Improve Your Front Rack Position

Man in a front rack position with a barbell and weights

Whether you’re catching cleans or front squatting the relationship between the bar and your body is crucial.  Many people find this unnatural position tight, uncomfortable, and difficult to achieve.  So how do we give ourselves more space?  How can we widen our grip on the bar without causing pinching in the shoulder and/or the wrists?  In this blog post, we’ll explore common issues associated with the front rack position and provide valuable insights on how to improve your mobility, ultimately enhancing your overall performance and reducing the risk of injury.

The Importance of the Front Rack Position

Having proper front rack mobility will help you:

  1. Clean and Jerk: Wide hand positions in the front rack allows for a shorter distance for the barbell to travel during the catch and jerk.  That makes these movements more efficient and reducing the strain on your shoulders and wrists.  
  1. Front Squat: A comfortable front rack position is important for executing front squats with proper form and depth, minimizing the risk of shoulder and wrist pain.
  1. Stability and Balance: Having a stable front rack position provides a solid base for exercises like the front squat, allowing you to maintain balance and control throughout the movement.

Common Issues with the Front Rack Position

Dr. John with his right hand being pulled behind his back by a band attached to a squat rack. He is improving his internal rotation for his front rack position

Despite its importance, many athletes struggle with achieving and maintaining the proper front rack position. Here are some common issues:


  1. Wrist Mobility: Lack of wrist flexibility can prevent you from keeping your arms in the correct position, leading to the barbell resting on your fingers instead of your shoulders, causing wrist pain.


  1. Shoulder Mobility: Restricted shoulder mobility can cause the elbows to drop, resulting in the barbell drifting away from your body and putting unnecessary strain on your shoulders during front squats.


  1. Thoracic Spine Mobility: Limited thoracic spine mobility can make it challenging to maintain an upright posture, causing you to lean forward or round your upper back.

Improving Your Front Rack Position Mobility

To optimize your front rack position and address the common issues mentioned above, we have 4 amazing mobility exercises that will completely change your front squat position.  All you need is a bench or box, a dowel, stick, or PVC pipe, and a band with a secure attachment point.  Once you’re ready, we’ll get started!

Banded Shoulder Mobilization with A Dowel (Band and Dowel)

We use the dowel to leverage yourself to externally rotate while the band pulls to create space.  It’s important to keep that elbow high like you would in the front rack!

Dr John using a dowel to open up the mobility in his shoulder while it's being pulled back with a band to improve his external rotation for his front rack

Banded Tricep Stretch (Band)

Dr. John using his a band to stretch through the triceps, pec, and lats to improve shoulder mobility

Open up your tricep, lat, and shoulder while in a split stance position.  We like getting down into a split stance position with our knees bent so that you can help stabilize yourself while getting a big stretch.  

Banded Shoulder Stretch - Internal Rotation (Band)

We continue utilizing the band to improve internal rotation and extension through the entire shoulder.

Dr. John using a band to improve his external rotation in his right arm for his front rack position

Prayer Stretch W/Dowel (Box and Dowel)

Dr. John on his knees with a box in front of him. He is getting his elbows as close together as possible while lowering his upper body down into the stretch

You’ve probably seen this stretch but it’s likely you haven’t done it like this!  The most important part is the placement of your elbows for this stretch.  Use the dowel to keep your hands apart but your elbows as close together as possible as they rest on the box.  This will really help you open up in external rotation for your front rack as you sink down into your stretch.

Watch This Video On How To Improve Your Front Rack Position:

By addressing these common issues and incorporating targeted exercises into your training routine, you’ll not only enhance your performance in exercises like the clean, jerk, and front squat but also reduce the risk of injury and alleviate shoulder and wrist pain. Remember, improving your front rack position mobility is a gradual process that requires consistent practice and dedication, but the rewards in terms of improved weightlifting performance and reduced discomfort are well worth the effort.

MDFit Barbell

Are you tired of feeling stiff and immobile? Do you struggle with nagging aches and pains that hold you back from activities you love? Many people deal with poor mobility and lack the functional strength to move freely.

The solution?  MDFit Barbell – the efficient way to increase your mobility and build functional strength with a barbell. This program combines:

– 20 minutes of guided mobility work to improve your range of motion
– 15-20 minute barbell strength session to build muscle and reinforce your new mobility

The Benefits
✨ Increase flexibility and range of motion
💪 Reduce risk of injury and joint pain
🏋️‍♂️ Build functional, practical strength
⭐️ Efficient 40-minute workout
👉 Expert coaching and programming

How It Works
1. Mobility Phase – We’ll take you through a 20-minute mobility routine using stretches, activation drills, and strength exercises to prime your body for movement.

2. Strength Phase – You’ll then flow into a 15-20 minute barbell workout designed to strengthen the new ranges of motion you’ve unlocked.

3. Rinse and Repeat – This systematic class is 3 times per week focusing on a different region of the body each day to keep increasing your mobility and getting stronger!  This cycle lasts for 4 weeks so you can see the improvement week over week.

The Results
Our members see incredible results like:

– Improving overall movement patterns
– Squatting to full depth without pain
– Lifting more weight with better form
– Feeling looser, stronger, and more athletic

Don’t let poor mobility and lack of functional strength hold you back any longer. Join our Functional Fitness program today and unlock your body’s full potential!

Check Out Our Hip Mobility Exercises For Squatting

Front rack isn’t your issue?  Try these banded mobility exercises for your hips to squat deeper without pain in your hips or low back!

Follow Us

Recent Posts

Let's keep in touch!

Receive updates when our blog, featuring the latest health and wellness information, is released along with other special events – No, we won’t send you things every day, but once or twice a week!

Dr. Chloe and John