T Nation

Front Rack Position - Ugh!


#1

Hello all. I'm new here.

I've always trained more like a powerlifter, and have pretty good size and strength. I reached a point where I was starting to feel too bulky and less "athletic", so I'm trying to get into some of the Olympic lifts. I'm tired of watching the Crossfitters perform these better than me.
Anyway, I used to do a sloppy power/hang clean, catching with my elbows low.

It worked for years, and I could sling good weight around. I know my form is train wreck. I'm really working on the front rack position, but I feel it's impossible for me. Even if I take an empty bar, I can't get into position. I feel like the joint between my forearms and bicep is way too bulky, my arms are short, and the wrist flexibility is horrible. I seriously can't get the bar onto my collarbone without dropping the bar or dropping my elbows.

Any other former "bulky" guys have this issue???


#2

[quote]archiron wrote:
Hello all. I’m new here.

I’ve always trained more like a powerlifter, and have pretty good size and strength. I reached a point where I was starting to feel too bulky and less “athletic”, so I’m trying to get into some of the Olympic lifts. I’m tired of watching the Crossfitters perform these better than me.
Anyway, I used to do a sloppy power/hang clean, catching with my elbows low.

It worked for years, and I could sling good weight around. I know my form is train wreck. I’m really working on the front rack position, but I feel it’s impossible for me. Even if I take an empty bar, I can’t get into position. I feel like the joint between my forearms and bicep is way too bulky, my arms are short, and the wrist flexibility is horrible. I seriously can’t get the bar onto my collarbone without dropping the bar or dropping my elbows.

Any other former “bulky” guys have this issue???[/quote]

Shouldn’t be an issue, just something you will have to work on. Below is a video of Anthony pomponio, one of the top US weight lifters. If he can rack his elbows up, everyone else can.

I lift at 105k (231#). It took a while to get a good position but came over time.


#3

Remember that the thoracic spine and related muscles have more effect on rack position than wrists/arms, etc. Rolling out the thoracic can be a great help, as can any mobility work geared towards thoracic mobility. Personally, I’ve found this movement to be particularly helpful when prepping for Cleans/FS, etc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPLMmNtwfpA

I’ve also always gone by the rule that one should emphasize elbow position first, and let the grip come 2nd. If the best you can do is 2 fingers under the bar to start, fine, but try to get to 3 when you can, then 4, etc.


#4

[quote]boxspringhog13 wrote:
Remember that the thoracic spine and related muscles have more effect on rack position than wrists/arms, etc. Rolling out the thoracic can be a great help, as can any mobility work geared towards thoracic mobility. Personally, I’ve found this movement to be particularly helpful when prepping for Cleans/FS, etc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPLMmNtwfpA

I’ve also always gone by the rule that one should emphasize elbow position first, and let the grip come 2nd. If the best you can do is 2 fingers under the bar to start, fine, but try to get to 3 when you can, then 4, etc.[/quote]
Thanks for the video. I’m trying a whole bunch of mobility movements, so hopefully it will help. It’s going to take a while.
One thing I’ve noticed is that the angle between my forearm and bicep is maybe like 75 degrees. Most people seem to be able to get to like a 45. What’s the mobility limitation there? That’s what really needs some help.