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Deadlift Sticking Point

Hi guys
Every time I fail a deadlift PR attempt it’s always at the same place, just below my knees, maybe like as the car reaches the bottom of my kneecap, the feeling when I get to that point of the lift is almost as though someone has their hand between my shoulder blades and is just stopping my bringing my upper back straight(upper does round slightly at the point in the lift)
I’m pretty quick off the floor and keep my lats super tight.
Anyone got any technique cues or maybe assistance lifts to help this? Or just general upper back exercises that are decent for hypertrophy

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Sumo, Conventional, video?

Really we’d need to see some 85-95% lifts then the fails as well.

Okay I am totally new to these forums so bare with me sorry! Haha is it ok if I put it on YouTube then Link you to it on here? And it’s conventional :slight_smile:

Snatch Grip Block Pulls and GHR’s as assistance on every lower day you have, add resistance when possible.

There’s one at 210kg which I actually ended up getting and is my current PR

This is the PR attempt most recently at 215kg again failing at that same place

Thanks for any help I advance

Thanks for the response, would you say keep my scapula retracted as the entire time I do the snatch grip pulls and also would you say do the pull from the height I fail at?

@mikepleavin Looks like you need to bring up the whole posterior chain.

The shaky leg on conventional is usually a weak posterior chain.

You could serve to get the triceps locked a bit harder before you pull ( essentially a straight arm versus bent ). Looks solid overall except you just aren’t strong enough in the posterior chain.

RDLs, GHR and reverse hyper would be great work. Just hammer everything on the backside and it’ll come up.

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Okay awesome mate thanks for the info :slight_smile: the 210 attempt was really shakey, the same things happen when I fatigue on higher rep stuff.
For using those assistance exercises should I stick to something simple like 3x5 reps after my main work?

Watch what Bolton does with the bar in relation to his shin. And how he keeps his neck/head/eyes “neutral,” and how this makes his back move in “1 piece.” He is a great communicator.

Its all in the hips! The posterior chain starts in the glutes. You can’t make your hamstrings, or anything else work properly if your glutes are weak. When you deadlift, at some point you need to drive your hips toward the bar, so your back doesn’t have to do all the work. You need to get after your hips. Laura Phelps has the best glutes in the game. Do this drill before ONE lower body session, and see how it feels.


Scapulae retracted and hold it tightly, do not ego lift, hold the lift for a good few seconds before dropping, keep your traps tight. Straps will more than likely be needed. Do them with the bar around knee height. I would start off with higher reps first, 3 X 8 should see you right.

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Thanks so much for the detailed response there, I’ll definitely give these a watch and put what I learn in to practice! Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Will give them a crack this week mate. Thanks a bunch :+1:

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Speed deficits and lots of upper back work.

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As dumb as they may look, do some hip thrusters. I’ve had the same problem with my legs shaking, and since I started doing heavy hip thrusters for sets of 5-8, my deadlift has gone up a lot, and my legs are more stable. I don’t have a video on my computer to post but if you look on my IG matz_fitness you’ll see where I failed at 675, but now that I’ve been doing hip thrusters, I got it.

They look dumb but definitely strengthens your gluts. Hope this helps!

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Here’s how you find out. Take a weight that is 70% of Max and rep the hell out of it, meaning 1-2 sets to failure-12, 15, 20 or even 30 reps. Whatever muscle group is the most sore the next day is the weak link, since the weak muscle is the one which will get the most work.

My guess from watching the clips is that the entire back is weak. If that’s the case, working the glutes more will make the situation worse by raising the hips faster than the back can hold. If I had the recommend a fix it would be pulls from a position 3"below the knees in a strict RDL position for high reps in the beginning cycling down to triples once a month. In conjunction with this pull all your deads with a deficit of 1-2" to increase speed off the floor.

snatch grip pulls are a mothrfckr for your back, so keep them in mind too

Have you just tried rack pulls at your knee level or just below? Great way for you to start at your sticking point and target the greatest area of concern

Guys thanks so much for these comments! Unfortunately I tweaked my knee about 4-5 weeks back and am in the late rehab stages now just starting to be able to do some VERY light squats and deads, was thinking of doing some top end range of motion pulls with a modest weight for a bit to protect my knee but also focus on my weak point? Maybe do them snatch grip too, sound like a good idea?

Nice 675lb pull bro that’s awesome I can only dream of numbers like that!
It’s weird you say that about the hip thrusts because they do get knocked a bit but if it helped you with the legs shaking in definitely going to try it! Thanks man!

Use some bands. A high amount of band tension relative to straight weight. Two doubled mini bands, one for each foot with 135 total straight weight should do the trick. Do anywhere between 6-12 singles. Every minute on the minute or EMOM.

Make sure you’re also doing regular work in addition to the above.

Many great suggestions for assistance exercises.

I didn’t see much for cues. I think what might help is when you get to that sticking point, really ram your hips forward into the bar while pushing your upper back backwards. You know, like your hate fucking your favorite porn star.