There’s something we love about labeling ourselves as athletes. We take pride in being able to say we’re a functional fitness athlete, an Olympic weightlifter, a powerlifter. We do this so much, we forget the many benefits you can enjoy when you take a little from each sport. Regardless of what your path is or where your focus lie, if you’re not incorporating at least a little bit of powerlifting in your training, you’re missing out on substantial gains. Here are just a few reasons it’s so good for you.

Compound Movements Do the Body Good

The three main lifts which make up powerlifting are the deadlift, bench press and back squat — all of which are compound movements. As we’ve discussed in the past, compound movements are exercises that work several muscles or muscle groups at once. Think of the exact opposite of something like bicep curls.

One of the reasons compound movements are so good for you is because they work a ton of muscle — like your quads, glutes and back — you need to safely and effectively perform certain tasks. In fact, squats specifically engage more than 200 muscles!

If you think this won’t translate to another sport, guess again. Every athlete stands to benefit from a little powerlifting.

They Also Make for an Efficient Workout

Let’s face it: a lot of us are short on time. That means we have to make the very best use of our sweat sesh. If you only have 45 minutes to train, compound movements are the smartest you can do. You’re basically getting multiple workouts in one. Couple that with a quick tabata or EMOM, and you have the makings of one spicy workout.

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It’s a Universal Sport

Powerlifting, in a sense, reduces all fitness to its very foundation. It’s three simple movements, but there’s a ripple effect; and powerlifting will benefit you whether you’re getting ready to max out your clean, do 100 wall balls for time, run a marathon or carry the groceries up the stairs to your apartment. It’s the common denominator all sports share.

Powerlifting Will Make Your Bones Healthier

You might think putting yourself under heavy weights would wreak havoc on your bones, but the opposite is actually the case, and science agrees. For instance, one study found daily moderate exercise and the increase in muscle quantity can improve bone density in children. Another compared runners who performed resistance training to those who didn’t and found the former group had greater bone mineral density. Want strong bones? Start powerlifting.

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Your Core Strength and Posture Will Improve

A strong core is a requirement in virtually all weightlifting movements. It’s the point in your body where all limbs connect, and it’s necessary to protect your spine. This, in turn, could improve posture. Why should you care, you ask? Because for most of us, at some point in our lives, we experience back pain, and poor posture could likely be the cause of it, says Harvard Health Publishing.

When you do things like squat and deadlift, though, you re-teach your body how to support itself – how to properly align the spine, engage the core and support your bones and muscle tissue.