Rack Deadlift |

What is a Rack Deadlift and how do I perform it?

The Rack Deadlift is a lift that I prescribe to my athletes that need to improve the mid-phase pull of the deadlift. If you are getting stuck close to your lock-out position this lift may be incredibly valuable to master. I also use this lift to coach the “fire the hips” phase of the deadlift sequence which can lead to a more powerful deadlift.

Exercise Name: Rack Deadlift

Erector spinae, the muscles targeted by rack deadlift.

Gray’s Anatomy

What does it work? The Rack Deadlift targets spinal erectors and is a great exercise to help with the mid-phase of the pull.

How to perform the Rack Deadlift:

  • Setup for the lift
    • From a squat rack, you will want to have some sort of safety pin or strap system that will allow you to keep the bar elevated to right below your patella or knee cap. You can also perform this lift off of some jerk blocks that are the appropriate height.
    • Before you pull, set your spinal alignment to neutral, tighten your abs (navel to spine), head neutral, lats tight, shoulders back, chest up, knees slightly flexed. start to exhale
  • Concentric Phase
    • Exhale, extend the knees and drive the hips forward (“fire the hips”) to lift the weight to the finishing position of a regular DL. As you come up thrust your hips forward without hyperextending the spine, squeeze your glutes.
    • Keep the bar close to your body
  • Eccentric Phase
    • Reverse the motion and return the weight to the starting position being sure to keep spinal alignment.
  • Reset or Receiving the bar Phase
    • Let the bar stop completely and reset your body. Try to eliminate all inertia, don’t hit the straps and bounce back up.

Rack Deadlift Faults:

Neutral neck and back alignment, not starting from a dead stop, dropping the bar. Letting the bar float away from your body, keep the bar as close to your body as possible. Keep your shoulders over the bar as long as possible.

Rack Deadlift Caveats:

If this is a new lift for you make sure to start with a manageable weight, this lift is harder than it looks. You are trying to target your back so be careful! Not recommended for the ego lifter.