Stick point squat

Born To Deadlift

As you trainer said, it appears you are born to deadlift, not to squat. That is my case, as well.

In all the years that I’ve squatted, it still feel like a new exercise everytime I do it. However, anyone can improve in any lift if they work at it.

Meanwhile, I take to the deadlift like a duck to water.

I get two issues, both occur a few inches above parallel. Either I’ll get wobbly or I’ll begin to pitch forward. If either of those happens I stop the set after that rep.

Stopping The Set

That is exactly what you need to do. Once you technique falls apart, stop the set. Continuing to peform the exercise with poor technique reinforce bad technique.

As you noted in the past, you turn the the squat into a « Squat-Morning »…great term.

Sticking Point = Running Out Of Gas

What you need to remember is that sticking point is like a car running out of gas. The car doesn’t stop exactly at the point where it runs out of gas. The car rolls further down the road.

It the same thing with strength sticking points.

A Few Inches Above Parellal

The reason it is sticking at this point is that you’re not generating enough power out of the hole.


1) Increase your strength out of the hole.

Perform exercises from the parallel position begin the movement from a dead stop. Drop down into a parallel postion and hold it or don’t start the movement for 4 seconds.

Pausing for 4 second kills the stretch reflex. That mean the movement is a pure Limit Strength movement.


Pause Squats-Drop into a parallel squat. Hold for 4 seconds and then push the weight back up. This will build strength out of the hole. You can’t use as much weight nor do too may reps. Reps are 1-5 per set.

Trap Bar Squats-Drive with the legs. Maintain an upright position with the back. Pause the bar on the floor for 4 seconds between reps.

Box Pause Trap Bar Squats-The same principle applies to this as the Pause Squat. Stand on a box. Lower the weight just short of the floor, then stop. Do not let the bar touch the floor. Hold it for 4 seconds and then perform the concentric part of the movement.

Step Ups Squats-Step up on a box without initiating any movement by rocking forward. That means start the movement from a dead stop.

Leg Press–Same thing. Lower the weight down to approximately a parallel postion. Hold for 4 secondes and then push back up.

Belt Squats-This is one of the best exercise there is for increasing leg strength. It takes the lower back out of the equation and allow to really blast the legs. Same principle, pause between repetitions.

You can use other movements such as these as long as you apply the same principle of starting each movement from a dead stop.

Isometric Squats-Place the bar in a power rack so that you are in a parallel postion. Then perform an isometric squat. This will build strength from that postion.

2) Increase Your Power and/or Speed Out Of The Hole

Let’s use the car analogy again. Think of driving your car though a mud hole. To get through the mud hole you hit the gas, increase you speed to that momentum will help you make it to the other side.

That is exactly what you want to do with you squat or any other lift. Hit your sticking point with enough speed to that you slide through it.


You need to perform some plyometric squats. That means you need to perform squats in which you have a recoil our bounce out of the hole.

Vertical Jumps-Drop down to parallel, rebound quickly from the parallel postion and then jump up on the box.

Jump Squats-Research shows load of 10-40% of your 1RM (1 Repetition Max) with approximately 30% to be the best. Thus, if your best max squat is 300 lbs you would use a loads of between 30 -120 lbs.

Drop down into a parallel postion and then jump up in the air with the weight.

Power Squats-Research shows that power is best developed with loads of approximately 46-62% of your 1RM. That means load of 138 lbs to 186 lbs.

The objective need to be the same with the Power Squat as with the Jump Squat, Compensatory Acceleration. That means you want to push as hard and fast as you can with each repetition.

You want to jump or try and jump with the power loads. However, research shows that you with these load at about half way up, you beging to put on the brakes and slow down.

To combat the slow down you want to use…

Bands and/or Chains

Adding bands and chains provides a braking effect. It allows you to continue to drive up with more force and power. It teaches you to push all the way though the movement.

Trap Bar Power Squats-You can make the trap bar squat a power movement by applying this principle.

Pitching Forward

Pritching forward is a survival mechanism. Once you leg drive stops, your survival mechanism automatically find a way to maintain your momentum. That usually occurs by pitching forward.

That mean by strengthening your drive out of the hole, you eliminate or minimize « Pitching forward. »

What Pitching Foward Tell You

It also tells you that you need to strengthen you core. Doing so allows you continue to maintain an upright position rather than pitching forward.

When you pitch forward, you increase the force/load due to the fact that you are drifting further from you Center of Gravity.


Dr Stuare McGill (the back guy) basically noted that you are able to produce more force by making your core a ridig hard piece of steel.

McGill termed it as « Leakage » (something like that). Lifters often refer to it as « Staying Tight ».

« Staying Tight » in your trunk allows you to maintain more force in a movement.

Ab Strength

Being a good deadlifter is a statement that you have a strong back.

That means by increasing your ab strength, this will minimize or eliminate your pitching forward.

Ab Exercises

Bret Contreras’ « Inside The Muscle » provide some great ab exercises.


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