The Best Powerlifting Exercises For Optimum Performance

The core exercises of powerlifting would be the bench press, squats, and deadlift. These are compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups in your body. And to best perform all three, you’ll need to focus on exercises that will build strength, in the same way that a bodybuilder would focus on exercises that build size.

Choosing which powerlifting exercise to do to hone and boost your performance can seem like a daunting task – after all, there are a lot of different exercises you can do out there, and an even greater number of variations of those exercises you can try.

Thankfully, we’re here to help you sort through all the noise. We’ll skip workouts for the bench press, squats, and deadlifts, and focus on other exercises that go a long way to help you perfect the Big 3.


A lot of people often underestimate how important building grip strength is, and the farmer’s walk exercise does a great job of not only ensuring you have great grip strength, but it’s also great for building overall strength.

It builds muscles in your abs, legs, and shoulders – and it’s as easy as taking two dumbbells and walking around with them for a prolonged period of time. Build to up carrying heavier and heavier weights.

You can further increase your grip strength by using gym accessories like Grenadier Grips.


Sledgehammer hits are another super easy exercise that has great benefits. All you need is a sledgehammer and tire, and the exercise is just you basically hitting the tire with the hammer over and over again.

Take a sledgehammer over your shoulder, and hit the tire. Repeat. This easy but super intensive exercise works out your entire upper body, your legs, and all the core muscles you want going. It’s also great for cardio.


Power cleans are similar to deadlift exercises, but you have to lift the weight up to your shoulders in one fluid movement.

It’s a compound exercise that’s great not only for powerlifters, but for weightlifters and bodybuilders too. More so than the deadlift, power cleans incorporates your legs, back, chest, shoulders and arms.

When you’re only starting out with this exercise, try to have a friend at the gym watch you. You’ll be lifting weights in the air so you could get hurt if it falls.


It’s a great accessory workout, and mostly engages your shoulder and chest. Similar to power cleans, you’ll be lifting the weight up in the air while in a standing position, so get someone to spot you especially if you’re new to this exercise.


Powerlifting injuries are more common than bodybuilding or weightlifting injuries, and this mostly has to do with how much heavier weights powerlifters use.

ryan terry gunsmith fitness

When exercising with heavy weights, help yourself stay as injury-free as possible by using safety accessories such as gloves, wristwaps, and belts.

Check out our shop for other safety accessories, or other stuff you can use to boost gains!

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