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Old 04-03-2011, 04:49 PM   #1
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Max Brawn
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Default Rack pulls for a stronger deadlift; working through sticking points

Good reading

I cannot count how many times I have heard people proclaim that the rack pull does not work. The rack pull took me from 644 to 700 in a couple months time. Of course, it can’t be used alone. If you did nothing but rack pulls you would have a whole slew of problems when you got back to the floor! However, when done CORRECTLY the rack pull increases your deadlift exponentially. Remember, this isn’t an ego boost or a chance to show the gym how strong you are; you do rack pulls to strengthen your sticking point. You do rack pulls to build speed and strength at your point where the bar looses speed.

Most people step away from the bar with a rack pull and then bend their knees into the bar. This is wrong because what you are doing is making the lift easier by allowing your hips to get closer to the bar. If you rack pull this way, all you have to do is lean back and slide the bar up your thighs. Hence the reason 600 pound deadlifters are rack pulling in the 800s and 900s! This is how you should do it:

First off, rack the bar at the point where it loses speed. DO NOT rack it where it stops, but rather where is slows down. Where you actually get stuck is not your sticking point, it is just where your speed carries the bar after its initial stalling point. Am I confusing you son?!? Stay with me. Now, step in so the bar is tight against your legs. This is how the bar is when you are pulling from the floor-right? If the bar is against your legs, dragging up them, in the regular deadlift, why the hell would you stand 8” away from it and lean into it in a rack pull? Not the same movement and hence no carry over! Now, lean over and grab the bar, arch your back, drive your feet in, and go! As you will discover, not only is this incredibly harder, it is also a low back smasher! I rack pull less then I pull from the ground. This is because off the ground I can get my legs under it and use them efficiently. From my sticking point, which is right below my knee caps, I cant. A fellow lifter I know pulls 575 from the ground but gets stuck with a 375-pound rack pull at his sticking point.
BEYOND STRONG: 10 Tips To A Better Deadlift
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