A variation of the deadlift, the rack pull builds strength and power through the entire posterior chain. With adjustable spotting arms, the rack pull can be performed at various heights. The altered start position allows for heavier loads to be lifted, with a safer range of motion.
To begin, set up with your feet at hip width apart, with the barbell resting against your shins or thighs (depending on the height). With straight arms, hinge over, and bend your knees until you can grip the barbell. Before lifting, brace your core, squeezing your abs and pulling back with your lats. Once fully braced, lift the bar off the squat rack, extending your knees and hips whilst keeping your chest tall. Squeeze your bum at the top. Lower the barbell back down to the safety bars with control and repeat.
*The rack pull is a great exercise for those with limited ROM, that cannot deadlift from the floor.
A benchmark movement for bodyweight strength, the pull up is a must have in your training program. Primarily targeting the lats, the pull up works the entire upper body.
To perform the movement, grip the bar with hands just outside shoulder width. Starting in a dead hang, begin by pulling yourself up, so that your chin is over the bar. Ensure you remain active with your shoulders, keeping them down and back the entire time. When pulling, keep your elbows behind the bar. Control back down to a hang position and repeat.
*Using a reverse grip will target the biceps even more.
*If you are a beginner, try using a band to make the movement assisted.
A movement commonly seen in weightlifting programs, the front squat primarily targets the quads and glutes. With the weight loaded in the front rack (on the shoulders), the front squat requires core stability and thoracic mobility, making it one of the more advanced squat variations.
With the barbell in the front rack, grip the bar with your hands just outside shoulder width (Try and keep your elbows high!). Set up with your feet just outside of hip width, with the feet slightly turned out. To begin, set the bum back slightly, and squat straight down with the knees tracking over the toes. As you stand up, keep your chest up and extend your hips at the top (squeeze your bum!). Remember to breathe in and brace your core before you squat, breathe out on the way up.
*If you have limited ROM and cannot hold the bar in the front rack, perform goblet squats instead.
*Stretching your lats and triceps can help improve front rack position.
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