Why’s it so uncommon to see women doing rack pulls?

Are women “intimidated” by the rack pull?

If anything, women should be flocking to do rack pulls because this exercise, when done intensely with heavy weight, is a great fat-burner.

Why It’s Rare to See a Woman Doing Rack Pulls (no particular order)

• It’s a nuisance to set up this exercise. Most MEN don’t do it, either, but the vast majority of people who actually do rack pulls are, indeed, men.

• It doesn’t help that the equipment required for this exercise is often occupied by people doing squats.

• The rack pull is associated with manly feats of strength. Usually, when men do it. the whole gym knows because they use enormous amounts of weight and let the barbell crash down to the support bars.

Men who do rack pulls with huge amounts of weight have big muscles. This creates the impression that this movement will do the same for a woman.

More Reasons Few Women Do Rack Pulls

• Women aren’t aware this exercise exists. In fact, I wonder how many men, who rarely venture into the free weight area of the gym, would know what a “rack pull” is. It’s just overall not a commonly touted exercise.

• Women may think they’re not strong enough to hold onto the barbell – even though this wouldn’t be the case if they started out with a light-enough barbell and also used a mixed grip.

It’s important to note that rack pulls can also be done with tracked barbell equipment (Smith machine).

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• Women may not see any value in this exercise as far as their goals, which typically are fat loss, a flatter stomach and muscle toning.

The irony with that last bullet point is that the inclusion of intense rack pulls will contribute to fat loss, a flatter stomach and muscle toning!

Here’s another reason very few women have ever tried rack pulls:

Women’s fitness magazines rarely run articles about this exercise.

It’s just not promoted along with all the other exercises that are heavily promoted like dumbbell lunges, feet-on-floor chair dips, pushups, squats and overhead dumbbell presses.

Another reason that may explain why women rarely do rack pulls is that when a woman IS doing them – and I can only speak from what I have only myself observed – she’s muscular.

This creates the illusion that the rack pull will make a woman’s body muscular. What women don’t realize is that other exercises cause the muscularity.

Furthermore, a woman who trains to be muscular and strong will often be drawn to the rack pull because it allows a person to lift the most weight possible with the upper body.

Furthermore, many women, who train for muscularity and/or strength, do deadlifts. They then decide to add the rack pull to their regimen to supplement their deadlifts.

With all that said, women absolutely should include the rack pull in their fitness program for its many benefits including fat burning.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.