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Front rack position

Coach Wazza | SF Gym | West Coast CrossFit | Perth, Australia | www.sfgym.com.au

Coach Warren Page

As most you guys know, the coaches at SF love a good rack- and by rack, we of course mean the front rack!

You’re probably sick to death of us yelling “elbows up” in fronts squats and thrusters, so I am going to talk a little about the various front rack positions, and why they are so important to successful lifting.

The front squat
In this particular squat (most certainly one of the less favourable squats!) what we really need for optimal bar loading is an upright (or near enough) torso. This ensures the load is over the mid-line of the body,and not leaning forward.Hence when the bar is loaded on our shoulders,we feather the bar into position using our finger tips. This allows a little more flexibility in the tricep and forearm muscles, allowing us to get our elbows up.We then don’t lose the bar forward. This position is also how we receive the bar in the clean-just tell your throat to shut up and stop whinging!

The thruster
In this movements the rack position overall is the same. The bar sits on our shoulders,but this time
we are looking for a full grip (bar in the palm of our hands) so that we can stabilise the load and drive it off the shoulder. We want elbows forward,but we certainly don’t need to be the same height as in the front squat.We need to keep them away from those knees in the thruster, and achieving this rack position will make your thrusters more enjoyable (if that’s at all possible!).

The jerk/push press
In my opinion, this rack position is crucial to properly transferring your power from the dip and drive.Similar to the push press,we want the bar high on the shoulder (upper/anterior deltoid) and again, resting in the palms. Elbows out and down, and puff that chest! This means we can drive the bar straight up, rather than out forward, allowing us to handle more load! Gains baby!

What stops us from achieving these positions is mobility. We really need good tricep, chest, lat and shoulder mobility to get into all the above positions. I found a great, simple video that shows us some easy trigger point, bar and foam roller exercises. If you work on it daily, you will get a better front rack-no surgery required! Click on the image below to view the video.


Originally published in our monthly newsletter June 2014. Like what you are reading? Sign up for our newsletter at the top right of this page.