We've all been there: you grab the bar and clean it sweetly up onto your delts, right under your chin, balanced delicately on the tips of your fingers. Your elbows might even be high at this point. You look over at your coach and smile, "Look at my rack dude!" And then you try to squat and it all falls to shite. "Blast you Front Squats!!! Why must you torture me so?!"
As you might remember, last week we focused on wrist and forearm mobility in the blog post "I like to move it!" and I mentioned that this week we would be building that wrist mobility into our front rack positioning work. Some of the key elements to achieving the front rack position in solid A+ form are: thoracic spine mobility, tricep and lat flexibility, external rotation of the shoulder joint, and of course wrist mobility. So let's go through these elements and figure out how to get a better rack.
THORACIC SPINE MOBILITY
Your thoracic spine is what we consider your mid to upper back. There are 12 thoracic vertebrae in your spine, ranging from T-1 to T-12, and we need a good degree of mobility there in order to be able to keep an upright torso when completing a front squat.
TRICEP AND LAT STRETCH
ASSISTED WRIST MOBILITY
The thoracic mobility, tricep and lat flexibility, and improved wrist mobility should all contribute to a better front rack position when done consistently over not even that long of a period of time. I suggest testing your front rack position, going through all of these exercises, and then retesting. I can pretty much guarantee you will see at least some improvement. A couple other small cues I've heard around the gym that have helped me when front squatting are: neck neutral but eyes looking slightly up (instead of looking down), initiating the very beginning of the movement itself by pushing your hamstrings back as you pull down into the squat, and driving your shoulders up into the bar as you go to stand.
Hope some of those help and I look forward to reenactments of my titanic picture up top from y'all. Better those racks this week dudes and dudettes.