Do You Need to Train Lunges for Powerlifting?

Have you made this mistake with your powerlifting programming that could be leaving you open to injuries?

It’s not a squat, it’s not a deadlift but I’ll be damned if this isn’t in someone’s powerlifting program.

It’s so easy to get carried away with making all of your lower body training comprised of just squats, bench pressing and deadlifts. While these should be the bulk of your program, I’ve found a HUGE hole in so many lifter’s programs that is caused by not including any unilateral (one sided) work.

As humans, we all will have some natural asymmetries.

That’s where proper exercise selection and accessory work can come in very useful in a powerlifting program.

Sometimes asymmetries can be harmless, but given the relatively symmetrical nature of the Big 3, including some unilateral training 1-2 times a week (3-8 sets, weekly) can yield great benefits when it comes to exposing weak points, correcting imbalances and improving overall body awareness  – all of which would otherwise be neglected from just training barbell lifts.

These benefits can be as simple as reduction is asymmetry as seen in the following lifts:

  • Squats:
    • hip shift
    • bar rotation “helicopter effect”
    • uneven elbow/arm position
  • Bench Press
    • uneven bar height
    • uneven descent
    • excessive elbow flare
  • Deadlift
    • hip shift
    • side bending
    • bar drift on one side

Of course, there are other reasons to include unilateral work into a powerlifting program but if you’re not already doing SOME, you should definitely add it in.

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