Front Rack Mobility.
The first time I performed a front squat I thought my wirst/forearms were going to rip off.
I was training with a Navy Seal at the time and you can’t imagine what he told me to do when I said my wrist were hurting haha.
In short I sucked it up that day but I quickly looked for a solution to improve my front rack mobility.
That’s what I’ll be covering in today’s blog:
- How to fix your wrist pain and improve your front rack mobility
- Why your wrist are killing you
- Benefits of Front Squat
- A “hack” you can do for the time being
Want to fast track your mobility? We believe that mobility will unlock your performance. The better positioning you have, the better mechanics which leads to better efficiency and power output. Check out our mobility training program.
How To Fix Your Wrist Pain & Improve Your Front Rack Mobility
Whether you are just getting into crossfit or weightlifting the first time you get exposed to the front squat could be the last time you want to because how bad it hurts (some) people wrist.
But don’t let that hold you back!
Spend some time working on mobility and your body will thank you not just on the barbell but in life!
Check out these three front rack mobility drills to help reduce wrist pain and improve positioning:
Did you notice how we didn’t specifically address your wrist?
That’s because in most cases you want to look “upstream” and “downstream” on what could be causing the issue.
A lot of times your wrist are hurting because your lats and triceps are so tight you can’t get your elbows up high enough to your wrist takes the heat.
Here are a few wrist stretches…
…but I can assure you that you need to spend more time working on your lats and triceps.
We showed you one thoracic spine mobility drill, but here you can find an entire article on the best t spine mobility exercises (which will help your front squat too).
^^ Also huge for improving shoulder mobility and function by freeing up some range of motion.
Why Your Wrist Are Killing You | Front Rack Mobility
In the image above you see the “shelf” I have created?
The barbell is “resting” on my shoulders.
Compared to something our athlete Rob (view the image below)
You might say the same thing to yourself…
…it’s not strength that’s the problem.
It’s the wrist pain.
Notice the elbow position?
Tight lats and tight triceps are restricting him to be able to get his elbows up.
This is why its important to prioritize mobility.
Because you are missing our on power and efficiency.
You want your body to be “stacked” and as vertical as possible.
Now when Rob sees that there is Front squats or power cleans in the strength or met con he prioritizes those mobility drills now.
The best thing you can do is “load the position after you “create” the new space as well.
So if you do the mobility work for 10 minutes.
You then want to begin to strengthen and get into the position that you want to improve.
This will communicate to your brain that “hey, this is a safe place” and you can get into this position without pain.
A little mobility exercises daily goes a long way.
Benefits Of Front Squat
There are a ton of benefits to front squats honestly.
One being that it has so much carry over to olympic lifting.
When we teach the power clean or clean and jerk…
...you must have:
- solid front rack position
- a strong or at least be able to have a great front squat
- good open hips without your heels coming off the ground and an upright torso
Which is tough.
It requires work and improving your mobility.
Also if you deal with back pain a lot of times it can help take some pressure off of your spine if you are dealing with some nerve issues.
This is why the Bulgarian split squat is SO great.
It doesn’t load your spine and it probably the best leg exercise you can’t do aside from front and back squats.
A Hack You Can Do For The Time Being
In the photo above I actually wrapped small towels around the bar which will take pressure off of your wrist and allow you to feel what it’s like to get your elbows up.
You can do this if you want to begin to load the front squat but your wrist just can’t handle it today.
Mobility takes time.
The best piece of advice I can give you is to test and retest.
Doesn’t matter if we are talking about a training cycle or improving mobility.
Find what works for you.
What I mean by that is:
- try to front rack the bar
- perform one mobility drill for 2 minutes
- re test the front rack position
- did it help or no improvement?
Take note off that and remember for next time.
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Wrist pain sucks.
And it is most likely coming from restricted lats and triceps.
To improve your front rack mobility reference the mobility drills and exercises I gave you above.
Spend 1-2 minutes on each exercise and your wrist pain will start to be greatly reduced.
Any additional questions drop them in the comments below!