7 Subtle Exercise Fixes for BETTER Gains (WORK INSTANTLY!)

  • Published: 11 March 2019
  • Whether you’re trying to gain size, strength or both there are a few tried and true exercises that will get you there. Any coach worth his or her salt will tell you to stick to the basics, big compound lifts that put the muscle through its full range of motion while allowing you to move maximal weight. The problem is, for most gym goers, they’re choosing the right exercise but they’re making some mistakes which can not only hinder their progress but ultimately lead them down a path to injury.

    First up is the squat. Referred to as the ‘King of All Exercises’ the squat is a fixture in almost every program. Yet, walk into any gym in the world and you’ll see people performing it wrong. One mistake that almost always slips under the radar is that little hip tuck that happens at the end of the movement. This is a common error on the deadlift as well. You’ll often see people throw their hips forward going into posterior pelvic tilt in an attempt to exaggerate lock out. Ditch the hip tuck from both of these movements and you’ll be glad you did when you avoid a potential injury down the road.

    Next up is the barbell row. Perhaps one of the greatest back thickening exercises around, the row is a staple move that everyone should be doing. The mistake happening a lot with the row is improper hand placement. By simply moving your hands closer together you’ll be able to not only stay tighter, but also get much stronger contractions and recruitment from the muscles you’re trying to train.

    You also have to adjust your elbow positioning otherwise you’re moving out of the scapular plane and putting yourself at risk of getting shoulder dysfunction. By narrowing the grip you are not only able to stay in the scapular plane but you’re also able to maintain overall tightness plugging up strength leaks and allowing you to lift more weight.

    While there are a million variations of this great exercise the error pops up in almost all of them. It has nothing to do with what implement you use or even how much you swing the weight…but don’t swing the weight! The mistake made on the lateral raise goes straight to hand positioning. We’ve all been taught to ‘poor out the pitcher of water’ when doing lateral raises. That is, start with the thumbs up and then lower them at the top of the movement.

    The problem is, that motion does nothing to stimulate the medial delts and serves almost no purpose but to put your shoulder into impingement. Instead of doing this the old school way, do your shoulders a favor and point your thumbs up. Not only will you receive the same benefits but you’ll also keep your shoulders safe and functioning properly. Shoulders take a beating in the iron game, there’s no reason to go out of your way to beat them up even more!

    As we come to a close on our list of the 7 mistakes made on common exercises we narrow in on the triceps. One of my favorite exercises for hitting the triceps is the lying triceps extension. This also happens to be the one that people mess up the most. The error in this movement comes right out of the gate at the starting position. Typically people will begin with their arms perpendicular to the floor which is the perfect angle for gravity to pass right through and put almost 0 stress on the muscle. You’ve probably noticed when you perform this exercise that you’re able to stay at the top position with almost not effort… that’s why!

    The fix here is simple enough but once you apply it, you’ll never feel the same about this exercise. By moving your arms slightly close towards the floor you are able to start the movement with the triceps in a fully contracted position with all the weight (courtesy of our friend gravity) applying force on the intended target.. your triceps! From there perform the movement as you normally do but make sure to keep your arms at their new angle and not move them parallel to the force of gravity…. not unless you’re looking for some rest!

    Last up is one of the single best exercises fro training the core. The ab wheel. Sure, it started off ‘As seen on TV’ but the ab wheel is one implement that the TV salesman got right! Anyone that’s been training for any length of time has been told to keep their back flat. It’s a cue you’ll hear a lot when training and it’s generally a good rule of thumb. When it comes to the ab wheel however, that is the exact opposite of what you want to do. Keeping your back flat on the ab wheel turns the movement into a bastardized hip hinge… not what we want to be doing here.

    So there you have it guys, for more videos on the latest in exercise science based training, be sure to visit the link below to subscribe to our channel and don’t forget to turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published and check out my full workouts at athleanx.com.

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Comments • 1 588

    ATHLEAN-X™   4 months back

    *NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY* - Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected within the first hour the video is published. Click the link to see if you’ve won. No strings attached! 

    If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

    • Paul Steven Williams
      Paul Steven Williams  3 months back

      Love all your videos & just want to thank you "AGAIN" for how your videos have changed my life... I am now looking for bigger & better things all because you've given me the tools to do so through your videos...
      You really do inspire me, as you do many other people around the world so "THANK YOU"....

    • Robert downey jr.
      Robert downey jr.  4 months back

      I have never won giveaway

    • ryan gh
      ryan gh  4 months back

      i love you jeff

    • Ashem leibakngambamoirangcha.
      Ashem leibakngambamoirangcha.  4 months back

      @Bray Landherr good < great < perfect nutrition is a must if you want to grow muscle with cardio everyday...and also depends on what type of cardio...steady or HIIT...cardio...keep it up...💪💪💪

    • Bray Landherr
      Bray Landherr  4 months back

      ATHLEAN-X™ .I'm in 9th grade trying to put on muscle in the gym but I'm running track at the same time . Is sprinting and cardio going to stop me from putting on muscle even if I lift after my track workout ? I watch your videos all the time and they're super helpful

  • Holly White
    Holly White  1 days back

    I got a warm fuzzy when Jeff told me he cares about my shoulders.

    • ram akella
      ram akella  2 days back

      Impressed !!!

      • Mhd max
        Mhd max  4 days back

        Man eat some carbs i thought you gonna passout on the overhead press ...

        • Leih R
          Leih R  5 days back

          1. SQUAT , straight back up & down
          2. DEADLIFT , get to a vertical position coming up
          3. AB WHEEL ROLL OUT , take out hip flexors.. avoid overextension , do not rock back and forth, let upper body do everything
          4. TRICEPS EXTENSION , elbows angled backwards , fight against the force of gravity , do not extend triceps in a vertical position
          5. LATERAL RAISES , keep thumb higher than the pinky , avoid “pouring the pitcher” & avoid the pinky being higher than the thumb
          6. OVERHEAD SHOULDER PRESS , do not widen your arms on the bar, have your arms at a 45’ degree angle from straight horizontal , narrow up the grip on the bar , you’ll find yourself stronger here
          7. BARBELL ROW , do not go extra wide on the bar , get arms abducted tightly on your sides , get arms narrow on the bar
          (hopefully this helps, i usually see funny comments instead of what’s going on in the video)

          • Silvia Hernandez
            Silvia Hernandez  1 weeks back

            Many ladies tight glutes or use this exercise to grow the glutes

            • Prisca Nemger
              Prisca Nemger  2 weeks back

              Wow, that explains why my back hurts. I've been over extending because that's what I was taught by "the pro's". Thanks for explaining this. Hopefully I haven't done any permanent damage.

              • Charlie Duong
                Charlie Duong  3 weeks back

                1. Squat - Hip extension 0:53
                2. Deadlif - Hip extension 2:16

                • joseph roxas
                  joseph roxas  3 weeks back

                  i now drink coffee without internally rotating my shoulder.

                  • Yd C
                    Yd C  3 weeks back

                    Jeff is the MAN!

                    • Justice Bernal
                      Justice Bernal  3 weeks back

                      yes you do sound like a broken record. Gravity doesn't exist, there's only density and buoyancy... Nothing more... Nothing less...

                      • simray singh
                        simray singh  4 weeks back

                        Thank you so much

                        • ArmaGeddON.!
                          ArmaGeddON.!  4 weeks back

                          Where's Jesse?

                          • Naeto
                            Naeto  1 months back

                            Best YouTube channel, hands down.

                            • André Adami
                              André Adami  1 months back

                              Youtube needs an auto-like-function

                              • Christopher Hammontree
                                Christopher Hammontree  1 months back

                                I want to say thank you for your free information and care to informing me on how to correctly achieve these exercises shown here. Thank you.

                                • Grimzel
                                  Grimzel  1 months back

                                  Hi could you dictate me a workout routine? because i do every muscle daily with no rest(no resting day) and i heard that is better to focus on one or to muscle/day. Thank you.

                                  • Sammy Vlogs
                                    Sammy Vlogs  1 months back

                                    Jeff is like dancing at 10:20

                                    • Julia Olsen
                                      Julia Olsen  1 months back

                                      Hello! It would be perfect if you publish a video about how to avoid knee pain during exercises when you have knee’s injury :) Thanks in advance.

                                      • Andy Samaroo
                                        Andy Samaroo  2 months back

                                        Jeff knows his shit yes

                                        • Keyser Soze
                                          Keyser Soze  2 months back

                                          When I bend a bit more back in a deadlift, I feel more squeezing in my lower back and I feel good. Well, the squeezing is not that much like an idiot would do, but a bit is helping me to feel more in the lower back and actually getting stronger. Now I do not know about the benefit. Do I crack my lower spine more than I have benefits?

                                          • MacQ1955
                                            MacQ1955  2 months back

                                            Kudos on that lateral raise advice!

                                            • Casey Fand
                                              Casey Fand  2 months back

                                              We want a continuing education class from you so I can take what I learned and what I teach from you and get my credits when I need to get my credits. Please look into offering something my school will except just submitting in something.

                                              • Zoofy
                                                Zoofy  2 months back

                                                10:00 - 10:10 Great moves Jeff
                                                You could beat anyone in a dance-off with those robot dance moves 😂

                                                • Zoofy
                                                  Zoofy  2 months back

                                                  10:15 Jeff stop!! You’re killing it.

                                              • Manuel Prenza
                                                Manuel Prenza  2 months back

                                                Thanks boss.

                                                • Jhonny Merida Soto
                                                  Jhonny Merida Soto  2 months back

                                                  Amazing video!!!!

                                                  • Natti Nat
                                                    Natti Nat  2 months back

                                                    I am training to become a personal trainer and something just keeps bothering me. It is not only good positioning that results in good training for the muscles but the breathing in and out. When should I breathe in and when out? When doing abs on the ground for example, I know that I should breathe out when contracting the muscles as in when you come up. And breathe in when going back to the ground. But maybe you can make a video with some examples of some exercises?

                                                    • Evan Niblett
                                                      Evan Niblett  2 months back

                                                      Should you push the head through on OHP

                                                      • Aaron Gazname
                                                        Aaron Gazname  2 months back

                                                        So your head is vertical, sure but no need to over extend it. Also if youre doing high reps then i keep my head back usually so you get more time under tension and not resting at the top each rep

                                                    • Joe Gaun
                                                      Joe Gaun  2 months back

                                                      by the way thank you for all your video's

                                                      • Joe Gaun
                                                        Joe Gaun  2 months back

                                                        is there a big mistake in the bench press, or the 3 main deltoid movements that can hurt the C5-C6 -C7. seems like when i really start to make gains, i start to get numb fingers, elbow and or tri. and pain in the rhomboid? Thank you.

                                                        • Dennis Ullman
                                                          Dennis Ullman  2 months back

                                                          The squat with the barbell behind the neck seems similar to the behind the neck shoulder press which you put in the iron grave yard in your 4/16/2014 video "Top 5 Worst Exercises." Wouldn't doing the exercise with the barbell in front of you (on your chest) be better?

                                                          • nickelback rulez
                                                            nickelback rulez  2 months back

                                                            front squat is very good exercise but many people lack the mobility in ankles/hips to add weight and maintain good form.

                                                            back squat doesnt hurt your shoulders because the internally rotated shoulder is not bearing the weight such as in upright row or behind the head ohp

                                                        • elyon v
                                                          elyon v  2 months back

                                                          I think i did something wrong on my leg excersises cus now my ledt leg has been numb all week..

                                                        • Devinebody
                                                          Devinebody  2 months back

                                                          Your videos are amazing! Do you make the 247365 t shirt for females? I'd love to get one! I am a personal trainer and group ex. instructor...you explain things so clearly!! Thanks, keep them going!

                                                          • Ricardo Flores Guerrero
                                                            Ricardo Flores Guerrero  2 months back

                                                            Athlean can you do a video on runners knee

                                                            • David Huggins
                                                              David Huggins  2 months back

                                                              I am anxious to give this a try because my shoulders, especially the right have been KILLING me. Thanks for taking the time to explain and demo these techniques.

                                                              • scentedfantasy
                                                                scentedfantasy  3 months back

                                                                Hi Jeff love your videos very interesting, i have a problem with the squats, i get pain on the inside of my knees. I stopped with the weights for now but i still get pain. What am i doinf wrong? could you make a video about knees please? Thank you

                                                                • William The Paladin
                                                                  William The Paladin  3 months back

                                                                  I find that the ez bar the best for bent over rows. It helps keep my hands in the right place.

                                                                  • Katrina Tapio
                                                                    Katrina Tapio  3 months back

                                                                    I'm surprised you didn't fall to the ground from sciatica pain on the "wrong" part of the video... esp. in the deadlift one. That's happened to me like three times... ouch. Instant debilitation. However, I started watching Jeff's videos and it hasn't happened since. Thanks! :)

                                                                    • Will Stephenson
                                                                      Will Stephenson  3 months back

                                                                      Hey could we get a video on deltoids plz

                                                                      • Jasdeep Athwal
                                                                        Jasdeep Athwal  3 months back

                                                                        When squatting, why do some people use weights under their heels?

                                                                        • Sailesh Babu T
                                                                          Sailesh Babu T  3 months back

                                                                          I learnt a lot and corrected a lot of mistakes by following Athleanx. Thanks to Jeff.

                                                                          • Marquis De Sade
                                                                            Marquis De Sade  3 months back

                                                                            Woah, that explanation of the squat was excellent.

                                                                            • Ed B
                                                                              Ed B  3 months back

                                                                              Thank you!

                                                                              • current_interest
                                                                                current_interest  3 months back

                                                                                You just covered 4 of 5 of the stronglift 5x5

                                                                                • Meraj Mustafa
                                                                                  Meraj Mustafa  3 months back

                                                                                  Ur d best in d world in weight training😎

                                                                                  • Darren Rice
                                                                                    Darren Rice  3 months back

                                                                                    Jeff shouldnt you be keeping your back pressed against the bench while doing those tricep extensions

                                                                                    • GalaxyTraveler
                                                                                      GalaxyTraveler  3 months back

                                                                                      I love going to the gym and watching people do most of their exercises wrong lol

                                                                                      • Payton McIntosh
                                                                                        Payton McIntosh  3 months back

                                                                                        I need a sped up gif of 10:00 - 10:14