Improving the Front Rack Position
The front rack position is one of the most uncomfortable and frustrating aspects of using a barbell. My hope in this article is to give you an understanding why your front rack position might be limited, and how to improve you front rack position
The culprit for most front rack position issues is a flared ribcage (especially on the left side). Tilt of the ribcage inhibits shoulder flexion (arm moving up) and external rotation (thumb turning toward the ceiling). This leaves the wrist as one of the only areas left to pick up the lack of range of motion. Repetitive movement will leave the joint overtaxed.
When front racking the bar, our goal is to have the bar resting on the shoulders with the wrists and hands relaxed. The bar should NOT be held/supported by the arms, but instead be supported by the trunk. We are looking for four points of contact: the outsides of the shoulders and the area around the collarbones.
PVC Front Rack Rock Back Breathing
This is my favorite exercise to improve the front rack position.
Hold a PVC with the hands facing toward the ceiling and the elbows on a box or bench. Exhale forcefully dropping the ribcage down back and in. Allow the arms to move overhead without the ribcage releasing upward. As you inhale, draw air into the upper back. You should feel a stretch in the upper back and lats.
Hit this exercise for two sets of five breaths for two weeks before and after your workout to create long lasting change. If you have any issues, be sure to reach out!