T Nation

Question on deadlift/squat sticking points


Just did my fourth ever meet yesterday, went 452/248/507 for a 1207 total (PR's on squat and deadlift).

However, I could have done a lot better, as I was thiiiis close to getting a 480 squat and 524 deadlift. On both of those lifts, I got stuck at a sticking point which has been bothering me for a while.

On the squat, I got stuck about 2/3 of the way up, and my chest fell just a bit forward and I stalled. I was great out of the hole, but just slowed down. I've been thinking heavy good mornings, along with more ab and low back work will help this.

On the deadlift, I got stuck about an inch below the knees, and I've had many deadlifts get stuck there recently. I know that if I can get it past my knees, I can lock it out just fine. I just suck at the bottom of the lift. I think adding deficit deadlifts will help me in this area Also, I plan on adding speed work for both lifts (and my bench as well).

Tl;dr: I'm looking for assistance lift advice for my chest falling forward on the squat, and my deadlift getting stuck about an inch below my knees. I plan on adding heavy good mornings, ab work, low back work, deficit deadlifts, and speed work to combat these problems.

I will post videos of the lifts later so you guys can see exactly what the problem is. Thanks in advance.


Upper back work and direct glute work I believe will fix both of your problems.


Pulls off of mats will help with your deadlift. It's different than a rack pull because the bar can actually flex before you lift it and it's really easy to adjust where you pull from.



I think you have a good idea of what you need. Make sure you stick with the assistance work long enough to see how it helps you. On the squats I had sort of the same problem. It's a technical problem as much as it is a strength problem. I forced my chest to stay up on every set also make sure your setup is as flawless as possible. I've also had the same problem with my deadlifts, so let me know how everything works out for you.


I'm going to be putting in more upper back work (both heavy and high rep stuff) in my program. What do you suggest for glute work?

There's no mats at my gym that would work for pulling, so that's out of the question. I think deficit pulls will work for this, though, although I'm not so sure if going heavy on them is the best idea. I'll see how it works.


Barbell hip thrusts did wonders for me. Also, I don't know if it was because it was a fast movement or something, hang power cleans and hang power snatches helped also.


Nice job on the pr's. I have to ask why your not concerned about the bench?


Your deadlift sticking point seems more like a form issue to me. Might help if you provide a video of a heavy pull?


My bench is less of a sticking point, and more of it just sucks. I'm going to be changing my bench training up a lot, with a lot more heavy tricep work and less flat benching.

Frank, here is my 502 deadlift from back in July. My form hasn't changed since then, except my stance/grip is a couple inches narrower.

I will put up the video my lifts from this weekend as soon as I have them edited and put onto youtube.


Hard to tell from this angle but it looks like you're set up awfully close to the bar. You can see the bar grind against your left knee on the way up. This might explain your sticking point -- as on a heavy pull you're probably trying to "pull around" your knees. You end up locking your knees out, leaving your back at a disadvantaged mechanical position to finish the lift. You could probably work to get your ass a little bit lower to get a little more leg drive off the floor too.


Finally got it edited. Thanks for any comments. I actually got the third deadlift higher than I though, I definitely should have been able to get that.

On the third squat, I can see that my hips rose a bit too fast once I was out of the hole. If I had just stuck with it I would have been fine.