Runners With Tight Hamstrings Will Love the Deadlift Variation Known as a Rack Pull

Know strength training offers many benefits for runners. For example, help maintain bone density, protect your joints and increase range of motion. And research supports the idea that runners get quick advantages from lifting those weights. In fact, a review published in the journal Sports medicine says resistance training improves a workout corridor economics or how much oxygen you need to run a certain distance, an indicator of how efficiently you can clock miles.

Whether you hit the weight room Countless times or you’re new to lifting weights, it’s smart to add a move called rack pulls to your routine. This movement, usually performed with a barbell—is a great way for runners to win force and Energy.

To specifically understand how this exercise helps runners improve performanceand how to safely and correctly perform a zipper pull, we spoke with Rena Eleazar, PT, DPT, CSCS, New York City-based physical therapist, strength and conditioning specialist, and founder of Match Fit Performance.

What are rack pulls and how do you do them?

A zipper pull is simply a deadlift variation. The difference: You place the barbell on the supports of a power rack or on blocks, so you’re not lifting the weight off the floor. This shortens the range of motion and may allow you lift more weight because of that shortened range of motion.

Eleazar says that once you’ve set up your rack or blocks, start with an empty bar to practice the move. Then slowly add weight to the bar until you reach a suitable “working weight” for the set, which should be challenging but doable with consistent form.

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Beginner Shelf Pull

Advanced Shelf Pull

Eleazar demonstrates the rack pull exercise above, showing a beginner version with no weight on the bar and placed on bar racks, and an advanced version with weight added to the bar and placed on boxes. She recommends following this tutorial to maintain proper form:

  • Stand in front of the bar and place it on a shelf or boxes, with the bar high enough that it’s just below your knees. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and keep your feet flat on the floor with your weight balanced on both feet throughout the movement. Gently bend your knees.
  • Keeping your back straight, send your butt straight back, twisting toward your hips. Limit forward bending from your lower back and pull your shoulders down away from your ears, making sure they don’t bend forward as you twist. Grab the bar with both hands, about shoulder-width apart.
  • To do the pull, push your feet toward the ground and stand tall, keeping the barbell close to your body.
  • Lower the bar onto the shelf or blocks, hitting that hinge position again.
  • Repeat.

    How do runners benefit from zipper pulls?

    Shelf pulls are ideal for working on gluteus strength (which helps with power in your step), lower back strength, and are especially important for endurance runners who tend to experience Back painAs a result of addressing a large number of mileageEleazar says.

    “The rack pull helps improve lower back muscular endurance and can generally help with general lower back tightness and tightness,” she says. That muscular endurance in your lower back means you can handle the work and upright posture needed in a long termso you don’t feel pain at the end.

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    Another benefit of this exercise: for runners who have limited hamstring flexibility (as many do), a rack pull can be a smart modification over a deadlift, as it shortens the range of motion needed to get to the bottom of the movement.

    How should you incorporate rack pulls into your training?

    Eleazar advises using the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) when selecting a weight. Aim for a 6 to 7 out of 10 effort as you perform the movement. You should feel the need to rest for about 1-2 minutes between sets. If you feel like you’re immediately ready to jump into the next set, you can probably increase the weight on the bar, she says.

    As for reps, start with 3 to 5 sets and 5 to 8 reps, starting at the low end and increasing volume and weight as you get stronger and more comfortable with the movement. Eleazar also says that if your goal is build strengthMake sure to increase the weight and decrease the reps. If your goal is to build muscle mass, increase your reps and keep the weight around a medium effort.

    “Rack pulldowns, when used as a main lift (a main lift is a compound movement performed after a warm-up, at the beginning of a training session, and typically the heaviest lift in a training session), Often as a modification for the deadlift, they should be done at the beginning of a session with moderate to Heavyweight,” Eleazar says.

    “A main lift, such as a zipper pull, may be the first movement performed after a heating. Proper warm-up raises the heart rateit mimics the movements that you will perform in a session and mentally prepares you to be present in the session. dynamic stretches they are better than static stretches here,” he adds.

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    Also, if you are relatively new to strength trainingEleazar suggests incorporating shelves into your schedule two days a week. If you are more experienced with lifting, add a third day. “When you are in your career out of season it is common to increase strength training days while the stroke volume is less”, he adds.

    Jennifer Acker joined the Runner’s World and Bicycling editorial team in January 2022.

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