Sep 14, 2017
Something New

There will always be that core group of exercises that can be seen in every weightroom. But there’s also an immense variety of other workouts you might be overlooking or have simply never heard of. Even if they are unconventional, these exercises can help improve athlete performance and add something new and exciting to your training program.

Conventional exercises such as bench presses, squats, deadlifts, and bicep curls can be tremendously effective, and that’s why they are central to many training regimens. Yet, it’s often easy to become stuck in the same routine and that can cause motivation in the weightroom to suffer. Even further, the body can get used to performing the same movements over and over again, and athletes will benefit from new ones.

Here are some unconventional exercises presented by the Athletic Build that will help keep things fresh in the weightroom while allowing your athletes to keep pushing towards their goals:

Mixed Grip Pull-up

Pull-ups and chin-ups can provide a ton of benefits even without any modification, but they do have their occasional drawbacks. They put a lot of stress on the shoulders, and those with shoulder issues are often unable to perform pull-ups or chin-ups effectively. In addition, your grip might fail before the back and lat muscles you are trying to strengthen. One solution is to use the mixed-grip, which involves simply putting one hand overhand on the bar and the other underhand. This allows you to hang on to the bar longer, perform more reps, and increase range of motion.

Duck Stance Deadlift:

This slight modification to the classic deadlift allows you to focus more on strengthening the quadriceps and less on the glutes and lower back. All these muscle groups are important, but it can help to vary which one your targeting. Start by simply standing with your feet closer together and with toes pointed out at 45-degress. This can be especially helpful for athletes new to the deadlift or those with lower-back issues.

Dumbbell Clean and Press:

One of the greatest things about this exercise is that it’s extremely simple and easy to learn. The dumbbell clean and press provides athletes with an explosive movement using heavy weight and a lot of reps. After choosing the correct amount of weight, hold a dumbbell in each hand and hinge forward at the hip. Then thrust the hips and dumbbells to the rack position and strict press them above your head. Do this for the desired number of reps, but usually 8-10 will be plenty if you’re using enough weight.

Suitcase and Overhead Carry:

Your athletes may already be doing some type of loaded carry, such as the farmers carry. And these types of exercises have become increasingly popular because they are great at building muscle from head to toe. But they can become mundane after a while so it helps to mix things up. The suitcase and overhead carries offer some unique challenges for your athletes. The suitcase carry targets the core, abs, obliques, glutes, and forearms, and forces the athletes to accommodate for an uneven load. The overhead carry is an effective way to build shoulder strength and stability while also working the traps and upper-back.

For more information on each exercise, visit

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