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We all have exercises that we tend to fall in love with and those we tend to avoid. In this video, I’m going to show you the 8 exercises that I wish I did years ago that would have delivered better muscle, strength and stability gains much sooner. These will cover everything from the legs, core, arms, chest, shoulders, glutes and even overall training concepts that have made a significant difference in muscularity.
To start, I recap with a lat pulldown variation I showcased in an individual video a few weeks ago called the rocking pulldown. This unbelievable exercise is one that I truly wish I had started doing many years ago because of its ability to allow for extension of the arm while performing the vertical pulldown exercise. You will instantly feel the intensity of the contraction in your lats once you try this exercise out.
As sort of an added bonus here, I also wish I did the one arm high pulley row a lot sooner. This exercise allows you to get an incredible stretch on the lats on every rep as well as the peak contraction and extension at the bottom. Nothing has allowed me to develop the sweep of my lats better than this exercise. It’s just a shame that I avoided it for many years early on in my training.
The squat is one of those lower body exercises that just can’t be avoided if you want to build your best legs possible. The problem is, many times people pick the wrong stance width and wind up paying for this mistake. I certainly did. I followed the general advice of placing your feet just outside of shoulder width and driving the knees out with the descent. The problem for me was it never felt right. I only wish I discovered just how much more natural it was for me to be much narrower with my feet.
The concept of straight arm scapular strength is maybe one of the most important that I have incorporated into my training in the last ten years. The straight arm pushdown is one of the best ways to do this, however there are bar variations like the front lever raise and the headbanger pullup that I demonstrated on instagram that all hit this key attribute. My fitness idol Sylvester Stallone even tried the latter after seeing it on my post and did an incredible job with this challenging movement showing just how locked in he is on his training and strength priorities.
Other key exercises you don’t want to overlook in your training are the glute ham raise and the 3 way dip. Both of these movements get muscles to work together that don’t often properly get allowed to do so. In the case of the glute ham raise you want the glutes to take over for the hamstrings, not the other way around. When weak glutes are unable to help you extend the hip, the hamstrings attempt to do so and wind up suffering strains.
In the case of the dip, the obliques, serratus, and abs are all capable of working together to propel the body up and beyond the height of the bars but you have to allow them to do so. The 3 way dip exercise is much more beneficial than the regular dips since it gets these muscles to participate without sacrificing the overall effectiveness of the movement for the originally intended muscles.
The key to these and any exercise for that matter is finding the ones that are capable of delivering the biggest results in the shortest period of time. In the ATHLEAN-X Training System found at you can count on getting only the workouts and exercises that deliver the biggest bang for your buck. Start training like an athlete and see just how much faster you can start seeing big gains.
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