Front Rack Mobility: What You Need To Know
The front rack position is one of the most popular exercises in the gym. However, it is not always easy to perform correctly. There are many different opinions about how to do it properly.
Some say that you need to keep your back straight all the time while others believe that you should bend at the waist and keep your spine neutral throughout the movement.
Which one is correct?
Let’s take a look at some facts.
Fact 1: Properly performed front rack position requires good spinal alignment.
It is true that if you don’t maintain good spinal alignment then your body will suffer from injuries such as low back pain, disc herniation or even ligament damage. If you have ever tried to do pull ups with bad posture, you would know what I mean!
If you want to improve your front rack position, you must first make sure that your spine is aligned. If it isn’t, then you will never be able to achieve good spinal positioning.
If you don’t have any problems performing pull ups with bad posture, then why worry about improving your front rack position?
Just do them anyway because they’re fun!
Fact 2: Good spinal alignment prevents injury.
Even though many people claim that you can lift heavier weights with a bent back, this is not true. In fact, spinal injuries can occur if your body is out of proper alignment. For example, if you allow your low back to bend while lifting a heavy weight, you will be at a much higher risk of injury.
Not only that, but you won’t be able to lift as much weight!
The back is a complex structure of interlocking bones, muscles, and ligaments. It is very important that these components are all working together to help support your heavy skeleton. If you have lower back pain now, then it is much better to correct the issue before it gets worse.
Fact 3: If done correctly, the front rack position can improve your lifts.
Not only will your spinal health improve with the front rack position, but your lifting abilities will also increase. For example, if you do front squats with proper form and alignment, you will soon realize that your legs grow stronger from the increased core stabilization.
Try holding a heavy weight in the front rack position for a set amount of time every day at first. In time, you will see that your maximum weight has increased! Train your body through proper exercise and you will see great things!
Note: If you experience pain while performing front rack exercises, then it is best to stop immediately and seek medical attention.
How To Properly Set Up For A Front Squat
As mentioned before, the most important part of a front squat is getting into the rack position. To do this properly, follow these steps:
Step 1: Grip the barbell at shoulder width apart.
Step 2: Set your upper back and shoulders directly above the barbell.
Step 3: Move your elbows forward, wrap them around the barbell, and position your hands at around hip width apart.
Step 4: Bend your knees and position them out to the sides of the barbell. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart. If you need to, you can place plates under your heels for extra support.
Step 5: Now that you are in position, it is time to put the bar on your front rack. With a deep inhale, lift the bar off the supports and slowly walk back with it. Inhale again as you slowly lower the bar into position.
Exhale as you press the bar upward to lock it into your collarbone crease. Make sure that your breathing is synchronized with your movement.
These steps can either be done on their own or as part of a workout. To add this exercise into your routine, follow the amount of sets and reps outlined in the final section of this guide.
Add This Exercise To Your Routine!
Before you begin your front squat session, it is best to first warm up with some cardio exercises. Jogging or using a treadmill for ten minutes is adequate. After your warm-up, you can begin your routine.
As with most exercises, it is best to start with a lower weight and slowly work your way up. This will allow you to get used to the movement before adding extra weight. We have provided a list of different exercises and their recommended reps and sets:
Routine 1: Upper Body Focus
This routine focuses on strengthening your body while holding the bar in the front rack position. As mentioned before, it is important to maintain form throughout this routine.
Exercise Reps Sets Level Bench Press 8 3 Intermediate Dumbbell Fly 8 3 Intermediate Barbell Curl 10 2 Intermediate Tricep Extension 10 2 Intermediate
Routine 2: Full Body Focus
This routine adds some extra cardio to your routine. The quick bursts in between sets will help you burn extra calories and lose that stubborn fat. Remember, when doing this routine, do not rush through your reps.
Make sure that you take your time and focus on your breathing.
Exercise Reps Sets Level Barbell Front Rack Lunge 10 3 Intermediate Pull-up (or Lat Pull-down) 10 3 Intermediate Barbell Step-up 10 3 Intermediate
Routine 3: Lower Body Focus
For this routine, you are focusing on solely the lower body. Doing exercises that focus on one primary area allows you to really target those hard to reach muscles.
Exercise Reps Sets Level Barbell Front Rack Step-up 10 3 Intermediate Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat 10 3 Intermediate Barbell Lunge 10 3 Intermediate
Routine 4: Cardio and Core
This routine focuses on your core and includes cardio bursts to help you lose weight and get into prime physical condition. Make sure that you are properly hydrated before starting this routine.
Exercise Reps Sets Level Hanging Knee Raise 15 1 Intermediate Plank 30 2 Intermediate Jump Rope 90 1 Intermediate Side Lunge 10 each leg 3 Intermediate
The Strenuous Life
We have provided you with a number of different routines to help you get started. Once you feel that you are ready, it is time to create a more complex routine. A good way to begin is to choose a primary and secondary focus for your routine.
Sources & references used in this article:
Poka-yoke: Improving product quality by preventing defects by NK Shimbun – 1989 – books.google.com
Removable rack system by GR Vieira, A Schnetzler – US Patent 5,560,666, 1996 – Google Patents
The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play and Much More by B Feiler – 2013 – books.google.com
Improve your communication skills by A Barker – 2006 – books.google.com
Improve your memory by R Fry – 2018 – books.google.com