T Nation

First Time Doing Rack Pulls


Did rack pulls today for the very first time. Yay me.

Couple questions, though:

  1. I assume that where you place the pins changes the angle/area of the back hit. Can someone tell me the pros and cons of mid-shin vs. above the knee?

  2. Is there a video anywhere to demonstrate proper technique? I'm pretty sure I was doing it right, but since I've never seen anyone do them in person.....

And, while I was doing rack pulls, the guy in the rack next to me was actually deadlifting. We started laughing about it halfway through.


I use rack pulls to strengthen that phase of my deadlift. You should be able to pull more form the pins. (Depending on how low/high they are placed.) Obviously the higher the pins, the more you can lift.

I believe you aren't supposed to go more than 10% over your deadlift 1RM. I suck however and have done a 565 Rack pull with a 435 max deadlift. (I am a curious guy when it comes to 1RM.) I try to put myself in position just like a squat or deadlift. Straight back and all. Keep it very tight and also hold it for a while for grip work. Like deads, I don't usually pull for many reps. I just go heavy. Some folks will go lighter and do a shrug too. Good luck man. This is just my opinion and experience.


Sorry, dumb question. What exactly is a rack pull? Is it just bend at the waist and then lift back up (like the end of a Dlift?)


It involves the legs a little too, but basically yes, its the end of the deadlift. (Think of it like the lockout portion)


Yup. Exactly that.

It is the "board presses" of deadlifting. You use the power cage spotter bars to hold it/start the lift around knee-level to do a heavy partial lift. You can work on weak parts of your lift and pulling more weight.


as far as i know this are meant to help the area that happens to be the weakest in your deadlift, so if i'ts the lock out than you would place the pins higher, etc....some people use this as their only way of deadlifting, i wouln't recommend that but to each his own....

best way i was told is to use the exact same form, stance, and grip that you would on an actual deadlift...this way your off the rack work will transfer better to your ground work...anyways, hope any of this helps...


Where did you get the 10% rule? Just curious.

I don't do them that often but when I do it generally leads to a surge in strength in my actual DL despite my DL sticking point being 3" off the ground (and my rackpulls being from the knee).

I think there is a definite benefit in the supramaximal loading, though it seems to be too taxing to perform very often. They're definitely fun though.