How To Do Rack Pulls

Rack Pulls Exercise

Rack Pulls is a great exercise for building your entire back, hips, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, shoulders, traps and forearms.

Because you have to maintain a flat back, Rack Pulls also work your entire core section.

Rack Pulls will help you build strength, power and conditioning. The shorter distance traveled by the bar will allow you to lift more weight.

Rack Pulls is a valuable exercise for Cross Fit, football, basketball and other activities where the lower back is primarily engaged.

Rack Pulls How To

  • Set the barbell at the power rack approximately 25 to 50 millimeters below the knees.
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip that is just outside your outer thighs. Your shoulders must be in line with the bar, feet in a neutral position and arms fully straightened out.
  • Tighten your core by pulling your ribcage to your abs. Maintain a flat back position. Your hips must be lower than shoulder level but higher than the knees.
  • Take a deep breath then exhale; initiate the Rack Pull by driving your feet forcefully on the floor and pushing your hips forward. Apply force on the bar to get it moving straight up. The bar must always remain close to the body. Your arms must remain straight but relaxed during the pull.
  • At the top position, your arms must remain locked out, the shoulders down and lightly pulled back. Maintain a slight bend in your knees.
  • Hold the position for a count of one.
  • Bring the bar back to the pins of the power rack by keeping your core tight and following the same path.
  • Place the bar on the pins under complete control. Do not slam the bar. Let the bar rest for a count of one before initiating another pull.
  • Repeat the exercise until you have completed the targeted number of reps.

Form and Technique

The key to Rack Pulls is to apply the same form and technique with the traditional Deadlift.

A common mistake is to initiate the pull with your arms. In Rack Pulls as with the Deadlift, the arms are merely used as “hooks”.

It is better to keep them fully extended but relaxed throughout Rack Pulls.

The transition of the shoulders is also another key element.

Start with the shoulders in line with the bar but when you initiate the pull, you will get better results by transitioning the shoulders slightly behind the bar and pushing your hips down as if sitting on a chair.

Variations: Deadlift

Routine for Strength: 3 sets x 12-15 reps

Routine for Muscle Gains: 4-5 sets x 6-8 reps

Rack Pulls