damn if only I was doing that sooner what's up guys jeff cavaliere athleanx.com so how many times have you said that before or something like it like I wish I knew that sooner or I wish I was doing that earlier all I got to tell you today I'm going to dedicate an entire video to the 8 exercises that I wish I was doing a lot sooner on and my lifting career not just in terms of the gains I could have seen but more importantly the speed at which I could have seen them because I wasted a whole hell of a lot of time so we've got 8 things to cover here guys without further ado let's get right into it ok there's first exercise might be fresh in your mind because we actually covered it in depth here on this channel just a couple of weeks ago and this is a variation on the lat pulldown this is what we call the rocking pulldown and no not the bad version of the rocking pulldown I'm talking about the one that actually delivers gains this is a vertical pull that still allows us to get that extension of the arm back behind the body remember one of the biggest limitations to the lat pulldown as it's done normally is that you don't really get good extension behind the body which is limiting the effectiveness of the lats but by doing it this way we actually can overcome that now you guys know I always over-deliver here on this channel so I'm not just giving you 8 it turns out we're going to give 9 because I have another back exercise here that I really really wish that I was doing sooner and it is a high pulley one-arm row you can see here when I do this I have all the elements I need to get a better lat contraction and better lat activation I actually am able to get my arm up way out in front of my body which is getting that lat on a stretch that nothing else really provides because my arm is not just up over my head but out in front and then I can get that rotation once again an extension back behind my body that we were talking about with the rocking pulldown but both of these exercises I really believe have led to some of my best gains even in recent years from doing these from the actual classic alternatives ok this next one is actually more than just an exercise it's a training concept that I wish I had adopted and used a lot sooner in my training and it's developing my straight arm scapular strength because I believe when it's maximized that you're go to realize hidden strength you never knew you had especially as it carries over to some of the big exercises like the deadlift but more importantly by improving the stability of your shoulders it's going to allow you to have a lot more training along Gemma T by protecting and strengthening your joints and all you have to do is look at this guy for proof that it actually works this is my fitness Idol Sylvester Stallone here he is in his 70s including a heavy dose of straight arm scapular strength work in his training and for reasons of why he continues to inspire me is I placed an exercise on my Instagram page that he follows that was our example here of a more advanced version of straight arm scapular work which is the headbanger pull-up of course a couple days later who shows up banging him out but sly himself doing an amazing job I'm telling you guys this is tough stuff and here he is never backing down from a challenge the key thing is you better start doing the same and you can do it with a very simple straightforward exercise here like this straight arm push down it doesn't require necessarily a big cable setup you can do this with a band if you want to but the key is you keep your arms straight and you drive down you've stabilized with those scapula you'll feel this exercise working properly if you don't feel it in your triceps because if you start to bend your elbows and the triceps start taking over the work then you're not doing it properly now you can take this into an even more advanced level with some bodyweight exercises like this the front lever raise but the fact is guys I don't care how you do it you have to include straight arm scapular work as a try our entire training concept into your training and you will not regret it I really really wish I started this a lot sooner ok apologies in advance on this next exercise but the best way to demonstrate it is actually using those thigh-highs shorts that Jesse popularized there's a couple videos ago to show you it now I promise you I made him watch these first this is the glute/ham race and the benefit of this exercise is that it's targeting the glutes and I have to be honest guys a long time ago when I first started training I never realized the importance of this muscle group but now as a trainer to professional athletes their glutes literally sit right up there with the core in terms of their importance and function as a matter of fact I would argue it's even more important than the front sided core muscles because they're the ones that are trying to help us to counteract that downward force of gravity so the key element that this extra provides it helps us to integrate the glutes and the hamstrings into one movement and actually prioritize the glutes as the main drivers and letting the hamstrings sort of accessorize and help out so when we see with this exercise what you're trying to do is get the glutes to do the work that they don't want to do if you haven't focused on glute training your glutes are likely very much taking a back seat literally to what the job is at hand and that then forces the hamstrings to take on a load that they cannot handle and that is when hamstring strains occur so if you do this exercise you're going to likely see that your hamstring injury rate will go down and that your overall posterior chain is gonna be stronger you have to get these two muscles to work together if you want to optimize the performance of your lower body and especially if you want to start training more like an athlete okay let's stick with the legs now and for that matter let's stick with those shorts too as we break out this next exercise and it's the squat and before we actually talk about the fact that I'm squatting on to a pair of dumbbells I want you to first focus on the width of my feet you see because I think it's really really important that you find the width that works for you early on and your training and you stick with that I was always the type to sort of follow what the magazine said and it was always that classic feet at least shoulder width apart toes out and start squatting but it never felt right to me it always felt like my knees which were already sore from sports were just getting more and more aggravated from doing that until I actually started to narrow my stance and I actually determined my ability to narrow my stance based on that natural jumping position if I was going to jump right now I'd be a lot more narrow a little bit inside a shoulder-width as a matter of fact if I were to roll and do a rolling get up from the floor I would find that my knees and my feet would take a much more narrow stance so for me that's what's natural and I encourage you to find that because if you keep trying to squat from an unnatural position it's only going to do more harm than good for those knees to take that a step further I also wish I was doing box squats a lot sooner as well because of the fact that my patellar tendons were always on fire from some of that damage from playing sports I always was reluctant to allow myself to really let the quads take on the brunt of the force as I dropped down to a squat and I would really shortchange my depth every single time which was contributing actually to more anterior force into my knees only aggravating the situation but by providing something down there for me to get as a proprioceptive feedback for my but on every single rep it allowed me to comfortably let those tendons relax let the quads take on the brunt and get better results from doing it okay back up to the upper body and actually a variation of an exercise that I did do for a very long time actually since the beginning of my training but not this way and this is the dip now we know that the dip has the capacity to help us build our shoulders our chest and our triceps but it actually has broader abilities it can actually help us to develop more scapular strength and stability through our upper body it also integrates some more of these core muscles that are right here nearby that are begging to be trained so we have a little bit of a three-way dip circuit it's something actually covered in our Holy Trinity of ab training because yes you're going to hit those muscles the fact is you go down into a dip when you come to the top you add that all-important plus portion that engages the serratus anterior that's going to provide that stability to your shoulder blades once again you see how important that concept is but then from there if you tuck your pelvis up here into a posterior tilt you engage the ABS now when we come back down you twist just a little bit causing that sort of oblique activation of the obliques themselves and you then start to evolve them when you repeat the movement you go right you go Center you go left the fact is this is still going to give you those same benefits to all those bigger show muscles that you're doing the exercise for in the first place but adding in this critical component that's providing that stability and longevity once again to your training all right let's stick with the shoulders and chest here for the next exercise that again I wish I had started doing a lot earlier because I like the integration that this exercise allows this is a crush grip dumbbell press out and we think about what's actually going on here we're trying to train the front delts and we're trying to train it in a little bit of an explosive manner but we also need for the safety and health of our shoulders we need to have that stable platform from which we're pressing off of and we can actually get it from the chest in normal circumstances when we have our arms out in front of our body here and a front shoulder raise we have a little bit of this triangle action going on here with two dumbbells out here coming into one single point here on the chest but if we can actually get an active contraction of the chest by squeezing our hands on that crush grip on that dumbbell we brought in that contraction broaden the base of stability out so that now our shoulders can work with more strength and power and that's what's going on here not to mention the fact that these muscles that prefer to work together right here in close proximity to each other are getting that opportunity for maybe even the first time and you can see that one more time it's not just these muscles but the entire upper body here starts to kick in to stabilize so you're getting the benefits of building those front delts but at the same time getting a lot more stability throughout the entire upper torso while doing it now before you get carried away and get so frontside dominant you must do this next exercise if you're not already doing it as a matter of fact I've made an entire video about this being the one thing you should do after every single workout if you want to start working on addressing those imbalances that you likely have from not focusing enough on it and this is the face pull and guys I'll actually link that video for you at the end of this one because I feel it's that important for you to watch the face pull allows us to work those overlooked underutilized muscles of the posterior chain actually involving external rotation to hit the rotator cuff you're getting the rear delts you're getting the mid scapular muscles to fire you're hitting all those muscles that oftentimes just don't get the attention they need I really really feel like there's one thing even if there's kids starting training here at 11 and 12 years old if they did this exercise with tubing they be doing themselves a great service to set themselves up and set the stage for great games down the road if you haven't already started incorporating this guys you need to start doing this exercise okay finally we have something here that's getting more of a concept and an exercise but hey I'm going to show you a few exercises even here which by the way I think pushes our total well past eight but it doesn't matter if we're getting the benefit here then that's all that matters and this is something that what we call an overcoming isometric now I talked about this actually before and I'm going to reiterate it again here because this is something that I didn't start doing personally until the last couple years and I think it's made a dramatic impact on my muscularity and I wish I had started a lot sooner what we're doing here is we're taking an exercise setting up at any specific angle within that exercise and focusing on moving in a movable object in this case if we're working on our chest and I'm really trying to pull across my body as far as I possibly can again without these things moving but what we're working on here is that efficiency of motor fiber recruitment as I hold and I pull and I pull and I pull on getting this building recruitment of more and more muscle fibers to the task at hand not enough to actually help me to overcome it but this will translate back when you go to these non isometric exercises and actually try to exert more strength the strength that you build from doing this is going to carry over into the actual application of the exercise itself which allows you to get increased hypertrophy over the long run because of that applied strength anyway that tells you that isometrics don't build strength don't understand the power of isometrics and again we don't have to just do it to the chest itself we could do it here in a bicep variation as well remember that when you take whatever angle of the exercise you're going to use you're only going to get a specific benefit sort of above and below that you need to sort of experiment a little bit more within that range to get the complete benefits throughout the range of motion but the concept is still the same I really truly wish this is something I started a lot earlier in my training so there you have it guys there are the eight things that I personally wish I had implemented into my training a lot earlier but the fact is because of this video I'm hoping that a lot of you won't have to make the same mistakes or oversights that I did guys if you're looking for a training plan that puts the science back in strength and now hopefully over looks nothing to give you guys the best results the fastest that's the athlean-x training program it's available over at athleanx.com in the meantime if you want me to cover more things guys you let me know what it is and I'll do my best to do that for you in the days and weeks ahead all right I'll see you soon