T Nation

Rack Pulls


Just gave them a go for the first time today, did them with the bar basically at knee level, had to stand on something to get this.

I felt them mostly in the mid back some upper back and traps at lift off and forearms, does that sound about right? Not much real involvement from the glutes or hamstrings, but i suppose that's due to the bar height?

Just wanted to ask if it sounds about right as during sets my mid back didn't feel sore, but really pumped kind of.

Used about 250lbs so nothing too heavy compared to some people.


I hate rack pulls and block pulls, I feel like they don't help at all. I do remember reading somewhere that you should never really go above 110% of your deadlift for safety reasons. A lot of people feel they don't improve your lock out and that they are a waste of time. That may be the case for you.


I have had great success with mat pulls, but not rack pulls. The former feels much more natural, like my actual pulling technique, but the latter is really brutal on my joints and the bar bounces all over the place between reps.


What you're doing works pretty well for developing the upper/mid back area and strengthening your grip. From a technical standpoint however, deads in the rack have little carryover to deads from the floor. Block and mat pulls appear superior in that regard.


Take Andy Bolton's advice; do them from mid-shin level.


I just thought id try them as i have some problems with my Sacroiliac Joint and it gets aggrivated a little through conventional deads, thanks.


A good rule to have for rack pulls: Once you can pull more than 10% of your best deadlift from the floor, do not use that height anymore. You start changing motor patterns that will actually make your competition deadlift go down and it is very taxing to overload weight in your hands like that.

Personally, I don't even do heavy rack pulls anymore because they do not carryover to my deadlift. The same is true for most of the guys I train/train with. I am not saying don't do them because everyone is different and different exercises will yeild different gains, but I am saying don't be surprised if they don't help your pull.


Midshin rack pulls irritate my SI issues more than conventional.