Rack pull

The rack pull is a variation of the deadlift performed from an elevated height, either using boxes, safety pins, or the safeties in a squat rack. It targets all the same muscles as the deadlift, including the glutes, hamstrings, upper back, lower back, and grip. It can be used to strengthen deadlift lockout, but also as a deadlift alternative for people who can't deadlift from the floor without pain.


  1. Builds strength and size similar to a deadlift
  2. Can load heavier than a deadlift from the floor
  3. May be safer for elderly people and beginners than deadlifts from the floor
  4. Can be performed at multiple different levels, such as below the knee, above the knee, or just a few inches from lockout

Rack pull Images


Rack pull Instructions

Rack pull muscle diagram
  1. Set up in a power rack with the bar on the pins. The pins should be set to the desired point; just below the knees, just above, or in the mid thigh position. Position yourself against the bar in proper deadlifting position. Your feet should be under your hips, your grip shoulder width, back arched, and hips back to engage the hamstrings. Since the weight is typically heavy, you may use a mixed grip, a hook grip, or use straps to aid in holding the weight.
  2. With your head looking forward, extend through the hips and knees, pulling the weight up and back until lockout. Be sure to pull your shoulders back as you complete the movement.
  3. Return the weight to the pins and repeat.