How to do Front Rack Step Ups Correctly and Safely

 
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INTRODUCTION

Single Leg Training is a movement pattern that is often overlooked in many training programs. Exercises that allow you to train one side of your body individually are great for unilateral strength development while allowing you to identify any imbalances between the two legs. Furthermore, single leg training lends itself to many real-world applications as we are constantly using one leg to accomplish many tasks

 

FRONT RACK STEP UP FORM VIDEO

 

BENEFITS OF THE FRONT RACK STEP UP

  • The Front Rack Step Up strengthens the entire leg musculature including the quads, the hamstrings, the glutes as well as the core muscles 

  • Provides a great low impact alternative to the Squat movement pattern

  • Improves overall total body balance through the single leg

 

MUSCLES WORKED DURING THE FRONT RACK STEP UP

  • Quadriceps

  • Adductors

  • Glutes

  • Core

  • Upper Back

 

PERFORMING THE FRONT RACK STEP UP WITH GOOD TECHNIQUE

  • Obtain two dumbbells and position them on your anterior shoulders with your elbows pointing forward and outwards

  • Stand approximately 6-12 inches away from a bench/stand/sturdy chair

  • The bench should at a height equivalent to the height of your knee 

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  • Place one foot on the bench, ensuring that your working leg is at a 90-degree angle to the floor and your back leg is completely straight 

  • Squeeze your glutes and keep your core engaged 

  • Keeping your upper body as stable as possible, begin driving your front foot into the bench

 
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  • Keep your knee in line with your toe (do not allow any medial translation of your knee)

  • Try your best to not push off or use any momentum with the back leg

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  • Once your front long is fully extended, begin the descent in a smooth controlled fashion
  • Again do not let your knee have any deviation from its neutral position

  • It is easier to complete all of the repetitions in one leg before moving on to the next 

 

SUMMARY OF THE FRONT RACK STEP UP TECHNIQUE

 

Click on each blue circle to view the key technical aspects of this exercise

 

COMMON MISTAKES

USING TOO MUCH MOMENTUM

This movement works best in a controlled manner. Focus on using the front leg for the majority of the exercise. Try not to push off the back leg.

 

BENDING AT THE SPINE

The bench height is probably too high or you are using too much weight. Your spine should remain erect.

 

NOT KEEPING YOUR KNEE IN LINE WITH YOUR TOES

Always keep your knee in line with your toes. This is the most efficient position for your knee and provides a mechanically safe movement pattern.

 

FRONT RACK STEP UP ALTERNATIVES

 

Alex & Brittany Robles are the founders of The White Coat Trainer, a site dedicated to improving the health and wellness of busy individuals. Learn more about them here and connect with them on instagram and Twitter. Feel free to send them a message here