Front Rack Fixes


All too often we see that when an athlete places the barbell into the front rack position for the first time (or the first few times), their elbows are vertically aligned with the barbell and their wrists are taking the full weight of the barbell. See photo below, is this you?

Poor Front Rack.JPG


There can be many causes behind why you cannot hold the barbell in a proper front rack position but the most common issues are due to the lack of shoulder mobility, tightness or low flexibility in the tricep or poor thoracic mobility. Don’t worry! We’ve got just the thing to help you increase your range of motion and get you on the road to a stronger and prettier front rack!


Before we dive into the first fix, we need to evaluate a few things and see which fix for is for you, if not both!

Test No. 1:

  • Start with your back on a wall and align your elbow horizontally with your shoulder.
  • Try to rotate your forearm outwards, if you cannot rotate further than a few degrees, you have little to no shoulder flexibility.
  • See image below:
Shoulder Flex 1.JPG
Shoulder Flex 2.JPG

Test No. 2:

  • Lay flat on your back on the ground and place your hands above your head with your arms locked out.
  • Raise your knees to your chest, if your overhead mobility does not permit your arms to stay on the ground, your lat flexibility needs to be increased.
  • See image below:
Lat Flex 1.JPG
Lat Flex 2.JPG

The Fix:

Now that we have conducted the above tests, it’s time to make a few corrections. This fix can be conducted a few different ways but ultimately we need to increase the flexibility in the tricep, shoulder and lat muscles. You will need a barbell and a rubber band (red or purple).

  • We will start by placing the barbell into the rig at about shoulder height.
  • Place your elbow on top of the barbell as if you were in the rack while holding one end of the band in your hand.
  • Put your heel into the other end of the band and and push your heel to the floor to pull your wrist down to the floor.
  • Hold this position on each arm for about 0:45 – 1:00 for a few sets.
  • See image below:
Banded Front Rack.JPG
  • Next, let’s ditch the band and add some weight on the bar, preferably a decent amount of weight so that you can push against the bar and it won’t move.
  • Grab the bar with one hand and let the other extend out in front of you.
  • Squat under the barbell with one hand holding the bar as if you were about to un-rack it to front squat and fight to drive your elbow up.
  • Hold this position for about 0:30 – 0:45 on each arm for a few sets.
  • See image below:
Barbell Front Rack .JPG


The next fix that we will discuss deals with your Thoracic (upper spine) mobility. The issue here could be that your thoracic spine has adopted a forward curve (from years of poor posture or slouching in a chair) and isn’t flexible enough to straighten up under the load.

The fix:

To conduct this, all you will need is a foam roller and some floor space.

  • Start with the foam roller under your back about 6 inches lower than your shoulders (close to the bottom of the rib cage).
  • Place your hands behind your neck like you’re about to do a sit up.
  • Engage your core (very important) and extend your head/shoulders towards the floor behind you. Remember to engage your core and leave your butt on the floor. This is merely extension and by no means should your head/shoulder touch the floor.
  • Once you’ve held the above for about 0:45 then relax and move the foam roller slightly upwards towards your shoulders.
  • See video below: