Weak points are a bane to a solid deadlift. And there are three main areas where people fail. The first area you see often is off the floor. A lifter goes to pull, it rises a few inches and then nothing. It’s anti-climactic, and whether you’re in training or in a meet, it can ruin your day. The next common place is the midpoint. Often times it happens right about the knees, or right above them. And the last and most morale-killing sticking point is the lockout. You have already pulled it from the floor and you’re almost home free. But for some reason, you can’t make it. Then you drop the weight and walk away drowning in your shame. None of these are ideal scenarios and there are several reasons why you might be stuck at a given point. So let’s get into them.


Sticking Point: Off the Floor

There might be a few reasons for this. I’m going to assume you can budge the bar and that the weight isn’t too heavy for you. I’m also going to assume that your setup is halfway decent. So you’re the correct distance from the bar and the weight isn’t too heavy, but breaking the floor is still slow. So we have two potential culprits: your quads or your hamstrings.

The Quads

While the deadlift is less a quad exercise and more of a lift for your posterior chain, it doesn’t mean your quads are out of the whole picture. At the start, you will bend your knees more than in any other point in the lift, and straightening the knees requires your quads to flex. To that end, stronger quads will yield better starting strength. Given that you want to train in the most specific way, you want to strengthen your quads and get some quality pulling in.

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