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Opinions on Rack Pulls?


i am just wondering what peoples opinions on rack pulls are in regards to strength building??


bad ass


Im not a big fan. Very seldom are they done properly and even when they are, they dont seem to produce the adequate motion to be useful for strength. They are more of a self esteem booster. For mass, I think they can be very beneficial. I have used them as a assistance exercise purely for that and have had great results.


I get a lot out of rack pulls, so I'm a big fan. I've seen with some clients and other athletes that rack pulls aren't quite as beneficial for them, so... it really depends on you. I tend to be really good off the floor and have issues once I'm passed my knees... not a lot of people are like that. Experiment, see how it works for you.


All of this. Wendler wrote pretty much the same thing in his 5/3/1 book(s). They're useful in the 6-8 or higher rep range for building the whole back, but rack pulls for singles make me better at doing rack pulls, they don't actually help the top end of my deadlift.


They have worked quite well for me. I pulled from mid shin though. Probably a lot lower than normal rack pulls. Just started pulling off the floor for the first time in a year. Repped my previous 1 rep max, six times.


They obviously work for some so try them out yourself for several weeks. If you dont have any luck, try using blocks. I love this variation and I get alot more out of it.


It seems to depend on what your weak points are. If grip is a problem, holding heavier weights will overload your grip. If it's a psychological thing, holding heavier weight will make you feel more comfortable with heavy weights in your hand. If it's an issue with form, they probably won't do jack shit.


I like them for heavy sets (3-5). Great for building a thick back and traps IMHO.


thanks for all the advice everyone.. im doing 5/3/1 at the moment and it was deadlift day yesterday and i did my deadlifts then did rack pulls - might of over taxed. was worried about injury today but back feels quite strong.. i will definitly experiment though - maybe in thhe next few cycles


I pull off of mats personally. I bought some 3/4" rubber patio tiles that I stack on top of each other and pull from. They mute the sound, and they don't put a lot of shock on the system. I'm following a ROM progression style of training right now where I keep the weight the same and remove a patio tile every week. It should take 2 months for me to pull from the floor, and then I just load up at the top and start over.


I started pulling from 2 stacks of 4 45s (sort of like blocks) last Friday. Comes about 4" below my knees. Trying to strengthen lower back and hips for my lockout. Doing good mornings too. I'm expecting some good gains.


Do em mid shin and consciously mimic your actual pulling form, and they can be great for lockout strength imo




I like rack pulls, but see no point in doing them if you are not also doing deadlifts. If you arent going to deadlift, i feel rack pulls should always be secondary behind heavy BB/DB rows for building upper/middle back mass.


I'm with this guy...I do start mine just below the knee.


get the 5/3/1 for powerlifting e-book, he talks about how to use rack pulls.

the gist of it is

  • pull from below the knee
  • don't go for max reps on your final set of deadlifts
  • do 4x6-8, then don't go crazy with the rest of your accessories


Rack pulls made me back feel rock solid and strong as shit for my SQUAT. Did little for my dead lift but I hate to dead lift anyways...

I remember a number of years ago when a bench press was considered a "ego lift".


They are good if your actually using them to improve deadlift. They get a bad name sometimes by people starting too high and using more weight than their DL 1RM.


I feel like they're a great addition depending on your goals. Plus the fact that you can choose to either have your hamstrings or upper back do most of the lifting gives them great utility. When I feel like my shoulders are starting to roll forward on deadlifting I do a few weeks of rack pull work making sure my shoulders are pinned back during them. After that I'm usually fine.