Fix Your Front Rack!
Front Squats, Cleans & Thrusters. For some these movements can be challenging due to the difficulty of maintaining a good front rack position. If you are one of those who struggles to get your elbows up, or suffers from painful forearms and wrist when performing these movements and are wondering why? Thoracic, lats, triceps, shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles all contribute to an effective front rack position. I know that sounds like a lot of different muscles and joints but any limitation in one of these areas is going to make it more difficult to maintain a good and strong position. Have poor thoracic extension? You will struggle with getting your elbows up. Tight shoulders? You might not have sufficient external rotation. Hip or ankle issues? Your knees may not track effectively over your toes and you lose your upright torso.
So what can you do about it? Here are a few drills you can perform at home or work to help improve your front rack position >
1. WALL EXTENSIONS: Start by standing tall with your back against a wall, Raise your elbows to a 90-degree angle, keeping in contact with the wall as much as possible. Attempt to slide your arms up the wall while maintaining hip, back, and arm contact. - Complete approx 10 reps for 3 rounds.
2. DOOR FRAME HANGS: Position yourself inside a doorframe, gripping the entryway anywhere from 90 to 180 degrees and push your torso through. Stay in this stretch for anywhere from 30-60 seconds while maintaining full-belly breathing.
3. TRIGGERPOINT RELEASE: If you have access to a foam roller or lacrosse ball, roll your lats for approx 90seconds on both sides and standing up against a wall press the ball into the back of the rotator cuff, this is just under the shoulder at the back of your armpit.
4. WALL SQUAT: Stand facing a wall at approx a foot distance away. Feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width with your feet angled out very slightly. Squat down as far as possible with your arms extended straight over your shoulders with each rep, you should be able to drop a little farther into the squat. Perform 3 sets of 10-15 reps.