The front rack requires exceptional core stability and shoulder mobility. The combination of these elements make the front rack one of the more challenging positions we use in CrossFit. In fact, the all-too-common forward rounded shoulder posture caused by hours spent driving, working on computers or smart devices and so on, sets many of us up for failure before we even grab the bar. A forward rounded shoulder posture is the exact opposite of what is needed for a good front rack position, but not to worry, we can undo your posture and fix your front rack by adding a few simple drills to your routine.
1. Improve your Thoracic Spine mobility
The forward rounded posture discussed above is commonly accompanied by a hyperkyphosis (rounding) of the upper back. You can learn more about the detrimental effects of a suboptimal spine posture in our blog post on lifting with a neutral spine. Improving your thoracic spine mobility is an important component of fixing your front rack and overhead positions.
The fix: Foam roll your thoracic spine by flexing and extending over the roller 2-3 times/segment.
2. Stretch your pecs and lats
Once again we find ourselves looking at your posture. The forward rounded shoulder position places your pecs and lats in a chronically shortened position leaving them feeling tight. When they are tight, these powerful internal rotators pull you further into the rounded shoulder posture and the vicious cycle is complete. Rounded posture leads to tight internal rotators, which leads to rounded posture.
The fix: Stretch your pecs and lats 30s/side at least once each day (multiple times if possible).
3. Strengthen your mid back
One more look at your posture? Sure, why not? When you are stuck in the rounded shoulder posture, the muscles opposing internal rotation are weakened. Strengthening these muscles is as important as stretching your internal rotators when it comes to breaking the rounded shoulder posture cycle.
The fix: Add ITY’s to your warm up routine. Use light dumbbells or kettlebells to complete 10 of each of these movements 3-4 times each week.
Contact Dr. Dwayne to learn more ways to fix your front rack
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