How to rack deadlift? Who Should Pull the Rack?

Modified forms of routinely performed exercises are frequently utilised to supplement other areas of training in the field of strength training.

How to rack deadlift?
How to rack deadlift?

A loaded barbell is set up on the supports of a power rack, usually just above or below the knees, and lifted by grasping the bar and extending the hips to full lockout, as in the rack pull. This high-intensity deadlift alternative effectively increases pulling strength, which may be applied to a variety of sports or just to increasing your deadlift max.

This article explains the rack pull, including how to do it, the advantages it provides, the muscles it works, and some safety measures to keep in mind.

How to Pull a Rack

A squat rack, barbell, and your target weight are required for this exercise. If you don’t have this equipment at home, practically any gym will have it. Wrist straps and a weightlifting belt can also be used for further support.

It’s critical to select your rack height before you begin. Depending on body height, this will be different for everyone. The rack is usually situated about below or just above the knee for the majority of people.

How to Pull a Rack

Place the barbell and weight plates on the rack. Aim for a weight that is similar to what you use for routine deadlifts. If you’re not sure, begin with a less weight and gradually increase it as needed.

  1. Approach the bar with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes just under it, facing straight ahead. Your chest is up, shoulders are back, body is straight, and your eyes are fixed on the road ahead.
  2. Lean forwards at the hips and bend your knees slightly, holding the bar with your hands just outside the knees. The bar can be held in either an overhand or mixed grip.
  3. Take a deep breath and begin lifting the bar. Push through the heels and extend through the hips and knees as you raise.
  4. Pull the weight up and back while also drawing your shoulders back until you reach a lockout.
  5. Keep the weight in the top position.
  6. Bend your knees and drop your upper body to return the bar to the rack. Exhale as you exit the posture, keeping your back straight and your gaze forwards.

Who Should Pull the Rack?

We’ll go over what types of athletes can benefit from the rack pull, as well as why.

Who Should Pull the Rack?

Athletes of Strength and Power

Power and strength The rack pull is used by athletes to develop overall strength, gluteal, back, and trap muscular mass, and sport-specific performance.

  • Athletes who exercise weights and athletes who are strongmen or strongwomen: Rack pulls can help you improve your general pulling strength, strengthen your trapezius and back muscles, strengthen your posterior chain, and improve your grip. For lifters with difficulties above the knee, the rack pull can also improve lockout strength. Finally, the rack pull can be configured to keep pulling volumes consistent during periods when lower back stress management and/or recovery are critical.
  • Rack pulls are commonly referred to as block pulls in Olympic weightlifting. Essentially, they’re the same thing. Lifters will do block pulls from various heights to improve their strength and speed at specific pull segments. Lifters who lack explosive strength in the second pull, have postural concerns off the floor, or just want to strengthen pulls without overtaxing the lower back may benefit from this.

Athletes in Functional Fitness and Sport.

Many of the same things can be done with a rack pull. However, exercising heavy farmer’s carries or Yoke Walks can provide similar benefits to rack pulls for functional fitness athletes.

Athletes in Functional Fitness and Sport.

Rack pulls can sometimes boost overall strength and muscular hypertrophy in most formal sports players. Most athletes, on the other hand, will benefit from full-range-of-motion workouts like the conventional, sumo, or trap bar deadlift.

The General Public

Rack pulls can be utilised to build muscular growth, fundamental pulling strength, and as a deadlift teaching progression. The rack pull is beneficial to lifters who want to improve upper back strength, glute growth, and/or range of motion.

Other Variations of a Rack Pull

There are a few modifications that can make the rack pull exercise easier or more challenging depending on your experience level.

Other Variations of a Rack Pull

Higher Rack Height

To make this exercise more beginner-friendly, adjust the rack height so the bar rests above your knees. This decreases the range of motion, allowing you to master good form and technique before moving into a greater range of motion.

Unweighted Rack Pull

Another way to reduce the intensity of the rack pull is to begin with an unweighted bar. Once you feel more comfortable with the movement, add light weights. As your strength increases, increase the weight you lift as well.

Lower Rack Height

To make the exercise more challenging, lower the rack height below your knees. This increases the range of motion. Performing rack lifts with this starting position can help prepare you for regular deadlifts.

Common Errors

To make the rack pull safer and more effective for you, avoid these mistakes.

Common Errors

Bringing Your Hips Forward

Rack pulls work the glutes, hamstrings, and quads, so thrusting your hips forwards at the top to engage these muscles may be enticing. However, this alters the nature of the workout and may result in a back injury.

Instead, the movement should be smooth and controlled throughout. The danger of damage increases when you thrust your hips forwards.

Excessive Weight Lifting

You may be able to load more weight than you would with a typical deadlift because the range of motion is limited. If you’re new to exercise, err on the side of caution and concentrate on perfecting your technique before increasing the amount of weight you lift.

Kneeling at an Angle

Adopting a sumo posture is one variation of the deadlift. The feet are pointing outward, similar to a sumo squat, causing the knees to bend at an angle.

Kneeling at an Angle

Because it puts strain on the knee joints and hips, this is not a beginner-friendly activity. It can also throw you off balance and cause the weight to be distributed unevenly. Keep your feet forwards and your knees not angled outward to avoid any problems.

Bad Posture

This exercise can be performed incorrectly if you have bad posture, which can harm your lower back and produce tension. Maintain a straight back, shoulders back, and feet shoulder-width apart at all times.

Alternatives to Rack Pull

Coaches and players can employ the two rack pull options listed below to improve overall pulling strength, rectify deficits, and build muscle.

Alternatives to Rack Pull

Deadlift with a Trap Bar

Due to its limited range of motion (in comparison to the traditional deadlift) and reliance on lockout strength, the trap bar deadlift is a rack pull alternative. Both actions can be utilised to supramaximally load a lifter in order to boost neurological development and muscle recruitment.

Deadlift Sumo

The sumo deadlift is comparable to a rack pull in that the lifter has a smaller range of motion than a traditional deadlift. The trapezius and upper back muscles are also heavily taxed in both the sumo deadlift and the rack pull. Finally, at the bottom of the deadlift, both the sumo deadlift and the rack pull can be used with lifters who have mobility and/or strength restrictions.

F.A.Q how to rack deadlift:

Can you do deadlifts at the rack?

The rack pull uses a power rack to raise the starting position, whereas the typical deadlift is performed from the floor and needs more range of motion. This makes it a little easier and allows lifters to stress the deadlift’s lockout portion.

What do rack deadlifts work?

The rack pull can help you gain muscular mass and promote muscle hypertrophy in your lower body, particularly in your hamstrings, spinal erectors, quadriceps, and lower back muscles, if done correctly. Rack pulls can help you improve your grip and pulling strength.

Is rack pull better than deadlift?

Rack pulls are better than deadlifts for targeting the upper back and traps. Rack pulls are a good place to start for beginners, the elderly, and persons with particular injuries. For the most part, establishing your form with deadlifts is the best way to go before attempting rack pulls.


The rack pull is done by grasping the bar and extending the hips to full lockout while lifting a weighted barbell on the supports of a power rack, usually slightly above or below the knees.

If a power rack isn’t available, blocks or bumper plates can be used instead.

And this article will help you answer the following questions about how to rack deadlift:

  • rack pull vs deadlift
  • rack deadlift benefits
  • rack deadlift alternative
  • rack deadlift for back
  • rack deadlift muscles worked
  • squat rack deadlift
  • rack pulls with dumbbells
  • deadlift rack for sale

Field John

If you are an avid believer in health and fitness and want to do something for your team, I can help. As the founder of Field Goals Fitness, I lead a collective of health and fitness professionals dedicated to helping Australians lead a more active and healthier lifestyle. With a warm, friendly, and supportive approach that gets results, I enjoy helping individuals & organisations achieve sustainable success with their health and fitness goals. Certifying as a Personal Trainer in 2009, was a turning point in my life. I had spent 14 years in the corporate world in Business Development roles and decided to take all that I had learnt in sales and marketing and start my own business.

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