In "Starting Strength", Mark Rippetoe wrote that there are people who simply cannot rack the bar as required for a Power Clean due to an "abysmal anatomy". I am indeed having a hard time racking the bar, for when my humeri are parallel to the floor, my hands are somewhere behind my neck.

If I use a wider grip (actually the widest grip, my bar allows), it's slightly better, but the bar does not really sit on the delts, but rather on my collarbone, unless I push the shoulders to the front really violently, which is quite uncomfortable.

My bar is something around 1,70 m I think and I have no access to longer bars, let alone Olympic bars (for the scope of this question, assume that I have no possibility of getting one in the future).

Is there any chance for me of racking the bar as required for the Power Clean? Is this really an issue of too long forearms, or is this a mobility issue? (FWIW I have not tried to progress on the Power Clean any further, for I'd like to fix the racking first [as suggested by Mark Rippetoe])

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    I would suggest you post some pictures of your rack position - front, back and both sides. Your neck, shoulders, and arms should be in the pictures. That should make your case somehow clearer for anyone who could possibly answer it.
    – matousc
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 9:15
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    How tall are you, and how much do you weigh? The middle of the delts should be pretty much in line with your collarbones, regardless of the length of your forearms, so I suspect that bar resting on your collarbones may just be due to not having much muscle mass, something that will improve as your overhead press increases. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 5:09
  • @DavidScarlett Thanks for the suggestion. This seems to be well in the realm of the possible to me ;)
    – Paul K
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 8:12

1 Answer 1


This won't really be an answer but it's most likely mobility. Being physically incapable of a front rack (without injury) would be extremly rare.

The usual mobility culprits are thorasic spine, shoulders and forearms. There's plenty of mobility drills online for you to try.

Personally i'd recommend trying front squats with the front rack position until you feel comfortable enough with the position to move onto power cleans.

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