How To Rack Pull

In this video, learn how to rack pull and why it’s an effective supplemental exercise for increasing the deadlift.

Supplementals lifts are useful for introducing extra stress to a lifter’s program. We have two options when considering lifts that add stress in a way the main lifts do not. One way is through an increased range of motion, such as the deficit deadlift. Another way is by increasing the intensity, with a reduced range of motion, such as the rack pull.

Rack pulls increase stress by increasing intensity or weight on the bar. Deficit deadlifts, or other supplemental lifts that have increased range of motion, increase stress precisely in that way.

How To Rack Pull

To set up for the rack pull, adjust the safeties in your squat rack (or use blocks) so the bar meets your mid-shin, or 3-4 inches below your knee (the tibial tuberosity). Anything above the knee does not train enough range of motion to effectively carry over to the deadlift.

In a regular deadlift, you would walk forward until your shins were about 1 inch from the bar. However, for the rack pull, you will touch your shins to the bar in step 1 of the set up.

Follow the 5 Step Set Up as you would for a conventional deadlift:

  1. Walk forward until your shins touch the bar. Take the same stance as your conventional deadlift.
  2. With straight legs, bend over and grab the bar just outside your legs.
  3. Push your knees out slightly.
  4. Squeeze your chest up to set your back.
  5. Drag the bar up your legs.

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