There is progression, maintenance, regression.
That is it.
If you aren’t progressing in some way with your training, assess where progress can happen and chip away at some milestones.
If you can’t deadlift without aggravation you could substitute block pulls, trap bar pulls, or farmer’s walks. All of them are adequate substitutions and will benefit your training.
If barbell squatting poses a roadblock, use a safety bar, squat to a higher box, front squat, or use one of the many split squats or unilateral variations. Step ups are an alternative also. Not much beats the training price of a simple barbell squat but only quitters hang it up, winners find a way around roadblocks by any means necessary.
Bench press is no exception. Shoulder injuries can easily prevent the best intentions of lowering a barbell to your chest and pressing it back up. Using a Swiss bar, incline bench, decline bench, floor press, board benching, or using dumbbells are all acceptable alternatives.
There isn’t any correct exercise, there is only personally effective exercises.
Your injury history, mechanics, goals, and equipment access determine what will work for you or what will be a lesson in futility.
Dogma is dangerous, results speak loudly.
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If you are local to Kansas City and wish to kickass at my gym, visit us at Kansas City Barbell for the ultimate training experience.