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July 12, 2016

Strength. It's by far one of the most common goals of dedicated gym junkies, and with good reason. It gets you jacked and builds the foundation for achieving many other goals.

It's not complicated to build a moderate level of strength, but it's still easy to make rookie mistakes. One of the biggest mistakes I see lifters make is failing to include a nice variety of movements. They tend to focus on the base versions of the "traditional" strength exercises - bench press, deadlift, squat, overhead press, and similar moves.

By all means, keep doing that. They're well-known for a reason. But if you really want to take your strength to the next level, check out the four overlooked exercises below. Feel free to sub the first three exercises in for the traditional moves, or use them as accessory exercises. The last one isn't a traditional exercise, but it's worth including in any program.


1. Floor Press

This bench press variation is great for building the triceps strength needed to blow through the mid-point of the lift and lock out.


2. Trap Bar Deadlift

This deadlift lets you set up directly over the weight, making it an easier option for beginners. For more advanced lifters, it works well as a deadlift substitute when you're looking to change things up.


3. Pause Squat

The pause is a small tweak that yields big rewards. It teaches you key technique points: how to maintain stiffness in the bottom position; and how to blow up out of the hole.


4. Dead Bug

You might not think of a bodyweight core exercise as a strength-builder, but this one is. It teaches you how to engage your core instead of your lower back muscles, an important skill in movements like the squat and deadlift.

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