T Nation

Squat Advice, Sticking Point


This is a heavy single from a couple days ago. There is a pretty tough sticking point about halfway up, any suggestions on how to improve this?

Also any general form suggestions are appreciated


First off, good work toughing through a hard lift. After a quick observation, I noticed a couple of things off-hand that might help you: 1) maintaining a tighter arch in your upper back; and 2) pushing your knees out harder. The angle makes it a little difficult to determine some other issues, but that's what jumps out to me.


thanks for the reply, for the upper back is there a specific point at which I'm loosing tightness or do I just need to arch harder throughout the lift?


You consciously tightened your upper back once you got to the tough spot in an effort to combat the chicken wing, so I'd say do it harder throughout the lift. I realize it's hard to keep it when you're performing a limit or near-limit attempt, but I think if you focus on maintaining the arch/tightness from beginning to end you'll notice a difference.



This is a great article (see above link) 5 Squat Tips for Immediate Improvement

www.elitefts.com is another great website

P.S. Awesome work; I have a long way to go before even attempting what you're squatting.


A side view would be more revealing... I noticed your knees slid forward on the way up... maybe the bar drifted forward (maybe due to losing upper back tightness as novaeer said). Same thing has been happening to me. I figure more and heavier goodmornings and SSB work will help.


First of all, it looked like a pretty good squat. My theory is that you are going to have a sticking point somewhere in the lift. For me on squats it is about midway, on deads and bench it is towards the top. THe depth was pretty good but it seemed like you slammed the breaks on maybe a little early. A side view would be a little bit better. When I used to use knee wraps and squat I tried to get pretty deep so I could get some spring out of the hole. Then I felt I had some acceleration through my sticking point at about halfway. The faster you are going on the way up then the more likely you can push through that point. The problem is the knee wraps help you less and less as you get closer to the finish.

As for getting through that sticking point, you are going to have a point you struggle. I am sure people have told you before to use bands and chains but if they havent then that is a good thing to try. I recently got a set of chains and really like them. The bands are tough too. You have to push harder through the lift instead of having a point you can relax at. The weight progressively gets heavier instead of easier. Hope this can be of some help. Good squat though.


Why don't you ask the guy next to you for pointers. He seems to be half squatting that plate fairly well. :slight_smile:

The only two things I noticed were that upper back arch. But I'm not so sure it's lack of tightness, so much as just not having your chest as high as the start. I've been told (numerous times) to start where you want to finish and it seems to help.

The other is your knees drifting a bit. But to be honest I think I'm seeing that because of your thread a while ago regarding hip/back pain because of that. Did you ever get that sorted out?

Nice work in grinding trough the sticking point.

Oh, only other thing I can think of is to focus on getting your hips through rather than standing up. Not even sure if that makes sense the way I said it, but it does help.


Thanks for all the help guys it's given me some things to think about especially concerning my back.

grettiron I always kind of thought you were suppose to shift your knees forward as you finished a squat, it puts your hips under the bar and makes the final part more like a standup.

And rugger yea what was happening was when the squat got hard I would shift my hips over to my right side to favour that leg, that would tilt the bar on my back and that's what I noticed, it also made my right leg work harder which was why my left side looked more stable. I wouldn't say the issue is completely fixed but I've been working on it all summer and I think it's significantly better now. Although I do have a bit of a discrepancy in trap size and activation which makes setting the bar on my back a little tricky.

Also for anyone who said a side view would be more helpful:

This is the first 495 squat I did that day


From that second video I would say it is tightness. You seem to wobble slightly when you hit your sticking point. Also try slightly more depth to get that extra spring out the bottom.

Each person is different so and I claim to be no expert but those are the things I would try.

Also when you squat are you thinking about your sticking point and how you are going to deal with it or are you thinking about exploding out the hole and through your sticking point?

It could be a case of mind over matter??


Knees should drift forward on the way up? I've been trying to avoid that because it feels like I lose power. I'll have to pay attention to that squatting today.


NO knees must return to their original position, as you come out of the bottom position drive your head up and backwards and bring your knees backward.


I think that sticking point it's just normal, the weight is near maximal and you have little acceleration to drive it up.


knees come back, hips come up, then forward.


iv never noticed that before! im deffo going to work on that tomorrow


Dead squats or box squats for sticking points. The dead squat is either using the safety pins at the desired height and then basically put the bar on the pins, load it up and start the squat from the bottom position. The box squat are like board presses, just rotate them from below parallel to mid and high to get the desired results. I've used ultra high box squats to get used to the heavy weight on my back and walking it out for setup purposes. HTH.

Later Allen


Ok. here is my five cents.

I'm an arrogant prick, and I don't care about your feelings.

  1. You squat a mile high.
  2. At your level, starting to work on the sticky point like some magic will fix it, really is not

There are two things you need to do:

  1. Check your ego by the door, get deeper in that squat.
  2. Squat more, eat more and sleep more.

This is the truth, even if I know some people on this site will be upset.

And for you immature dicks that always wants to compare lifts, I squat more than what he quarter squats, any day of the week, ATG, paused and with no belt.

I am surprised about the pussiness that goes around, not only in this forum, but blatantly everywhere.

-- Stallion


Let's ignore the inflammatory part of your response and skip to the useful stuff.

I will agree with you, the squat was high, although I think calling it a mile high is silly. Mike Miller was a mile high, my squat needs a few more inches to make legal depth. For what it's worth I've never had issues with my depth at a meet, and I squatted 235 (belt and wraps) in the ipf. Since the video I have been making an effort to hit depth on all my reps. I know you like squatting as deep as possible, I care about making legal depth in a powerlifting meet. Different goals.

I think you might have misinterpreted the purpose of this thread, I wasn't looking for a magic fix-all exercise but rather any suggestions more advanced lifters could give me on improving my technique, specifically regarding the sticking point but in general as well. I've gotten some useful stuff so far, and worked out some technique issues myself.

Since you are a pretty good squatter yourself how do you squat? Where do you set the bar, where do you look? (up, forward, down I've been playing with all three) How do you descend (straight down, hips back, soemthing else) and come up?

Also you said to squat more, can you elaborate? I'm running a sheiko template for my squat at the moment as it has worked well for me in the past. Is there any specific training you preffer, what about for someone of my level.

Hopefully we can keep this civil.


I have the same sticking point and will echo what others have said about there being some point at which you're going to stick on any max attempt. What has helped me learn to fight through that sticking point and to have it happen only on heavier and heavier weights was band training. I think bands are most useful for folks that tend to stick at the mid point or the high point on the squat. To overcome the band tension, you have to really explode out of the hole, which teaches you to blow through your sticking point.

With respect to the depth issue, I'd say the first video looked quite high, but the second was right there. And, for what its worth, I've been competing in the USAPL for a little over ten years now.


Your such a fucking idiot its pathetic, my mom could have given him this advice.

Again, your a fucking idiot.