Accessory Powerlifting Exercises for an All-Round Athlete

Ask any competitive lifter, the powerlifting exercises that matters are the big three and their variations. While this may be true, there is so much more for you to gain if you could only stretch your workout horizon to bring in accessory exercises.

Remember, being strong in different exercises and angles make you a better and more muscular powerlifter who less prone to injuries. There is every reason to go beyond the big three that is bench, deadlifts, and squats.

In the gym, you are only as strong as your weakest link. Therefore, you need muscular balance and homeostasis in all your systems for uninterrupted progress. The following are some of the must-do workouts that will give you incredible value in your powerlifting career.

Chin-Ups and Pull-Ups

In traditional powerlifting exercises, the upper body remains tight, and this hinders the development of the upper back muscles. Integrating chin-ups and pull-ups into your training program will stimulate and grow the lats, mid traps, rear deltoids, and rhomboids. When developed, these same muscles play a key role in the big three powerlifting exercises.

On top of this, pull-ups and chin-ups encourage good posture. They will give you a more aesthetic and much wider look.


The dip is a top contender for the single best exercise for building triceps and the chest. Depending on how deeper you go into the descent when doing dips, this exercise can spur serious shoulder and chest development.

Most of the pressing powerlifting exercises are not on the vertical plane. The dip corrects this and ensures you are stronger in all angles and planes thus positioning you to lift a max attempt.

Barbell Shoulder Press and Sitting Dumbbell

When your shoulders are strong, your stability and strength improves. This is a great asset in the bench and lowers your risk of injury when doing your lifts. The dumbbell shoulder press is instrumental in muscle gain and helps you address asymmetries.

The sitting dumbbell allows you to increase loading because the seat offers support. This will give you mileage in core strength and stabilization.

Bulgarian Split Squats and Lunges

Powerlifting significantly underrates unilateral work. To address this, you can add accessory exercises such as Bulgarian split squats and lunges. They are essential in fixing imbalances between muscles and limbs and help with stability and mobility as well.

If you stick to the big three in powerlifting, they will fix you into certain patterns where the body recruits the same motor units and muscles repeatedly. This is notwithstanding that other muscles are available to help.

On their part, lunges enhance lower body strength and expose areas of weaknesses that you should focus on.

Any accessory powerlifting exercises that isolate your rear deltoids are more than welcome. Deadlift, squat, and bench workouts underrate rear deltoids thus exposing you to injury and the inefficiencies of core instability. Go for workouts that exercise your other muscles such as face pulls, resistance band pull aparts, and dumbbell rear lateral raises.

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