What Is the Best Rack Pulls Alternative?

Alternate forms of well-known exercises are frequently employed in strength training to supplement other areas of training. A weighted barbell is placed on a power rack in the rack pull and lifted by grasping it …

Alternate forms of well-known exercises are frequently employed in strength training to supplement other areas of training. A weighted barbell is placed on a power rack in the rack pull and lifted by grasping it and extending one's hips to full lockout, as in the deadlift.

It's a great way to build pulling strength that you can use in various sports or even increase your deadlift max. Rack pulls, and their alternatives are covered in this article, including how to do them.

What is a Rack Pull?

rack pull
rack pull

Using your entire body's muscle groups, the rack pull is a great workout for gaining muscle mass. You'll need to be knee-high or higher to perform rack pulls. Grab the barbell with a shoulder-width grip while keeping your back straight. 

Lift the barbell close to your body while squeezing your glutes and moving your hips forward. Keep the weight in front of you while you stand erect. Repeat this movement as many times as necessary to complete the required number of sets.

If you're a person that loves to work out at a home gym and want to know the best half racks to buy. You can check out our guide on the best half racks for your home gym.

What Muscles Are Worked when Performing a Rack Pull?

This full-body complex exercise works with many different muscle groups at once. Legs, glutes, erector spine, hamstrings, quadriceps, and forearm muscles are a few examples of the many muscles in the upper and lower body.

Leg muscles, including hamstrings, quads, and glutes, are used in the rack pull, but the range of motion is restricted, making it less effective than a deadlift. Below are some of the best Rack Pulls alternatives.

The Best Rack Pulls Alternatives

t-bar row
t-bar row

Instead of pulling a heavy barbell, try one of these alternative exercises that might give you the same results without relying on a heavy barbell or a gym rack.

There is always a risk of harm when implementing the alternatives below, just like any other exercise form. Keep your risk of an injury down by using a proper technique. When in doubt, seek the advice of a professional. 

  1. Romanian Deadlifts

The first alternative can be compared to a rack pull, but without the Rack and with a generally greater range of motion. However, barbells are preferred for Romanian deadlifts because they require some external weights.

Dumbbells and resistance bands, as well as other free weights, could be used. For those with more resistance training experience, these latter two alternatives may not be substantial enough.

Using proper form is critical to avoiding injury in any exercise, especially in Romanian deadlifts. First, it's good to work on your technique by using light or no weights to practice your deadlift.

As previously stated, the Romanian deadlift movement is quite similar to the rack pull. The Romanian deadlift has a somewhat wider range of motion. It will put greater emphasis on your hamstrings and glutes during the workout.

Furthermore, the downward movement must be much more controlled because there is no rack to catch the barbell in Romanian deadlifts. If you're looking to buy the best deadlift platform, check out our guide on the best readymade deadlift platforms.

  1. Bent-Over Row

One of the better alternatives to Rack pulls the bent-over row. Bent over rows is an excellent compound exercise to grow a larger and stronger back.

You can perform this exercise with either a barbell or dumbbells. You can't go wrong with either. On the other hand, dumbbells give you a wider range of motion.

To lift the barbell, you should move your hips back as if you had to sit down in a chair. As you slide down, keep your chest raised. It ensures that your back is flat, allowing you to complete the exercise correctly.

  1. Shrugs

You'll need resistance to get shrugs. Something of the heavier variety like a barbell is typically used. Dumbbells, kettlebells, and other similar weights might be hard enough for those with less training expertise.

This alternative to the rack pull for working your trapezius and grip muscles in the gym or at home may not appear to be the most stunning movement.

There is no need to use shrugs if you wish to target the other muscles involved in Rack pulls.

  1. T Bar Row

Compound movements like this one are great for increasing the strength and size of your back. T bar rows are an alternative if you don't want to use rack pulls. Put a lot of effort into it. You should perform each rep with a straight back. 

It is a strong compound exercise that you can perform at the beginning of your workout. If you're having trouble with the T-bat row or want to try something different, this is a good place to start. Also, check out our guide to learn about the best Olympic Barbells.

  1. Glute Ham Raise

You'll need a glute-ham raise bench for the next workout. Using this lower back gym equipment, you can position your feet behind two pads, put your hips on the round pad, and maintain a horizontal position.

Using this circular pad, you can also fold your knees instead of only executing a back extension.

Folding your knees into a hamstring curl is more effective than ordinary back extensions because it involves more of your hamstrings. 

Working your glute, hamstrings, and lower back with this exercise equipment is an excellent way to get a good workout done.

Compared to rack pulls, this alternative will emphasize the first two muscles and less on the last two. Glute ham raises can be made more difficult by using additional weights.

  1. Farmer's walk

To perform a strength training activity known as the farmer's walk, you pick up a weight from the ground and walk for a specified distance or duration. Keep your hands facing your body with your palms facing up.

Weights like dumbbells or a trap bar are common, but you can also use kettlebells, specific sandbags, weight plates, and other shoulder workout equipment.

Trapezius and grip muscles are the primary targets of the farmer's walk. If you don't have access to a rack at home or the gym, or if you'd prefer to work your glutes and hamstrings less, this is a viable alternative to Rack pulls.


As you can see, there are many Rack Pulls alternatives. It's just like this: every exercise has an option, and if you can't do one, don't stop your training! Keep going even if the gym is packed or there aren't enough machines accessible for you to work out. 

You are free to pursue other options at this point. Dumbbells and barbells are all you need to perform the exercises listed above if you have made yourself a home gym. You can also check out the different home gym equipment on our website. See the guide on the best home gym cable pulley systems. We hope this article was helpful for you!