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A Guide to Applying DNS/PRI Principles to Powerlifting (Part 2: Bench Press)

A Guide to Applying DNS/PRI Principles to Powerlifting (Part 2: Bench Press)

If you’re a trainer: As with the hips, respect the structure, build a good foundation/alignment, and generally things will fall into place with more complex skills, Train the sagittal plane and restore a “neutral” thoracic spine curvature and ribcage position before dealing with any rotation or left to right asymmetries, If there is an asymmetry, some transverse plane work with a right rotation bias is a great progression once the sagittal plane has been taken care of Favoring some right ribcage/thoracic rotation with a neutral or even left rotated pelvis in other aspects of the training can be useful in restoring balance and improving performance.   If you’re a powerlifter/meathead/just want to lift without feeling like your body is going to fall apart: Bracing is good, but if you can’t get into a good spine/ribcage/pelvis position, you’re leaving some of that brace on the table, Rounding your shoulders isn’t inherently bad, in fact, it can make for an excellent recovery position from regular powerlifting training, Some asymmetrical work for the shoulders can be useful in balancing out your bench press and making it symmetrical. More specifically, creating more right rotation in your warmups may help to balance things out.     If you haven’t already seen Part 1 to this series, I strongly recommend reading that first as it lays down the groundwork for what we are diving into here. Today’s installment in the PRI/DNS to Powerlifting series will focus in on the bench press. One of the central points with PRI is how the human body is asymmetrical. I’m sure you’ve seen people stand in line at the...
A Guide to Applying DNS/PRI Principles in Powerlifting (Part 1: Squat)

A Guide to Applying DNS/PRI Principles in Powerlifting (Part 1: Squat)

TL:DR Version If you’re a trainer: As always, respect the structure, build a good foundation/alignment, and generally things will fall into place with more complex skills, If you don’t already, work on some frontal/transverse plane control work through the trunk/hips… Favoring left hip rotation via left hamstrings and adductors/right glute max in your supplemental work can be a very useful tweak to otherwise symmetrical training If you’re a powerlifter: As much as you think you might be bracing, you can probably do a better job by getting some of the deeper “core” muscle to work in sync with the rest of them by creating better IAP, Asymmetry exists within your body and as such, training symmetrically all the time might not be the best course of action, especially with your accessories. Some of your lower body accessory work and/or warmups should be asymmetrical to counteract this, Instead of mindlessly stretching as a warmup, address the problem head on with some of these asymmetrical exercises I showed above. They’ll not only feel good and get you better warmed up than foam rolling, but they’ll also help you move better and more efficiently. More efficiency=more weight lifted. Hard to argue with that.     For anyone who has trained with me for powerlifting in person over the last couple years, you’ll know that I draw a lot of the stuff that I do outside of the standard exercise programming (percentages, block structure, etc) from the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) and Dynamic Muscular Stabilization (DNS). These are both systems which focus around the role of the diaphragm, and breathing’s impact on movement...
How to Program Your Powerlifting Accessory Work

How to Program Your Powerlifting Accessory Work

The powerlifts unto themselves offer a lot to be gained in the long term with proper planning and progressive overload, though when trained in isolation they can leave some stones unturned when it comes to long term development, muscular balance, and general muscularity. Not to be confused with secondary and supplementary movements such as pause squats, pin press, block pulls, etc. which are generally a derivative of the main lifts, accessory movements are generally smaller/less stressful exercises. This is due to 2 things: 1. They use inherently lighter loads that have to be used due to the nature of the exercise, 2. In the context of a powerlifting program, the goal is not to get the best barbell row (or other accessory lift), therefore it will not be as much of a focus in the program. Before we begin, let’s outline some key components as to why and if you should even bother doing lifts outside of the squat, bench, and deadlift. From a movement quality standpoint, accessory exercises will help to iron out the natural imbalances a powerlifting program will create as well as maintain joint/tendon health. This could be pulling muscles (upper back) that are not strong compared to the pressing muscles in the shoulders (chest, shoulders, etc), or strengthening the abs relative to the back. The idea behind this is preventing nagging injuries from developing in the long run is easier to do if you are proactive about it. From this point of view, I believe every powerlifter should be doing some form of “injury prevention” type accessory work. The second main appeal to accessories is...