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.

    Build Muscle in 90 Days - http://athleanx.com/x/my-workouts
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Comments • 1 618

    ATHLEAN-X™   7 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  6 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.  7 months back

      I have never won giveaway

    • ryan gh
      ryan gh  7 months back

      i love you jeff

    • Ashem leibakngambamoirangcha.
      Ashem leibakngambamoirangcha.  7 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  7 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

  • Nathan Jorgensen
    Nathan Jorgensen  7 hours back

    Can you do a video on proper form to take a dump? Just want to make sure I’m not putting to much strain on my lower back.

    Thanks Jeff - keep the vids coming 👍

    • Фёдор Максименков

      Wtf, Jeff? Tricep extension is the same shit as leg extension. Why isn't it in the shit list?

      • thomas oliver
        thomas oliver  1 weeks back

        Jeff what about a supinated grip instead of pronated grip for barbell rows? This will force the elbows in and give great lower lat activation as well.

        • Kelvin Grullon
          Kelvin Grullon  2 weeks back

          Has Jeff done any videos on exercises for patellar tendinitis? Either Do's or Dont's - please lmk

          • Robert G
            Robert G  3 weeks back

            Anyone, I do the barbell rows with a wide grip to activate more of my rear delts and traps and less of the lats. I already do weighted chins for lats. What do you think? Bad for shoulders? I just watched a vid of him promoting the seated row with a wide bar to take the emphasis off the lats. Opinions please.!!!!!

            • Mason Oliver
              Mason Oliver  4 weeks back

              You need to write a book

              • Borkowski Brothers Racing

                Jeff, please make a app with all of this information and all of your videos and workouts on it

                • deinvadder88
                  deinvadder88  4 weeks back

                  What does the number on his shirt mean?

                  • Go hard Or go hide
                    Go hard Or go hide  1 months back

                    Can you make a video for thighs hamstrings, thanks 🙏

                    • Zetsuke4
                      Zetsuke4  1 months back


                      • Renee Alvarez
                        Renee Alvarez  1 months back

                        Awesome info, especially for the shoulders. You're so right about a slight chanfe in how you grip the bar makes all the difference. Your video was very informative, in depth, extremely helpful and I thank you! 💪🏽💪🏽

                        • hake trick DS
                          hake trick DS  1 months back

                          Sir please all list of workout (chast) ( abs ) ( arms and solder) (back) ( leg ) (

                          • jimid85
                            jimid85  1 months back

                            Great video JC. Informative on both how to perform the exercises correctly for maximum muscle activation and more importantly how to avoid serious injuries in the gym.

                            • Muhammad Ibrahim
                              Muhammad Ibrahim  2 months back

                              VERY NICE INFORMATION

                              • ALLAH AKBAR
                                ALLAH AKBAR  2 months back

                                I got a 15 yr.old whose shoulder keeps popping out of the socket! Our doctor told us he’s lifting to heavy...

                                • Wayne Vernon Kastoor
                                  Wayne Vernon Kastoor  2 months back

                                  Love your work Jeff I incorporate most strength and stability exercises, it works wonders once muscle memory kicks in. However, I've noticed that you haven't done a segment crossfit workouts and exercises for strength and form. I hope you do.

                                  • Ben Looy
                                    Ben Looy  2 months back

                                    196 people have rotator cuff issues.

                                    • Kazim Imam
                                      Kazim Imam  2 months back

                                      Hey jeff, in have recently surfing throught a websit whoe says " this sahara weight loss capsals are effective" see the link below https://healthynewscenter.com/sarah-johnson/global/keto-direct/?cep=mWUyGa2BbPvf4pMMBarIXObcf_YlfnVTy356OBDkEHcPqkt1v-OfxadcMuycBRR0I_agnTI4inqaNcVNlY616xF48aVClEhUFAk3cCld1Tj5yV-KA_aaakLMYKTT8TU_FEgUBB5z3G5soSaUC0NAlho3bwTuqiWWYMXSS8IpY7s1_zf48OFIV1Q2B-9Bk46jUNkoMJ0uoYHMt05LQY9aTm6wtOVPlvZNoXQwuYG-UBqLqi8piOnNyOaZpohoZvBk3h8Yz1kz6GkL1_AQsEsiMfpFky-k4ESiRokA94WtEXLPbeqTUUJn6i9WTkOYYJOQ&lptoken=152b663298ce722955e3
                                      I need you suggession please i have skinny body but i want to loose my lower tummy ..

                                      • viktor133100
                                        viktor133100  2 months back

                                        I give up! What does "247365" mean?
                                        Tell me please, it racking my brain.

                                        • Austin Ho
                                          Austin Ho  2 months back

                                          This is super useful, thanks so much Jeff~

                                          • Janos Nadasi
                                            Janos Nadasi  2 months back

                                            Hi Jeff

                                            How about your best rope workouts ?

                                            Awesome job man

                                            • Teach McBride
                                              Teach McBride  2 months back

                                              This guy KNOWS his Shit!

                                              • SonicSaviour YouWillNotGetMyName

                                                so snatching is basically bad for your health?

                                                • André Adami
                                                  André Adami  2 months back

                                                  I‘m not a friend of general rules. Functionality depends on life, job, hobbys etc. E.g. a bagpacker should do back squats. A hiker or parcourer should do pull/muscle ups.

                                                  • Jesse Gilbride
                                                    Jesse Gilbride  2 months back

                                                    Agree with everything except the laying tricep extension. If you want to move maximal weight, you can't do 100% time-under-tension. You'll get stronger with the technique, but also fatigue faster and be forced to use lower weight (for whatever the rep scheme is).
                                                    (side note: I'm of the powerlifting persuasion, but open to all forms of training if there's value and merit.)

                                                    • Pradip Dani
                                                      Pradip Dani  2 months back

                                                      Demo and explanation is not up to the mark of JEFF...Needs better vdo on the same topic

                                                      • HypeHuey
                                                        HypeHuey  2 months back

                                                        This video marks the 10th annual anniversary for this YouTube channel

                                                        • Linda Said
                                                          Linda Said  2 months back

                                                          Thank you good advice always

                                                          • StyliteZC StyliteZC
                                                            StyliteZC StyliteZC  2 months back

                                                            love the content!

                                                            • Iman
                                                              Iman  2 months back

                                                              Question. Do I need to use the big plates for Deadlifts? Or can I use smaller plates. I asked this because Im a beginner and I thought that I cannot lift bigger plates yet, but I also thought that if I use smaller plates I might mess up my form and destroy my lower back... Thanks in advance.

                                                              • Evan Sanford
                                                                Evan Sanford  2 months back

                                                                Jeff, Thank you for helping us help our bodies.

                                                                • Yan Dzivinskiy
                                                                  Yan Dzivinskiy  2 months back

                                                                  Oh man that overhead press 🤗🤗

                                                                  • Rafacacho
                                                                    Rafacacho  3 months back

                                                                    I just got the max size program, and on the deadlift how to video, you tell us to do the butt thing. Wich is the wrong way....🤔 Guess you are also learning every day. Great vid.

                                                                    • Jon Goff
                                                                      Jon Goff  3 months back

                                                                      Thank you for the info, Keep it up!

                                                                      • D Lish
                                                                        D Lish  3 months back

                                                                        After listening to Jeff Cavaliere all I can hear in my head is "internal rotation" "external rotation" "anterior pelvic tilt" lol

                                                                        • Reece_Worldwide
                                                                          Reece_Worldwide  3 months back

                                                                          This video was very useful! Thanks

                                                                          • Holly White
                                                                            Holly White  3 months back

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

                                                                            • ram akella
                                                                              ram akella  3 months back

                                                                              Impressed !!!

                                                                              • Mhd max
                                                                                Mhd max  3 months back

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

                                                                                • Leih R
                                                                                  Leih R  3 months 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  3 months back

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

                                                                                    • Prisca Nemger
                                                                                      Prisca Nemger  4 months 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  4 months back

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

                                                                                        • joseph roxas
                                                                                          joseph roxas  4 months back

                                                                                          i now drink coffee without internally rotating my shoulder.

                                                                                          • Yd C
                                                                                            Yd C  4 months back

                                                                                            Jeff is the MAN!

                                                                                            • Justice Bernal
                                                                                              Justice Bernal  4 months 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 months back

                                                                                                Thank you so much