The 3 powerlifts are Deadlift, Back squat, and Bench press. So what are the best variations of these 3 lifts for tricking if we’re judging the variation based on injury prevention/rehabilitation, safety, explosiveness, and technical carryover?
Best squat variation = bodyweight pistol squat
This exercise is my #1 exercise for tricking. If I write you a training program for tricking the bodyweight pistol squat is probably going to be in it somehow. Here’s a short video I made about it:
- A magical cure-all for lower body tricking injuries if done correctly.
- Builds a particular kind of coordination-strength that seems to have 100% carryover to tricking/jumping.
- Best trained body weight only, with lots of short sets not going to failure focusing on quality coordination.
- Train with a little slant (olympic lifting shoes preferable)
- Weighted pistol squats are a waste of time, but funny as a performance stunt.
Best deadlift variation = stop and go banded sumo deadlifts
Watch this short video I made on stop and go banded sumo deadlifts.
- Stop and go deadlifts > Touch and go.
- Sumo deadlift can be friendler in conjunction with tricking than the conventional deadlift.
- Use the bands for speed training and for getting safer deadlifting pumps.
- Always wear straps when training with bands.
- Do not go to failure when training this exercise for tricking carryover.
Best bench press variation = bedpress
Watch this video of me doing the bed press.
Okay jokes aside: any barbell press variation is not going to carry over well to tricking. Why? Do them for 10 years in conjunction with tricking like me and pay attention to the results yourself. Oops. That’s a dick answer and not scientific. Science? Sure go root out some scientific studies on resistance training carryover to acrobatic tricking. Find anything yet? No? Well you’re fucked then, guess you just gotta take my word for it huh?
Look, if you want upper body training that specifically carries over well to tricking, you need something that involves whole body CONTROL. Hand balancing and ring training are the tickets for this control you seek. I’ve always chosen rings myself, you can read my ring training Q&A for more information on how I train rings.