5 Exercise Swaps You NEED to Make (RIGHT NOW!!)

5 Exercise Swaps You NEED to Make (RIGHT NOW!!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Today I’m going to show you five very important
exercise swaps that you need to start making today. You see, there’s a lot of different ways to
do exercises, but the ways I’m going to show you to change to today might be the most important
changes you’re going to make in the next few months in your training. Let’s get right to them. First up is the lat pulldown. Now a lot of us resort to, either, the lat
pulldown, or pullups because they’re great back exercises. But there’s one thing that’s missing from
these exercises. We say it all the time here, on this channel. If you want to look like an athlete you’ve
got to train like an athlete. Athletes train with their feet on the ground. These exercises don’t provide you that opportunity. When I do the lat pulldown I’m sitting on
my ass. When I’m doing the pullup – another great
exercise, yes – but I’m floating in the air. Could we train the lats with our feet on the
ground? It’s actually one of the most important things
you can incorporate because the lats are a great transition muscle from your feet to
your fingertips. It’s a huge area of space they cover here,
and we want to make sure you’re training them to translate power from the ground up. So we could do it here with a one-armed cable
pulldown. You could see that I not only hit the lats
great here, but I have the advantage of getting a really good stretch because I can rotate
into each repetition and beyond that I’m getting a great stretch on the lats because anatomically
we know if we could get our arm out, in front of us it’s going to allow us to get a better
stretch. At the same time, as I said, we’re on our
feet. So we can use our feet to drive and produce
more power from the ground up. It’s a better way to train your back, and
it’s something you’re going to want to start doing now. On the same note, different muscle group,
we have our shoulders in a dumbbell press. A lot of us, we get the dumbbells, we sit
right down on the bench, and we start pressing away. But what we’re doing is, we’re driving ourselves
back into the upright portion of the bench trying to push as hard as we can, and it’s
not helping us. As a matter of fact, what it’s doing is it’s
disrupting the press because when we drive our shoulder blades back, into the bench we’re
sort of interfering with that normal rhythm of the shoulder blade to rotate up as you
press. Here it’s causing a disruption of how you’re
normally going to press overhead. So we can free ourselves of that, and make
a better exercise in the process, and we can have an added benefit. Clean the damned dumbbells off the floor and
then press them from the standing position. Again, at any opportunity you ca, if you want
to train like an athlete, you want to train on your feet. Speaking of your feet, we’re going to go a
little bit higher, right to our legs, and hit the back squat, versus the front squat. You’re going to want to swap out the back
squat for the front squat. Now I love the back squat. It’s a great exercise, but here’s the truth:
it hides a lot of flaws. If you have mobility restrictions, or flexibility
restrictions – you can’t move your ankles properly, your thoracic spine isn’t ready
to squat – you’re still going to be able to hide those a lot more in a back squat,
than you ever will in a front squat. So why do I want you to front squat? Because I want to see if you have them, and
you’d better find out if you have them too because you’re not going to be able to safely,
for the long term, continue to back squat if these restrictions are in place. So when you switch over the front squat here
you’ll see right away that you’d better have proper thoracic extension, the ability to
keep your back upright as you go down, and your elbows have to stay up as well, as you
go down. If they start to sink, if your back starts
to round, you probably don’t have good thoracic extension and it’s going to ultimately pay
its dues on your body in the back squat. You just won’t see it as readily as you would
on this exercise. Same thing with ankle mobility restrictions. Same thing with hip restrictions. So what you want to do is reveal them here. Guys, I always say “Face your form restrictions.” Face them. Look at them right in the face. Stare at them and do something about it. Once you do, and you address those, it is
then a good idea to get yourself back into back squatting, but only if you know you can
do it safely. Next up, one of my favorites. You know I always pick on this, but there’s
a reason for it. The dumbbell fly. If you do a dumbbell fly it’s time to switch
to something else. Guys, I always said the risk-reward ratio
on this exercise is simply not there. Realize that there are other ways to adduct
your arm across your body and not subject that anterior shoulder capsule to the stresses
that you get at the bottom of a fly. You can literally see it here. It’s an unsupported arm out there, floating
in the open. I don’t care how light the weight you go,
but you don’t have to have that. Not what you could do another variation. Which, by the way, will get you back on your
feet. This is our 3D crossover. Here you can see – I need a cable machine,
yes – but you could do this with a band too, if you don’t have access to one. The key is: you’re getting the all-important
adduction. Not just to midline, but across midline, and
you’re getting that contraction of the chest, but you’re getting it without the overstretch
to the anterior shoulder capsule. You’re not risking that damage to your shoulder
long term. At the same time, as I said, you’re on your
feet, developing power from the ground up, and allowing, because of that, your abs to
work with your upper body. Which, by the way, is how they want to work. So this is a far less restricted, far more
functional version of an exercise that is far too risky, I think especially for the
athlete that’s trying to protect their arm, or their body, which is their number one asset
when they attack the field. Finally, on that same note: shoulder troubles. Guys, if you are upright rowing, stop right
now. I tell you all the time, there is no good
way to do a shoulder upright row. There’s no good way. I don’t care if you’re using an easy bar. I don’t care if you’re stopping at the nipple. I don’t care what you’re saying. The act of literally lifting your hands here,
with the elbow leading the way, is placing your arm in an internal rotation. As soon as you put weighted internal rotation,
and you try to crank out rep after rep – especially if you think you’re going to go lighter, and
go higher reps – you’re asking for an impingement in your shoulder. You’re asking for a problem. Again, it’s a very simple switch. Go to dumbbells, and when you do, go to high
pulls like I’m showing you here. The simple switch is a very, very significant
one. Instead of letting your elbows lead your wrists,
let your wrists lead your elbows. That will take an arm, and a shoulder, that’s
in internal rotation to external rotation. Which will clear a lot more room in the shoulder
joint, allowing you to do this exercise safely. You could still see the shoulder is getting
a hell of a workout here, but at that same time, I’m protecting the shoulder joint, which
is going to be key. You can’t do anything with your shoulders
if your shoulders are beaten up. So let’s start making this switch today. Finally, I’ve even got a bonus one here for
you. We’re going to go to the biceps and we’re
going to pick on the concentration curl. Now, I don’t have a problem with the exercise,
per sé because it is just a curl. After all, almost every, single option that
we have for our biceps is some form of a curl. Whether it be a barbell curl, a spider curl,
this concentration curl, an alternating dumbbell curl, an incline curl; they’re all curls. We have a limited variation on what we can
do to this joint to train the biceps. However, this one is the most ridiculous of
them all. I look like a statue here, literally sitting,
The Thinker. It’s not a function. I’m sitting on my ass with my arm hanging
between my legs. There’s a lot better things you could do. Namely, getting on your feet. I don’t care what version of a curl you
do, but get on your feet. But once you’re there you’re better off if
you could move both dumbbells at the same time. It’s going to require a lot more stability
through your core to handle – let’s say, the 40 and 40 in each hand, the 80lbs – to prevent
your body from leaning backward, you’re going to have to brace with your core, versus maybe
40lbs at a time. So I like the simultaneous curling of the
dumbbells done on your feet, rather than sitting there on the bench in the concentration curl
position. So there you have it, guys. There’s your five exercise swaps. Actually, your six with your bonus curl, that
you’re going to want to start making today. I say it all the time. If you want to look like an athlete, you’ve
got to train like an athlete. Getting yourself on your feet at every opportunity
is an athletic change to your workout. Not just that, you’re going to get more from
it. The sooner you can allow muscles to work together,
that actually prefer to work together, without compromising the effectiveness of the exercise. Not one of those is a compromise on the effectiveness
of the exercise, but it’s an improvement on longevity that the exercise will promise you,
and your body if you swap to them, and start using them. If you’re looking for a program that puts
the science back in strength, as a physical therapist all this matters to me. It’s not just about telling you what exercises
to do. It’s about telling you why I think they’re
the best, and then showing you how to put them all together. We do that for you in our ATHLEANX training
systems. You can find them over at ATHLEANX.com. Click on the link below this to find the once
that’s matched up best to your current goals. In the meantime, if you’ve found this video
helpful leave your comments and thumbs up below. Let me know what you want me to cover here
in a future video and I’ll do my best to do that for you. All right, guys. See you soon.

100 Replies to “5 Exercise Swaps You NEED to Make (RIGHT NOW!!)”

  1. Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!


  2. Hi Jeff
    Any chance you can do an episode on smith machine squats as that is all a lot of gyms have these days in my area.

  3. The "3D crossover" is pretty similar to what a chiropractor told me to do after I hurt my shoulder on lateral dumbell raises.

  4. This guy is sickly good when it comes to knowledge! Tnx for the tips man, appreciate it🙏🏽🔥

  5. My wife asked me why we always have sex standing up? I told her Jeff said he wants us doing it like athletes.

  6. Jeff can you show us a photo of yourself before you started training to show your gains from then till now.

  7. Thank YOU! I've been getting back into things and SUPER HAPPY I found your YouTube stuff 💪😁 I will afford the program later (broke Veteran here 🤫) I love the break Downs and being that I came from a school that requires kenisology awhile ago, makes so much sense to follow along with what the body does to get your gains, for now, I have nothing to ask for because I'm sure there are tons of videos I have to watch 😂 again… Thank YOU

  8. Hello…could you tell me which exercises
    that you covered are considered compound exercises? It would help tremendously with my fitness plan. TY in advance. Oh, by the way! Love your videos!!

  9. to improve my stamina , i do – in a treadmill (at 10 deg inclination , 10 kmph speed , target to run for 10 minutes)… what is your opinion on this ..
    and is this a good fat burn .. ?

  10. Hmm, Glad I came across this episode, Thank You!

    And would be cool if you Produced a Single Video that Summarizes ALL your kick a$$ videos… is that possible?

  11. 4:07
    Jeff: don’t do dumbbell fly
    Arnold Schwarzenegger: I love the dumbbell fly
    Me: …. I’m never working out again

  12. Can someone PLEASE tell me who knows their shit properly. Should you go into full knee lockout when you squat on the positive portion of the lift?

  13. If you want to look like an athlete then you have to train like an athlete, best thing to do is to start circuit training and superset every muscle group with leg exercises in-between.
    Push movement followed by legs into a pull movement. Work through every muscle.
    Not only do you involve lifting weights you also work cardio at the same time 😀.
    Also do a different type of circuit each time.

  14. Thank you. I just added 20 pounds to my deadlift by using proper form from an earlier video of yours. I was using my upper body too early and not pushing with my legs as much into the floor at the first portion of the lift. These six swaps here will really help.

  15. i think you should talk less, your face is getting too muscular

    just kidding

    give us that gold information jeff

  16. But when you standing on your feet for curling you use the rest of your body for a little of momentum. I used to always curl on my feet but you are weaker seating down. You can see how he moves the test of his body back and forth while curling to gain momentum.

  17. I have a quick question about the bicep curls – I’m not sure whether to angle my arm straight ahead, elbow facing straight back, or angle my arms outward at a 40-45 degree angle like you are doing here, Jeff.. does it matter? Should I do it both ways to hit diff. areas of the biceps?
    Thank you and thanks for so many great videos. Happy to subscribe!

  18. For the front squats, I have janky wrists so that form is very hard for me to attain. Is there a better way to approach the front squat or am I doing it incorrectly?

  19. What do you think of standing hang cleans and floor flies vs. your exercises? I typically do those..I did feel my shoulders were giving me some issues with too many hang cleans but I do them here and there and have no issues

  20. I have question about the my right shoulder I feel pain that began 6 years and sometimes when I do Exrecise in my Ultrasound picture the man their said me that the shoulder is functioning well when I do today millatary press I feel ok I think that because I did LAt poly.. what can I do instead of.. Thank you

  21. Substitute all your squats and do them on the Landmine, takes a load off the lower back but still really works the target areas.
    You can even do back squats there if your gym doesn't have that machine.

  22. Due to an ankle fracture many years ago, front squat is out of the question for me.
    Can only do back squat.

  23. I clearly dont have mobility needed for front squat and the numbers I lift are much much lower than back squat… around 60%. Any tips?

  24. Regarding your first example, no mention of the bent over row? In it, your feet are planted on the ground while primarily engaging your lats – and the barbell allows you to pull much more weight in a compound movement. That cable pull you showed is not going to build muscle on its own.

  25. Love it. Form form form. Proper fucking form. The weight don't matter. If you haven't mastered form.. Then you have nothing.

  26. Is there a diff between European and american lifting. Like europene is free weights usually all done on your feet. American is like all mechanical means.

  27. Just being om your feet activates a lot of muscle groups. All those 2ndry stabilizing muscles. Get them fibers firing

  28. i am 50 years old, 81kg and can squat 180 kgs safely…. and have been squatting for years. your front form is bad…. rule 101 …. dont let your knees move over your toes…. and after 31 years of squats with no back o knee trouble, it must be a trueism… when you squat your form should mimic sitting down on a chair… your knees do not go past your toes

  29. I think all your videos are great! You're information is spot on.

    One question regarding functionality and training on your feet: What about sports like swimming or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Clearly swimmers are never on their feet, and Jiu Jitsu fighters often work off their backs. What type of training is functional for these kinds of athletes?

    Keep up the great work!

  30. I get scared watching his videos lol. I love how he's acting as if he's feeling the pain of the workout, we all know jeff is a spartan, He don't drive the car, the car drives him.

  31. The standing up stuff kills my back 😔 hurt my lower back and it's hard to do the standing overhead press and the one arm crossover. At least not now, still gotta get core strong but in the mean time some of the exercises aren't helpful

  32. After I do things The athlean X way I stop getting slight injuries and get more of a workout as well. Jeff is a god send.

  33. Every video you’ve made is great but this one was particularly instructive as I have never thought of singular arm flys on the cable or ever heard them explained. A million thanks.

  34. Hey Jeff I have AC separation in my left shoulder,how do I try to strengthen and build my shoulder and help my bench press and other workouts

  35. "I'm sitting on my arse, with my arm hanging between my legs"
    Jeff literally has it all! 😆😆

  36. These videos are awesome. Keep it up. Definitely gonna try out the front squat instead of the back squat next time I go to the gym

  37. Some good stuff in these videos but some bad too. Yessis pointed out 30 years ago that it's best to do exercises like flies with extended arms (weak leverage) so you can use smaller weights for the same effect

  38. He's right guys that's why I do a standing shoulder press over a seated shoulder press when you have to do a workout from the ground up it's a lot harder than just doing it seated

  39. Please let me know if you supply supplements as well? I want to get shreded. And will take the plan for this i need guidance. Pleaee suggest

  40. *Lat pull down _.
    *Lat pull down _ one arm cable pull down
    * Sitting Du press-stand o.h.p.
    *Bk squat-front squat
    *chest Du fly -one arm cable cross over
    *No upright rows .-du upright row
    *concentration curl sitting- do standing curl simultaneously

  41. 3:01 the video doesn't show your feet Jeff. With front squat it's okay for the knees to cross over the toes?… Because your knees definitely go over your chins. Thanks for a response mate.

  42. This is one of his best videos. I was expecting another YouTube fitness gimmicks video but this is good info and I will be doing some of these swaps.

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