Fix Your Front Rack Position
Used for your front squat- or receiving the bar in the clean- the front rack position is vitally important to your success in those movements. The problem is that not everyone has healthy shoulders and as a result, they avoid front squatting all together.
If you’re regularly front squatting, good on you. If not, shame on you – you need to be. The front squat could be considered the “king” of all squats. While it’s not one of the 3 powerlifts, many European coaches argue that it’s a better indicator of athletic performance than the back squat. It’s also has a lot of real world application to it. After all, if you’re going to move your 70 inch plasma TV into your basement, you’re probably going to carry it in front of you, ala like a front squat.
The problem is that a lot of people have cranky shoulders that don’t allow them to get into the front rack position. Two major points to the front squat are 1, get the barbell to touch your neck, and 2, to be able to keep your elbows up. If your elbow drops, there’s quite a strain on the wrist. You also risk moving the barbell and thus shifting the stress of the weight to different parts of the body (in sports science we call this ‘moment arms’ but all you need to know is that moving the barbell is a big no-no).
Some will argue to simply cross your arms over the barbell, but front squatting like that just isn’t cool. For one, you can’t perform Olympic lifts with your arms in that position. But it’s also dangerous. If fatigue sets in, your risk rounding your upper back, dipping your elbows, and possibly having the bar crash on your thighs. Not good.
This video will help clean up your front rack position. Just make sure to have a training partner that understands the difference between enhancing your mobility and torturing your arms. Fix those shoulders and you can start enjoying the fun of some heavy front squats.