View Full Version : Issues at the VERY top of the deadlift

03-06-2013, 07:29 AM
Hey guys,

I need some assistance with this. Ive been having issues with the very top of my deadlift for a really long time now. Id say at least 2 years. I have missed numerous competition lifts due to this problem. Ive been doing alot of raw pulls with all different variations including snatch grip pulls for reps, deficit pulls, alot more shrugging then i used to do, etc. I threw the suit on the other night and while it was a bit too tight i was mauling weight off the floor RIGHT to the top of the pull. I just cant seem to finish it.

Any ideas?

03-06-2013, 07:36 AM
I'm only a noob, so take this with a pinch of salt, but how're your glutes?

I find hammering them with some GMs and Pullthroughs and I get a nice 'snap' at the top, certainly a lot more than I used to.

03-06-2013, 08:04 AM
High block pulls with heavy band tension above the knees and lots of glute work. Check out barbell hip thrusts and as pull throughs as mentioned earlier.

03-06-2013, 08:20 AM
Check your setup. Once you throw gear on, you need to ensure your setup and technique are not impacted by the tightness to get to the bar. Try ducking your feet out more too. You may miss weights at the top, but this may be because you're slowing down much earlier.

+1 to Scott's suggestions. Using Light Bands doubled adds around 100 lbs above the knee instead of much earlier like quadded minis. Reverse Band Pulls too. I'd also get your upper back as strong as humanly possible. No lifter ever got weaker from having a stronger upper back.

Brian Hopper
03-06-2013, 08:38 AM
I agree with everything mentioned above and I will add dimel deads to that list. I like doing them with a snatch grip for high reps.

03-06-2013, 09:49 AM
Your Upper Back strength probably sucks. Heavy DB Rows and Chest-supported Rows. Shrugs are kind of a waste, in my opinion.

03-06-2013, 10:06 AM
Matt i wouldnt say it sucks i rowed 315x10 the other day pretty easily and regulary use the 170s for reps. I will take all of these suggestions though. I havent done high rack pulls in a long time, at least above the knee. Ill start doing upper back every session as well.

I personally hate pulling in gear i threw it on because my groin was a little banged up. This issue happens raw and geared.

03-06-2013, 12:58 PM
Do you pull conventional? I used to have the same problem. Would be so close, just couldn't lock it out. I started training sumo fairly often and I now notice a pretty big difference in my conventional lockouts. As others have said, try working your glutes. I love dimel deads.

03-06-2013, 01:49 PM
Yeah i pull conventional. I will work sumo pulls as an assistance as well. Its just very awkward to me because of my misalignment in my pelvis to pull sumo. Ill suck it up though lol.

Appreciate the help gents. Been trying to pull 700 for years!!

03-06-2013, 01:59 PM
its okay throwing all these suggestions of extra and new stimulus in, could be something even simpler along technique lines! get a video up in here! could be that small magical step to 700 in no time!

Brian Hopper
03-06-2013, 03:00 PM
What does your deadlift routine look like now? How often are you pulling? I had the same problem and the same goal. I changed to doing deadlifts every week and it finally started going up.

03-06-2013, 09:22 PM
Do you have any video? Most lockout issues are from starting position or your knees extending faster than your hips. If you're knees lock out too early, then it's near impossible to finish a deadlift.

chris mason
03-06-2013, 09:39 PM
It's your ass... The lockout involves a thrusting forward of the hip via a powerful gluteal contraction. Work your ass more, or better. I would also suggest pulling against bands.

03-07-2013, 07:13 AM
My deadlift routine has basically been the cube. I dont know how much it helped though. Ive done the pulling alot and pulling a little. I think my gains were much better pulling alot. I'm certainly a stiff legger when it comes to locking the knees to early and i even have a tendancy of unlocking at the top sometimes. Thats easy to fix though. Timing could be an issue.

We do speed work against bands, but rarely max effort. I'm going to do those band block pulls for heavy reps as an assistance for a while.

03-07-2013, 06:24 PM
Lots of good info here already.

I agree with band pulls, especially for partials in the squat rack. That's what got my pull over 7.

Reverse band deadlifts have also done well for me.

If it's technique it could be just a matter of letting the weight get out in front of you too much, a weak upper back rounding out, weak glutes unable to pull through could cause the same problem too. With a video I could give it a better guess, but it could always just be technique - not pushing the hips forward at the top. Usually conventional pulls are strongest at the top so this is a big ?? for sure.