Rack Pulls Benefits & Limitations
One advantage is that you can work rack pulls into your routine even when your hamstrings or glutes are still sore from leg day. Or if you have other aches and pains in your lower body.
Plus you can lift heavier weight. And all that load is applied to the major muscle groups of the back which results in the greatest gains in size and strength.
More specifically, rack pulls help you increase your strength on the lockout portion of the deadlift. So it can be used as part of a powerlifting training plan.
However, the downside to rack pulls is that the shorter range of motion is not as effective for building total-body strength. Particularly in the lower body.
- Able to lift really heavy weights
- Isolate the upper posterior chain (back)
- Good for increasing your strength on deadlifts
- Not as good for lower posterior chain development
How To Do Rack Pulls
Next, let’s get into how to do rack pulls for your back. Part of making this an effective exercise is getting the bar and rack set up properly.
First, adjust the height of the rack so that the bar rests just below knee level. If the bar is lower than this, you’ll use too much hamstring. And if it’s higher, the range of motion is just too small to be effective.
Next, grab the bar with an overhand grip and your hands about shoulder-width apart. Doing rack pulls is great for building grip strength. But you don’t want your grip to fail before your back.
For heavier weights, you may want to use lifting straps to make sure your grip doesn’t give out. Check out the video below to see how to use lifting straps for deadlifts or rack pulls.