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The Rack Pull

In this video, Starting Strength Coaches Matt Reynolds and Marie Kunkel show how to rack pull in our second deadlift supplemental exercise tutorial.

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, which we taught you how to do in this video. Another way is by increasing the intensity, with a shorter range of motion.

How To Rack Pull

To set up for the rack pull, adjust the safeties (or blocks) so the bar meets your mid-shin, or 3-4 inches below your knee (the tibial tuberosity). 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.

Setting up for the rack pull…

  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.

Rack Pull Programming

If you are currently running the Novice Linear Progression program, you will only perform the four main exercises, and possibly the power clean. The rack pull and all other supplemental lifts are for intermediate and advanced lifters only.

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