T Nation

Deadlift Sticking Point Mid-Shin. Help?

I’ve always perceived my deadlift weak spot/sticking point to be just off the floor because when I miss lifts I always miss around mid-shin. I actually don’t think I’ve ever missed a DL above the knee. If I can get it to my knee, I can get it up.

A couple weeks ago I tweaked my low back so and it was tight down in the bottom of the DL so I decided to try rack pulls from below the knee, about 2/3 up the shin, a couple inches below the knee. The rack pulls have made me realize that starting area, just below the knee, is my actual weak point - as evidenced by the fact that I can handle less weight on these rack pulls than from the floor. I guess from the floor I get enough momentum to pull through the weak point. So from that long-winded explanation, my question is what can I do to strengthen this sticking point?

I guess the simplest answer is to train you weak spot. Maybe add some rack pulls starting at your perceived weak height, or add some paused dead-lifts, pausing the bar at mid shin.
Its hard to be more specific because we don’t know why you are weak at this point. Do you have a weak upper back? Is it your glutes ? Etc. Etc.
Maybe throw up a video of your deadlift and then someone may be able to give better technical advice.

Video will help a lot.

From the sound of it its a poor set-up technique, meaning you’re making the start of the lift harder than it actually is, or you have weak core / abs / bracing.

When you do multiple reps TnG is the second rep easier than the first?


Impossible to tell without video

Video. Multiple angles. Relatively heavy if you can but don’t go crazy and or injure yourself

1 Like

Did you consider that this could be because your back was injured?

1 Like

Everyone sucks at rack pulls below the knee. It’s the point of it.

But like @chris_ottawa said…


Are you guys weaker right below the knee or mid shin than from the floor? I just never can get the hang of those positions set up wise.

OP, I like doing RDLs where I pause a little below the spot I stick at, and blast up. Also, pause deadlifts either on the concentric or the eccentric seem to work well too. I saw that Ernie Lillybridge was doing a variation where he would pull a deadlift to lockout, go down to mid thigh, pause, lockout, go to knee level, pause, lockout, mid shin, pause, lockout and finish by hovering the bar just off the ground, pause, lockout and finish. Might be overkill, but just figured I’d add that in.

1 Like

All this rack pull talk after I just saw this

1 Like

Conventional Powerlifting Deadlift

Since this was posted on the Powerlifting form, I going to assume you’re performing a Powerlifting Deadlift.

Conventional Powerlifting Deadlifter are strong off the floor. The sticking point is in the knee area.

Research (Dr Tom McLaughlin, PhD Exercise Biomechanics) in conjunction with other research determined that in a Conventional Powerlifting Deadlift, the back breaks the weight off the floor with assistance from the legs.

A sticking point at mid shin indicates means you need more lower back strength.

Good Analysis

You choice of Rack Pull is on the money,performing them from just below where the bar stops, which isn’t the real sticking point.

A sticking point is like a car that run ouf of gas. It will coast father down the road before it stops. Where it stops, isn’t where you car ran out of gas (you sticking point)…

Additional Exercise For The Mid Shin Area

  1. Stiff Leg Deadlifts (with slight break in knees)

  2. Deficit Deadlifts.

  3. Good Mornings

  4. Back Extensions’

  5. Isometric Rack Deadlifts from just below the shin area. Isometric allow you to overload the area with more Time Under Tension.

  6. Halting Deadlifts. Deadlifts from the floor to just below the knee.

  7. oldbeancam’s Recommendations

  8. Pinkylifting’s Recommention: Increasing you ab strength.

  9. Power Deadlift Training: Power is developed with loads of 48 to 62% of your 1 Repetition Max.

Performing Explosive Deadlifts with that moderate load enable you to produce more momentum going through your sticking point.

It like a car driving through a mud hole. The more speed/momentum you have when you enter the mud hole, the more likely you are to power through it.

Once you stop in the mud hole, it is difficult to get out.

Kenny Croxdale

1 Like

I would say block pulls over rack pulls. They are closer to an actual pulls, and should carry over more.

Or defecit pulls could help. It seems counter intuitive, but if you’re strong from a defecit, you probably will be strong mid shin.

Thanks for all the awesome suggestions! I think my plan is to use rack pulls for the next few weeks, along with speed pulls to work on the weak points and busting through the sticking point. I’m hoping that will allow me to get stronger at the weak position and make sure my back fully heals before I go back to pulling from the floor.

Mnbean87 - I see your recommendation of block pulls instead of rack pulls. How are they different? Assuming the bar starts at the same height does it make a difference if its on blocks or pins?

When you pull out of a rack the bar rests on the pins. That means there is far less flex, so makes it harder.

1 Like