Do you struggle to get your elbows high on front squats and cleans? Do you have a difficult time keeping an upright dip and bar path on overhead movements like push press and jerks? Then listen up. Here are some stretches you can do in 10 minutes per day to improve your front rack position.
The front rack position feels awkward and foreign to most people at first. It is something that improves with practice, time and mobility work. First, try to assess what is holding you back in your front rack position. Take a moment and bring your elbows to a horizontal position and place your thumbs on your shoulders. If you are able to bring your elbows to a horizontal position without a barbell in your hand, but struggle achieving the same range of motion with a barbell in hand, then your wrists are the likely culprit. If you can’t bring your elbows up to shoulder height even without a bar, you will also need to work on your lats and triceps. Side note – if you have tight lats and triceps, the following stretches will improve your shoulder to overhead mobility in addition to just your front rack position.
Stretch #1: Intense overhead tricep stretch + barbell mashing
This stretch targets the triceps and lats. Place your elbows on a barbell in a rack. Relax your head and shoulders down towards the ground and press your palms together and bring them towards your neck. Hold for 3 minutes (consecutively, or three 1 minute holds). After you hold this stretch, spend 1 minute (each arm) mashing the back of each tricep on the barbell.
Stretch #2: Wrist and forearm mobility. Follow the short routine below to mobilize your wrists, holding each position for about 30 seconds, repeat for 2 rounds:
Position 1: Palms on ground, fingers towards knees
Position 2: Palms face up, fingers facing back
Position 3: High plank with hands in reverse position
Stretch #3: Face down “arm pit” stretch. Facing a wall, press your wrist creases into the space where the wall and the floor meet. Align your body like you are doing a horizontal handstand facing the wall. In this position, try to press your armpits as close to the floor as you can. Do this for about 1 minute.
Perform this routine often for best results. Flexibility and range of motion takes time to achieve, and goes away when neglected. Make time for mobility and your body will thank you.