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     Fitness Tips For 5/23/2007

Powerlifting Basics

Powerlifting is a competitive sport that is also used to develop 
the body and help athletes prepare for other sports.  Powerlifting 
allows you to strengthen and perfect your body, test your 
abilities and help you feel good about yourself.  The sport of 
powerlifting was developed to test the strength of its competitors 
in three events; the squat, the benchpress and the deadlift. 

The Squat:
In the squat, the barbell is positioned horizontally across the back
of the shoulders; the hands steady and balance the bar.  From a 
standing position, the lifter bends the knees and lowers the body 
until the top surface of the legs at the hip joint is lower than the
top of the knees.  This defines a correct squat depth; few people 
in the gym squat to this depth.  From this lowered position, the 
lifter returns to an upright, standing position.  Contrary to popular
belief, the squat is not unusually tough on the lower back or knees.
If done properly - straight, upright back, knees in alignment with 
feet - you should experience only the soreness indicative of a good 

The Bench Press:
Most people are familiar with the Bench Press -- lower a barbell 
to your chest and push it up, right? Well, there's a bit more to 
the technique in competitive powerlifting.  First of all, there's
 a pause at the bottom. After you've lowered the bar to your chest 
and it is still, you are given the command to "press" it up.  No 
bouncing the bar off your chest. Also, your head, shoulders, and 
buttocks must remain on the bench and the feet must be flat on the 
floor.  These contact points cannot move during the lift.  Sometimes 
you see lifters get an arch in their back between the buttocks and 

The Deadlift:
The deadlift involves lifting a loaded barbell from the floor (the 
bar is actually about 10" off the ground) to a standing position.  
There are two general styles of deadlifting: conventional and sumo.  
With conventional style, the feet are fairly close together, and the
hands grasp the bar outside of the legs.  The knees and hips are 
bent and do the majority of the lifting; the back must remain as 
straight and upright as possible.  Sumo style uses a very wide 
stance and the arms grasp the bar in front of and between the legs.  
In some cases, the stance is so wide that the toes almost touch the 
plates at either end of the barbell.  From the lowered position, 
the knees and hips are used to drive the body upward.  This style 
is favored often by taller people with longer arms.  The deadlift 
is probably the easiest lift to judge - it goes up or it doesn't.  
However, sometimes a lifter will "hitch" or ride the weight up 
his or her legs. This is not allowed. The lifter must "lock out" 
or be in a full standing position, not hunched forward.

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Neither trulyhuge.com nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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