January 17th, 2012

The Rack Position

The rack position, pictured above, is one of the most problematic positions for CrossFitters and new Olympic lifters to achieve. This position is used in the fronts squat, squat clean and to a slightly lesser degree, the push press and jerk. The problem here usually manifests itself as wrist and hand pain, but generates from tightness in other portions of the arms and shoulders. The most common culprits are the triceps, delts and lats. Achieving a good rack position where the humerus is almost parallel to the ground not only eases the discomfort in the wrists and hands it could mean the difference between a PR and a failed attempt. On a Front squat when we fail, we fail forward often with a softening or rounding of the mid to upper back. Many times this is partially due to poor rack flexibility causing a drop of the elbows and a failed rep. To remedy a poor rack position and avoid the dreaded hand and wrist pain and missed reps, we need to mobilize. Pre-wod stretching and rolling of the lats, delts and triceps should be a focus for everyone during your warm up before WODs that require a good rack position. Beyond that, if this position is really problematic for you then you will need to work on these trouble areas daily to gain ground on your rack position. CrossFit Invictus has a couple good articles on improving mobility to improve your ability to rack the bar in a clean or front squat. Check them out here and here. KStar has also put together some info for us here, here and here. After absorbing all this info pick some of the drills that you think will be most helpful for you and actually spend some time working on them. That is the only way they work!

“Tabata This!”

Tabata Row
Rest 1 minute
Tabata Squat
Rest 1 minute
Tabata Pull-up
Rest 1 minute
Tabata Push-up
Rest 1 minute
Tabata Sit-up

The Tabata interval is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 intervals.
Tabata score is the least number of reps performed in any of the eight intervals. Unit for the row is “calories”.

Danielle Dionne: 5, 20, 7, 9, 14 = 55, Alex Browning: 7, 17, 8, 11, 8 = 51. Jeff Jenkins: 4, 16, 5, 6, 12 = 43, Leah Fae Cochran: 6, 15, 5, 5, 8 = 39.
Post Tabata score for each exercise to comments and total for final score.

Compare to here.

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9 Responses

  1. 41:7,14,5,5,10 Rxd
    It was raining so I came in using the main roads (I really like Tabatas), Push and Pulls were killers – I thought I’d be able to do more. It’s so frustrating to lose a rep almost at the end – happened 3x.

  2. 39: 7, 12, 4, 7, 9 (10.8wks, IF)
    modded back/hip extentions for squats (and did not push those hard, first time in wod) thought pistols for squats, but after the row they were not going to happen.

    I definitely had trouble finding my full inner beast. Still good morning, good worthwhile work, but the beast was hibernating. Glad to have Mark and Ellen on the chilly morning.

  3. 9-16-5-5-9=44Rx
    Push ups and pull ups the hardest today. SNOW!!!!

  4. 5,16,3,5,10= 39 rx

    Love me a tabata, but don’t love it when you miss your #’s on the last set!!

    • Nice work, Andrea! Following you helped me get a better idea of what numbers to shoot for. One more reason I like working out with you! Thanks for paving the way. šŸ™‚

  5. Crew WOD at the station. 12 Days of Christmas with 30 sec. planks 24:30

  6. 4,14,5,5,14 = 42rx First time doing this one. Didn’t go hard enough on the first rep of the row so I ended up resting too much.
    Sandy-amazing job today. Wow, you’re so fast!!

  7. 4-18-5*-8-10 = 45
    (*sub’d ring rows for pull ups)

    Had my pick of rowers today, but I was kinda lonely with no workout buddy. Thanks for showing up to coach Brandi, despite the conditions.

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