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Deadlift - Trouble Getting Past Knees


Hey everybody I've been noticing a slight problem on my deadlift. I have trouble getting past my knees, but once I'm past that, I have no problem locking out. What exercises or modifications can I do to strengthen the bottom portion of my deadlift?


Try simply lowering the weight and "perfecting" form with an easier weight. Have someone watch you do them making sure your form is good. Lifting too heavy a weight with say only your back is a bad habit. For me, I had trouble not scraping the bar hard against my shins. I brought the weight down and messed with my foot position and have, for the most part, corrected that problem.


again, without seeing it i would guess its a form issue.

are you pushing through the hips and squeezing the glutes?


Do deadlifts from at least a 2" deficit from now on. This will make it harder of course but that is how you address weak points.
I've also found that incorporating variations such as close-stance, snatch-grip deadlifts into my routine help with this as well by lengthening the ROM, thus stimulating your lower back more so you can blast through the bottom part.


Um, no. His problem is at the knees, either caused by bad technique or by bad strength in that area. Deficit deads will not fix that. It just might fuck up his form completely.

Better technique.
Rack pulls from just below the knees.

Post a vid and you'll get way better help.


Welcome to doing deadlifts.

Agree with kakno, rack pulls just below the knee.

Might also be worth doing slightly higher rack pulls (just above the knee) with around 105-110% of your 1RM, then dropping the pins down and doing it from below with a lighter weight. You might find you're pleasantly surprised.

In terms of rep work to improve your form, go with whatever setup works for you, but my personal recommendation would be cluster sets.

I feel that if the problem is around getting over your knees, it's a lack of strength in the back rather than in the hips. Additional work could include weighted hyperextensions etc., but for deadlifts, rack pulls take some beating.


Common problem, really. If you're really pushing the progress on DL's, you're going to find that you switch weak points as you work on them. You're probably weak in the hams, and your hips don't want to pull through because of it. Stiff-legged RDL's or rack pulls from 2" below the knees would be great choices for accessory work right now. Work those until it's not your weak point anymore, then reassess.

There's a great article in the archives about addressing DL weak points. I'll see if I can find it.


Mastering the DL, I+II:


Dissecting the DL (the one I referred to):


Aaaaand, those didn't tell you a damn thing you were looking for. Sorry. Try this one instead:


Well, the way I read is that this fella is weak off the floor (until the bar clears the knees).
That is a weak point that needs to be addressed, hence the deficit deads (the reasoning being that when you pull from a deficit, pulling regular off the ground will be less problematic).


I don't think that it's bad advice for someone whose form is already solid, especially with regards to getting the weight moving off the floor. However, deadlifts from a deficit can have severe effects on a beginner's form with regards to standard deads, especially if their form is shaky already.