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Getting stronger should always be a priority for athletes. Strength is the foundation of athleticism—there's no denying that.

Getting strong is fairly simple. Use compound movements, lift heavy, fuel up and mitigate stress. Yet so many athletes struggle to make progress. They're like a hamster in a wheel. They're working hard but going nowhere.

Here are four reasons why you're not getting stronger.

1. You Keep Switching Gears

Most athletes have no concept of how long it takes to see progress. One month they're trying to add size, and the next month they're trying to get shredded. In short, they're program hopping.

We can certainly make the argument that some training protocols are better than others. But that's not the issue. Truth is, there are plenty of cookie-cutter programs out there, but you would make considerably more progress if you just follow one plan and finish it. Certainly there is value in changing up the stimulus, but doing so too often is not ideal.

The effectiveness of a training program pales in comparison to your ability to consistently put in the work. Focus on one primary goal.

RELATED: Why Random Workouts Won't Produce the Results You Want

2. You Have No Regard For The Basics

Read more: 4 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Stronger

You cannot walk through a weight room without seeing at least one person on the Bench Press. It's arguably the most popular free weight exercise. But its long-lost cousin, the Floor Press, seems to have been forgotten.

The Floor Press actually predates the Bench Press. People learned to bench a barbell off the floor before benches were even invented. The exercises are obviously similar. The primary difference is that the Floor Press is performed from, you guessed it, the floor.

Nowadays, the Floor Press is most commonly used by powerlifters and folks who are specifically seeking to improve their Bench Press strength. Besides that, it's practically non-existent.

STACK is here to change your perception of the Floor Press. The exercise is good for more than improving your Bench Press. It is a solid upper-body pressing move that can help you gain strength, size and power. It's also versatile, allowing you to bench with a barbell when no bench is in sight.

We spoke to Rick Scarpulla, owner of Ultimate Advantage Training (Bloomingburg, New York) and an expert on everything to do with the Bench Press, to learn more about the benefits of this exercise.

RELATED: Scarpulla's Guide to a Bigger Bench Press

Read more: Floor Press: The Forgotten Chest Builder

When planning your workouts, have you ever thought about improving your scapula function? Odds are, probably not. That is a critical mistake, but it can be rectified by including Scapula Push-Ups in your routine.

Scapula Push-Ups, or Scap Push-Ups, strengthen the muscles around the scapula, the technical term for the shoulder blades. The specific muscle that you strengthen when you perform Scapula Push-Ups is the serratus anterior. It connects between the ribs, underneath the scapula itself, and its main function is to keep the shoulder blades pressed against the upper back. When you strengthen it, you promote normal scapula motion and improve shoulder mobility.

This might not sound all that important, but proper scapula function impacts almost every upper-body movement you perform, whether in the weight room or in your sport. When positioned properly, your scapulae have enough mobility to stabilize your shoulder joints, allowing you to safely move more weight and prevent overuse injuries during repetitive movements, such as throwing a ball.

Scap Push-Ups are a simple solution to the problem. Once you master the technique, they are easy to perform, and they confer excellent benefits. Add them to your dynamic warm-up, particularly before upper-body workouts.

How to Perform Scap Push-Ups

Click here...

If you train and play sports seriously, stress and strain can lead to lower-back pain. Hoping it will just go away can hurt your performance and cause injury.

But you don't want to get overzealous and do exercises that aggravate the problem. You can perform Back Extensions until the cows come home, but all you're doing is making matters worse.

So what now?

Focus on your deep abdominals. Stiffening your spine and bracing your core are crucial for preventing painful spine motion. A weak and unconditioned core will not sustain heavy loads for very long.

With all this in mind, here are five exercises for lower-back pain.

1. Deadlift

Never sacrifice form to lift or move more load. Movements that begin from there are a recipe for future back pain. To paraphrase Dan John, "Move well, then move often." Check your ego, lighten the load and focus on form.

The Deadlift allows you to exert maximal tension throughout your entire body while you move an appreciable amount of weight. It can bulletproof your entire body if you do it correctly. Technique is key.

2. Suitcase Carry

Read more: Back Savers For Improved Performance: Exercises For Lower Back Pain

If you want to rearrange your workout, organization is certainly important. You don't want to dive headfirst into heavy lifts without a warm-up, but you also don't want to burn yourself out before your most important exercises. One common workout formatting strategy? Saving core work for the end.

The basic weight room workout seems to follow this order: warm-up, big lifts, accessory exercises, core work. You've probably performed a hundred workouts following that basic format, and you've always saved core work until the end. But just because something's the norm doesn't necessarily mean it's right. Here's why you need to re-think the way you approach core training.

Your core, commonly defined as the collection of muscles around your lower back and midsection, might be the single most important area of your body when it comes to athletic performance.

If you think of your body as a giant chain, your core is the center link that holds everything together. Without a strong and stable core, power cannot be adequately transferred through the body, and this has a negative impact on performance.

Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce summed it up best. "Your core is like your engine. It triggers everything and gets everything going," Kelce told STACK. "Guys can be as big as they want, but if they're weak in the core, they're not going to be a good football player."

Read more: Why Doing Your Core Training at the End of Your Workout is Not the Best Approach

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