Front Rack Warm-up Drills

Front Rack Warm-Up Drills:



The front rack position is very important to the front squat, the clean, and the clean and jerk. If you do not have an optimal front rack position, you are limiting yourself on how heavy you can lift when performing these lifts. For an optimal front rack position, the bar should be resting high on your shoulders, pressed up against the throat, with the elbows in front of the bar parallel to the ground. All of the weight on the barbell should be supported on you shoulder, NOT your arms. If you have a poor front rack, the weight will not rest on your shoulders. The elbows are usually down, and this causes your arms to bear the load. A poor front rack causes a tremendous amount of stress on your shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Upper body mobility is crucial in being able to support weight in a proper front rack position. Here are some drills that warm-up and focus on improving the front rack:

Read More Front Rack Position for Press/Jerk

  • Alternating Single-arm Front Rack Elbow Raises: With an empty or light barbell resting on the shoulder, raise one elbow as high as possible (without lifting the bar off the shoulders) and keep the other elbow down. Focus on keeping a tight midline, chin down, and raise the point of your elbow as high as possible without rotating the trunk or allowing the body to move.
  • Front Rack Elbow Raises: This is very similar to the single-arm elbow raises, but now you will raise the points of both elbows simultaneously, instead of one at a time. The same points of performance apply. Chin down, tight midline, and no movement from the body besides the elbows raising and lowering.
  • Alternating Single-arm Back Rack Elbow Raises: This drill requires more flexibility than the front rack raises. It is a longer range of motion, but when done properly, this drill can really open up your lats and shoulders allowing you to get into a more optimal front rack position. 
  • Back Rack Elbows Raises: This drill is where you raise both elbows into a front rack, as high as possible, from a back rack position. All of the same points of performance for the other drills should be applied.

Read More Warming Up Your Hips and Glutes

Focusing on the proper positioning of any exercise should always be the foundation for acquiring or mastering any movement. When it comes to supporting a weighted barbell in a front rack, upper body mobility and elbow positioning play a key role in performing and optimizing movements that include a front rack. Lifting with a proper front rack will allow you to brace and stabilize your spine, which will allow you to lift more weight, safely and efficiently.

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