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How to Get a Better Rack
Written by Nichole DeHart

The front rack position can be one of the more difficult positions to get into, especially being a Masters athlete. The mobility required is exceptional, even for some of the young bucks coming in to train. The front rack position can be hindered if the lats are tight, along with the triceps, deltoids and immobile wrist flexors.

Alas, though, it is not all doom and gloom! I am here to give you some helpful suggestions on how to get a world class rack.

If you know your training session will include front squats or cleans, I recommend doing all of the mobility drills below. If you know that you suffer from the all too common disease of ‘my rack sucks’ then I would suggest performing the drills below multiple times during the week.

To begin, let’s get into those huge wings you’ve got on ya! All you need for this drill is a foam roller and to check any feelings of self pity at the door. You don’t need to tell everyone in the room how tight your lats are and how painful it is to roll them out – chances are they are in the same boat and feel no ounce of sorrow for you. Take two minutes to roll out your lats before you move onto the next drill.

Now let’s get into your triceps. These can often be a covert culprit of your poor rack position. Have you been sneaking in too many skull crushers and tate presses in your off time? Too many tricep extensions? You know who you are. I won’t shame you any more (I happen to love the exercises above because who doesn’t want cut triceps) but you need to counteract the damage you’ve done for your other lifts!

Try out these two tricep mobility pieces, per the supple leopard guru Kelly Starrett, to help your triceps: Band Distracted Tricep Stretch and Tricep Mashing.

To tricep mash, place your tricep down on the bar, apply pressure to the tricep and mash it. You can roll your arm from side to side, while applying pressure to it, then slowly work up the tricep.

TricepMashing

This next drill is one that my friend Aja Barto showed me. This does require a partner so grab a friend and perform the following drill: Rack Assisted Stretch 

I would also encourage you to check out this blog post written years ago by Coach Calvin Sun where he breaks down a popular stretch that will help improve the front rack position.

I hope to hear about improved rack positions from everyone who applies these drills. These shouldn’t take longer then 5-7 minutes so make the time and enjoy your journey to a better rack!

Masters Athletes – Looking for more tips on mobility or programming that is geared specifically towards you? Then check out our Invictus Masters Open Prep programming!

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