Full-Body Exercises

The 3 Hardest Moves You Need to Learn

Step out of your comfort zone and see real strength and muscle gains with these three essential advanced moves.

It can get easy to follow a workout program that keeps you in your “comfort zone”. 

We all know what that means—exercises that you know and trust, that you’ve taken the time to get really good at. It’s true, certain people may have “go-to” exercises that can give them good cosmetic results, and no one knows your body better than you yourself. But when it comes to stuff you haven’t tried, or at least haven’t tried enough, it’s another story altogether. 

In my experience, I’ve noticed that most intermediate trainees tend to shy away from the tough stuff. Since folks who aren’t beginners often carry plenty of muscle, the main reason for shying away from movements comes from the fact that limited mobility bars them from doing it well, or doing it strongly. 

These are my top three exercises that deserve your attention, not only for the health of your joints and muscle tissue, but also because getting good at them will mean gains galore. Read on, if you’re man enough. 

Exercise 1: The FULL Clean

This is an exercise that combines coordination, timing, strength, power, and mobility and flexibility all into one movement. The reason why the word “full” is capitalized in the subheading is because many lifters (and crossfitters, which I don’t categorize in the same ballpark) will perform hang cleans for reps as a conditioning tool. 

Getting strong, fast, and mobile enough to “dive” under a heavy bar and catch it in a full front squat position changes the game, and also gets the legs stronger. 

Mobility matters for this movement, so performing exercises to warm up the shoulders and hips would be a good place to start. 

Spiderman Walks:

Shoulder “dislocates”:

After that, pay attention to your mechanics of the actual movement. Good cleans ask for a triple extension—that means a full recruitment of the posterior chain to fully extend the ankle, knee and hip joints. Getting used to this pattern will enable you to pull more with your body, and less with your arms, especially from the start of the lift. Practice this drill to embed it into your muscle memory. 

Triple extension drill:

Having a good front squat will help this lift also, so generally practicing that movement will enable you to keep the elbows up, and achieve the correct bottom position for the movement.  

The finished product of an awesome clean will look something like this:

Get ready for a set of awesome traps as a by-product of learning these bad boys. 

NEXT: Exercise 2 >>