You’re doing it wrong. This is usually a cry you’ll hear from some skinny twerp who memorized a few YouTube videos and now thinks he’s qualifed to be your personal trainer. We know you know how to lift, but your progress could be stalling out. it’s not because you’re doing an exercise wrong, but because you’re not performing it the most optimal way. Here are three tweaks to moves you’re already doing that make them even more effective.

Seated Cable Row

There’s nothing wrong with using the V-grip handle, but using such a narrow grip makes it harder to draw the shoulder blades back fully. Use a straight or lat-pulldown bar—you’ll feel a better contraction in your upper back.

Standing Calf Raise

Try bending your knees slightly as you descend, then lock them out as you perform the calf raise. This tweak activates the soleus muscle— which you usually only hit doing seated calf raises—in addition to the gastrocnemius.

Upright Row

Lifting the bar with your hands close together so your elbows are higher than your shoulders at the top will tear down your shoulder joints. You can get the same delt work with less risk by widening your grip and leaning forward. Hold the bar wider than shoulder width so your elbows are bent 90 degrees at the top.

Quick Tips

You can make any row or chinup exercise hit your biceps more directly by switching to rotating handles or rings and finishing the move palms-up.