Rack Deadlift or Rack Pull
Rack deadlifts are a great exercise for building muscle mass in the back. Nothing builds thickness in the back quite like rack deadlifts. Rack deadlifts are a partial deadlift and has a much shorter range of motion. The bar does not start on the floor. Instead you place the bar on pins in a power rack. The great thing about rack deadlifts is that they allow you to place the bar at any height you choose.
To be an effective mass building exercise for your back you should place the bar at knee level, just above knee level or just below knee level. This will take most, if not all of the work off your leg muscles allowing you to blast your back hard without overworking other major muscle groups.
Rack Deadlifts – Benefits
- Focuses more on back development by minimising leg work
- Known for building thickness in the back
- Trap muscles are worked hard
- Will improve the locking out phase of your deadlift
- Allows you to use more weight
- Grip strength can improve as a result of the heavier weight being used
- Great for people who have lower back problems
Rack Deadlift – Muscles Worked
- Traps to a smaller extent
How To Perform The Rack Deadlift Or Rack Pull
Rack deadlifts or rack pulls are a very similar movement as the top part of a deadlift, if not the same. To begin the movement first start by placing the bar on the pins inside the power rack at about knee height.
Walk up to bar and stand so the bar is touching your body, preferably your shins just below your knee. Take up a shoulder width stance and bend down to grip the bar.
Grip width shoulder be slightly wider than shoulder width and grip the bar close to your fingers, not in your palm.
Keep your arms straight and chest up. Do not pull with bent arms!
Ensure your shins are vertical to the floor otherwise you will involve your quads in the lift. With rack pulls or rack deadlifts we want to minimise leg work and focus more on the back. If someone were to look at you from the side your shins should be in a straight line and upright.
Ensure shoulder blades are in front of the bar and your ready to lift!
Performing The Rack Deadlift or Rack Pull
To perform the lift push the floor away from you and extend your body until you are in an upright position. This can be done by focusing on pushing your feet through the floor until lockout.
Remember to keep the bar close to your body as you would during a regular deadlift. The further away the bar is from the body the harder the lift. Not keeping the bar close to the body will also raise the risk of injury.
The exercise finishes once you have locked out your knees and hips. No need to over exaggerate the movement at the top and lean back. This can place unnecessary stress on the back and lumbar discs.
Lower the bar back down towards the safety pins by keeping everything tight, arms straight, back rigid, eyes looking forward, bar close to your body and pushing your hips back.
And that’s how you perform the rack deadlift, also known as rack pulls, pin pulls or partial deadlift. As mentioned earlier, rack deadlifts are great for targeting the back muscle and taking a lot of the leg work out of the lift. But why do we want to take the leg work out? Simple. If you have a back day scheduled in your training routine you will want to target that one specific muscle group in your workout as much as possible.
Legs can be worked hard during regular deadlifts so if you already have a leg day in your routine chances are that your legs are already getting enough work from heavy squats etc. Rack deadlifts or rack pulls provide a great alternative to deadlifts and will build more thickness in your back when compared to a regular deadlift from the floor.