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.