that you can actually quantify the leverage that you have to overcome on any given lift. This article discusses exactly how you can do that with regards to your squat. More importantly, several recommendations are presented that actually reduce the leverage you must overcome on your heavy squat attempts.
This series is about more than just theory. In this article, and the companion video, lifters are shown exactly how to put the previously discussed scientific principles into practice. Using real world examples, lifters are shown how best to squat to move the most weight possible. If you’re looking for cues and form advice, this is where you’ll get actual examples.
In much the same manner as Part II, Part IV addresses the theory behind optimal powerlifting bench press technique. Using a combination of moment arm analysis and range of motion reduction, a model of the powerlifting bench press is presented. The bench press is the most technically complicated of all three powerlifts. A solid theoretical understanding of what is going on is essential to understanding how to actually bench.
In this article/video piece, we cover how to perform the most technically complex movement in all of powerlifting: the bench press. The bench press is the one lift where I get the single most carryover from “technique optimization”. Most lifters, besides those who have very big gaps between sumo and conventional, report the same thing. It is to your utmost benefit to learn the ins and outs of how to perform the powerlifting style bench press.
If you’ve been following the Powerlifting Technique series thus far, you’ve probably seen that the bench and squat pieces were divided up into two parts: form analysis and form execution. For the deadlift, three parts will be necessary. We will do form analysis and form execution next and last respectively, but this first piece touches upon the basic mechanics that go behind deadlifting. While the first part of this series already covered general mechanics and how they relate to powerlifting, the deadlifting is its own beast. To ensure an accurate working model of for future deadlift content, this entire article is dedicated to nothing but the scientific principles that govern proper deadlift mechanics.
Have you ever wondered whether you should pull sumo or conventional? Have you ever wondered if rounding your back was okay? Have you ever wanted more than an opinion answer to these questions? If so, this article is for you. Using mechanical analysis and logic, this installment of the powerlifting technique series breaks down which pulling style is optimal for powerlifting. The conclusion might not be quite what you were expecting.
Leaving no stone unturned, “How to Deadlift like a Powerlifter” covers every single detail of deadlift setup and execution. Everything from head position, to foot position, to back angle, to stance width, grip width, lockout technique, and a whole lot more are discussed, analyzed, and optimized for powerlifting. This is where all of the deadlift theory is brought together into a coherent whole. It is time to actually pull!
Table of Contents
Part I: The Scientific Principles of Powerlifting Technique
Part II: Squat Form Analysis
Part III: How to Squat Like A Powerlifter
Part IV: Bench Form Analysis
Part V: How to Bench Press Like A Powerlifter
Part VI: Deadlift Setup Science
Part VII: Deadlift Form Analysis
Part VIII: How to Deadlift Like a Powerlifter
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