This month we are going to drill into one of the more challenging positions and that is the front rack position! This is used in the front squat and the receiving position of the clean. It is an important position that requires flexibility and strength to sustain. This also translates into the overhead press movements with the bar (press, push press and jerk!). So to keep it simple I’m going to break it into 3 separate components:
1. Hands just outside shoulder width on the bar
2. Shoulders up and scapulae slightly protracted – This is to create a shelf for the bar to sit on.
3. Bar has to sit just in behind the anterior deltoid ( front of the shoulder), so it doesn’t roll off.
4. Elbows up! – Don’t let the bar roll forward and to stop you from banging them into your legs when you squat or clean
5. Create a small space between the bar and your collar bone. This is to stop it hurting you and from passing out 🙂
6. Hands either wrapped or fingers on the bar. They should be relaxed as the weight has to be on the shoulders not the hands.
Video 1: Positioning
Here are some mobility drills to help achieve a quality rack:
In addition you can use a foam roller to help. Lying on it and arching your thoracic spine, however most people tend to arch from their lumbar, which defeats the purpose! 🙂 You can also add a band to the archer stretch to add more tension.
1. Rack Holds – This is a simple drill. Load the bar with between 105-110% of what you can front squat, lift it off the rack and hold the position for 5-15s. If this is too much to maintain, drop the load off and do the same!
2. Horizontal Pulls: Work on developing your lat strength by doing plenty of pulling. 1 arm DB or KB rows, barbell rows will all help develop strength in your rack position.