If you’re realizing that you keep doing the same exercise, it may be time to change it up a little. Swap it out. Change from one exercise to another, but continuing the same type of workout.
You can still exercise the same muscles but just by changing how you do it you can add an element of newness to your workout routine.
Here is an article that spells this out I found from our friends at GymJunkies where you can read more in detail.
How to switch your exercise routine and still get great gains
Have you been doing the same tried and true exercises? Do you feel it’s time for a change? If so, you came to the right place. These are the best exercise switches for greater gains.
Yeah, there are some exercises and methods that all the big dudes use; they involve all the old-school bodybuilding techniques. While these have stood the test of time, there are some things that you can change for greater gains and that are less of a pain to do (literally). Plus, these will offer more benefits than just putting on more muscle.
Ever feel a pinch in your shoulder while doing behind-the-neck presses or pulldowns?
There’s a reason. The position those exercises put your shoulders in has often been linked to shoulder impingement, a condition in and of itself that can cause another more sinister injury. That injury is a shoulder labral tear and those suck both to repair plus the year of recovery (no weight lifting) you have to go through after.
Times have changed, and so do exercises. The following is a list of things you’re currently doing and how you can change it to make it better for you.
You’re Doing: Behind-The-Neck Pulldowns
This is likely the most notorious shoulder killer in the eyes of many doctors and physical therapists. That 90/90, or high-five position, puts a huge amount of stress on your shoulder joints.
Not only that, it has been studied and it’s been determined that impingement is the most likely result. As detailed, impingement sucks. The logic for doing this exercise is that the angle it works the lats at is the best for ensuring adequate and symmetrical development. But, there’s a change you can make to both save your shoulders and hit your lats equally hard.
The Swap: Conventional Lat Pulldowns
Instead of pulling the bar behind your neck, pull it straight down to your collarbone. This works the lats at almost the same angle and will save you from any potential shoulder agony that awaits. It puts far less stress on the ball-and-socket joint in the shoulder and some argue that it in fact, helps solve some shoulder issues.
Plus, you’ll likely be able to move more weight this way. Of course, that leads to more gains in size and strength.
You’re Doing: Seated Behind-The-Neck Military Presses
The logic for doing this is similar to the behind-the-neck pulldowns: The angle it works the deltoids at ensures adequate and symmetrical development. But, this simply is not true. Plus, it’s a move that you never use in day-to-day activities.
That same position near the bottom of the move, the 90/90, as mentioned is linked to impingement. This is even more sinister than the pulldown, though, as the weight is loaded above your head. The force pushing down on your shoulders in and of itself can tear ligaments. Lucky for you, there’s an exercise that accomplishes the same goal.
The Swap: Standing Barbell Overhead Presses
The two big changes are switching the bottom of the exercise to that same collarbone area as in the pulldown and standing up. It hits the shoulders just as hard as the behind-the-neck press, and you can load up more weight.
Standing up gets the core involved as well, eliminating the need for those extra crunches at the end of your workout. Also, some studies suggest that standing also leads to more of a testosterone spike. That definitely means more size.
You’re Doing: Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
In recent years, medical and exercise experts have found out one thing about keeping knees locked: It leads to less blood getting back to your heart.
This decrease in blood flow also means less oxygen and nutrients getting to the muscle in your legs, and oxygen is needed for recovery (meaning you can do a few more reps), and nutrients are needed to build muscle and strength.
The Swap: Romanian Deadlifts
This move is the exact same as the stiff-legged deadlift but allows the knees to be soft.
That means blood can get back to the heart and lungs, pick up oxygen and nutrients on its way back down to the legs, and you can crank out a few more reps and start the muscle-building process along the way. Not only that, but this variation is a little easier on your back.
You’re Doing: Decline Bench Presses
Many lifters know the benefits of hitting the chest from different angles – doing so helps develop areas that may need a bit more focus. Doing a decline press targets the lower fibers of the pecs, but at a cost. It’s an awkward move that even the most proficient benchers have trouble with. Also, it is not at all athletic.
Add to that the fact that the head is lower than the legs in relation to the ground and you have a recipe for a sharp spike in blood pressure. This is an absolute no-no for anyone that has something like a detached retina, an aneurysm, etc. Anything that causes a blood pressure spike can lead to exacerbating head-related conditions that affect blood flow. Recent advances in exercise experience have led to a better alternative.
The Swap: Low Cable Crossovers
This move actually causes more metabolic stress and intramuscular damage (the two things that make muscles grow) in the lower pec fibers because of all the tension this move creates across your chest. Also, the standing position eliminates the inevitable blood pressure spike that the decline press causes.
You may not be able to lift as heavy, but that’s only one of many ways to build muscle. The tension in this move will definitely force change.
Read more at GymJunkies