January 14, 2022 7 min read
You may be familiar with deadlifts, whether it is the conventional deadlift or one of the many variations but the rack pull deadlift variation allows you to increase your pulling strength, build back muscle gains and strengthen your hips.
The rack pull has a shorter range of motion but it still works the same muscles that the deadlift targets.
It also allows you to lift a heavier weight since the movement of the exercise is shorter. It mainly targets the lower back muscles but also targets the upper back, glutes, and hamstrings and helps to develop strength at sticking points in your deadlift.
With regards to equipment, you will need a barbell and a power rack to perform rack pulls.
The rack pull is a great modified variation of the traditional deadlift that is performed with a loaded barbell using the support of a power rack. It is a high-intensity movement that focuses on pulling strength and can also contribute to improving your deadlift max.
This exercise is not only great for improving your performance in the gym but it can also make your daily tasks easier as well as decrease your injury risk by strengthening large muscle groups.
Whether you are a bodybuilder, powerlifter, or simply an individual who is looking to get stronger, we recommend you incorporate this deadlift variation into your strength training routine.
A rack pull is performed with an Olympic barbell, weight plates, and bumper plates.
You may also choose to use a weightlifting belt and straps but these are optional. Individuals with lower back injuries should inquire with a professional prior to performing rack pulls.
Although improving the strength of the back, glutes, and hamstrings can be beneficial in preventing as well as treating injury, it can be extremely dangerous to perform the exercise if you are already injured. If you are cleared to lift, it may be beneficial to start off with a personal trainer to ensure you are performing the exercise with proper form to prevent future injuries.
Due to the improved lockout and increased hip drive, you will also see improved performance in the regular deadlift. Grip strength will also increase due to the heavier loads being placed on your body. This challenges you both physically and psychologically as it sends signals to your nervous system to push your muscles to pull heavier weight.
This variation of the deadlift is performed in a more vertical position which decreases the stress placed on the lower back, making it a good choice for individuals who have a history of back injuries. Less lumbar stress is also beneficial as it means you will be less fatigued and will be able to perform more sets of rack pulls more often.
60%-80% of adults are susceptible to experiencing low back pain.
In Western countries, adults are especially prone to low back pain. Studies have shown that the incorporation of an exercise routine that targets strength, flexibility, and aerobics can have a positive impact on individuals who have chronic low back pain as well as decrease the risk of low back pain.
The rack pull is an example of a compound movement. A compound movement is any movement that involves more than one muscle group at a time. The rack pull activates the entire posterior chain and regular activation can lead to muscle growth. Not only will the muscle gains make you stronger, but they can also decrease your risk of several diseases such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
The performance of any exercise that involves heavy weights places you at risk for injury but strength training is a great way to enhance muscles, bones, and joints. The deadlift is a challenging exercise as mastering form is everything and many people do not master the form. The rack pull is less risky for individuals as it reduces force on the spine, allowing individuals to efficiently perform the exercise and increase strength.
Therefore, by performing the exercise, you decrease your chance of injury during the movement itself as well as future injuries due to the increase in muscle growth.
If you try out the rack pull and decide it just isn’t for you, don’t fret. There are many other alternatives out there!
The trap bar is another great alternative that reduces back strain. It used a trap bar instead of a traditional barbell that allows the lifter to stand inside of the bar instead of having to pick it up straight from the floor.
The sumo deadlift is performed in a wider stance than the standard deadlift and similar to the rack pull, it decreases lumbar stress
Romanian deadlifts are a great way to engage the glutes and hamstrings more than the traditional deadlift as well as the rack pull.
Our daily lives place a lot of strain on our lower back and performing an exercise like a rack pull is a great way to escape from daily stressors and increase strength in the entire posterior chain. It is crucial to perform the exercise in proper form to prevent lower back injury.
Whether you are seeking to build muscle, reach your one-rep-max, or simply try something new out, this compound exercise is a great alternative to the traditional deadlift to target numerous muscle groups as well as get you one step closer to your muscle gains.
By incorporating this variation into your workout routine or attempting one of the other variations, you are one step closer to reaching your goals. If you enjoy focusing on the lower body and want to keep working on those lower body gains, check out our article on the best exercises for a lower body blasting workout.