This article was written by Michele Vieux and originally appeared on crossfitinvictus.com
A weak bar mount – your approach and set-up when taking weight off the rack – will lead to missed lifts, especially when the weight starts getting heavy. You must respect the weight and approach the bar like you are serious about moving it. Commit from the beginning or miss the lift.
What constitutes a weak mount? Any of these faults will result in your rack position – and therefore your lift – not to be at it’s strongest.
1) Loose shoulders and scaps; i.e. not locking them in tight before removing the weight from the rack. If you’re loose in the shoulders and scaps, not only aren’t you protecting the joint, you also aren’t using all the muscles available to help you make the lift.
2) Hyperextended or broken wrists cause a lot of bouncing around when doing dynamic movements like push press and jerk, sending the bar out of it’s straight path overhead. It is also a painful position to hold.
3) Bar sitting too low; i.e. on chest/sternum instead of deltoids. This usually happens along with the broken wrist syndrome. When the bar is too low on the body in the rack position, not only will it bounce and disconnect in the dip/drive of the push press and jerk, it will pull you forward in these movements and also the front squat. And, all that weight on your forearms instead of your body is sure to smoke much quicker.
To ensure a strong rack and best lift possible, mount the bar with a mission for position! You should have everything in place, everything comfortable, and everything tight BEFORE you take the bar off the rack for ANY lift – overhead lifts, bench press, back squat, etc.
1) With arms straight, GRAB the bar in the position where you want your hands – most people go just outside the shoulder. If you don’t already know your position, spend some time messing around with the grip. Once you know your position, you can just use the knurling to measure each time. I know I line up with the tip of my thumbs just peeking into the knurling.
2) LOCK your shoulders down and back, which should put you into a position like you are trying to break the bar in front of you.
3) PULL yourself into the bar.
4) WRAP your elbows and body around the bar – literally mount it.
5) Take a big BREATH then BRACE and step out of the rack.
6) Once you are in position, take one more BRACING BREATH and lift!
Isn’t it so much easier when your body moves the weight instead of relying on your wrists and forearms? Plus, you feel like a badass with your set-up routine which gives you the little extra bit of confidence to make your lift!