Quick Tip #9: Squat Unrack Issues? Read THIS!

By: Brian Carroll

Squat Unrack Issues?

Everyone has their way of approaching a squat bar with their ritual of getting their mind and body right. Some wiggle into position and take forever; some just get under and go without much thought.

The unrack is obviously very important and sets the tone for the squat in many ways. For instance, if you’re all over the place to start – this is not going to help your chances of nailing the squat. It’s not only a huge waste of energy, but also a huge liability in general.

Here is something to try if you have unrack or set-up issues, especially if you have a hard time knowing if you’re in proper position or never quite feel comfortable when you unrack, whether you walk the squat out or not but especially if you use a monolift:

Set your back under the bar BEFORE you set your feet. There are many ways to approach the bar, but especially lately I’ve noticed a trend of lifters that set their feet first, then their back and most if not all have a much higher likelihood of unracking either on their toes or on their heels.

I’ve always suggested setting the back/traps before setting the feet. Mainly because every squat rack apparatus is different and sometimes you have to adjust to the rack. By guessing where your feet should be (more forward or back) you are taking a big risk. If the hooks on the rack or mono swing or move a lot, then it’s VERY hard to predict how far forward or back your feet should end up. By setting your back first, you take the guesswork out of the equation and then you just set your feet accordingly.

In Review:

Slide under the bar, lock your back in first, whether low or high bar, then drag your feet under you and adjust and set them to finalize your set-up.

Many times this simple adjustment, fixed a problematic unrack in only 5 minutes.

Give it a try.


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Brian Carroll

Owner and Founder at PowerRackStrength.com
Brian Carroll is committed to helping people overcome back pain and optimizing lifts and movement. After years of suffering, he met back specialist Prof. McGill in 2013, which led to a life-changing transformation. In 2017, they co-authored the best-selling book "Gift of Injury." On October 3, 2020, Carroll made history in powerlifting by squatting 1306 lbs, becoming the first person to break this record. He retired with a secure legacy and a life free from back pain.
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