Rack Pulls for Increased Strength

Today I decided to try rack pulls for the first time since I’ve always heard you can do more weight versus a traditional dead-lift. I managed to do 225 for a 1 rep max which I was pretty impressed with.

Adding this exercise into your routine has a variety of benefits. But first, we’ll start off with what exactly are they?

Rack pulls are very similar to a dead-lift with the exception of starting at a higher point. Usually, the bar will be set a little bit below the knees to even mid thigh depending on your training goals, level of performance and any injury level you may have. They are very popular with powerlifters and very serious bodybuilders.

The benefits of doing these include:

  • Increased strength to the back, traps, forearms, hamstrings and glutes. Since the bar starts at a higher level, you can increase strength rather quickly.
  • Thicker back. If you want to add some thickness to your back (which looks amazing btw), then this is the exercise for you.
  • Less stressful than dead-lifts due to the beginning position.
  • Becoming stronger in your dead-lift lock.

Technique is crucial to prevent injury during any exercise. This explanation is taken from bodybuilding.com!


-Set up in a power rack with the bar on the pins.
-The pins should be set to the desired point; just below the knees, just above, or in the mid thigh -position.
-Position yourself against the bar in proper deadlifting position. Your feet should be under your hips, your grip shoulder width, back arched, and hips back to engage the hamstrings.
-Since the weight is typically heavy, you may use a mixed grip, a hook grip, or use straps to aid in holding the weight.
-With your head looking forward, extend through the hips and knees, pulling the weight up and back until lockout.
-Be sure to pull your shoulders back as you complete the movement.
-Return the weight to the pins and repeat.

 

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