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5 Exercises to Fix Your Front Rack Position

by Ben Thompson

The front rack is a crucial position for the front squat, clean and jerk. The position requires an advanced level of mobility which is often the reason it is neglected in favour of the back squat. The front squat provides many advantages and is a great exercises to learn for long term athletic development.

The front rack position is a very difficult position to achieve when first learning the front squat. Most trainees feel pain in the wrist and physically cannot get their elbows high enough to load the exercise correctly. But rather than avoiding the exercise completely, the exercise should be used to challenge the mobility of the individual and spark motivation to improve these areas.

The plan should be to continue to practice the exercise in combination with some simple drills outlined below.

Below are five exercises, in no particular order, that will help improve the front rack position.

1. Wrist / Forearm Stretch

This exercise stretches the flexors of the forearm. Kneeling on the ground, spin your hands so they are facing towards the body. Slowly rock backward and forward, pausing in the stretch position.

Watch the video below for a demonstration.

2. Tricep Barbell Smash

Restriction through the triceps will limit the ability to get the wrist close to the deltoids.

To perform this exercise, sit a barbell on the rack (about knee height).

Sit the tricep on the barbell and apply downward pressure while slowly flexing and extending the elbow.  

Watch the video below for a demonstration.

3. Banded Front Rack Stretch  

Tight lats restrict the ability to keep the elbows up in the front rack position. When the lats are tight, they restrict shoulder flexion and external rotation which is an important requirement.

Simply grab a band and attach it to a cage at hip height. Loop your hand through the band and spin into position.

Watch the video below for a demonstration.

4. Thoracic Extension with Barbell

A restricted thoracic spine limits the ability to hold an upright torso in the movement.

To begin, set up a bar and roller on the floor. Place the roller on your thoracic spine then reach your arms overhead to grab the bar.

Watch the video below for a demonstration.

Want to learn more about thoracic mobility?

Check out our article "5 Exercise for Thoracic Mobility"

5. Subscap / External Rotation

The subscapularis muscle is responsible for medial rotation of the glenohumeral joint. In most cases this muscle is tight and limits external rotation.

Watch the video below for a demonstration.



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