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Old 06-12-2014, 05:24 AM   #1
Greg Warren
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Deadlift stalls 2-3" from the top

The deadlift is easily my best lift, but I have a tendency to really have to fight for the last 2-3 inches of the lift to lock it out. I get the bar to mid-thigh and struggle to finish it out sometimes when going heavy. What are some tips/suggestions to improve on that last part of the pull? Are there any isolation movements I can do in addition to deadlifts? Thanks guys!
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:29 AM   #2
John Donovan
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Re: Deadlift stalls 2-3" from the top

You might not be activating your glutes enough. Try some cable pull throughs and heavy kettlebell swings during your warmup.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:39 AM   #3
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Deadlift stalls 2-3" from the top

Technique wise I think Richard Hawthorne, famed deadlifter, suggested focusing on driving the hips to the bar as soon as the barbell gets past your knee. I used to focus more on just pulling up and back and then the hips would slowly lock out. If you take Hawthorne's approach it might help you drive/explode into the last couple of inches.

Glute exercises aren't a bad idead for support, and for some speed deadlifts with bands can help teach you to accelerate through the lift.

Heavy rows can also give a little more strength in the above the knee position.
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:42 AM   #4
Josh Groves
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Re: Deadlift stalls 2-3" from the top

As others said, usually when I see an athlete struggle in the last few inches it's because they're trying to pull with their upper back to finish the lift which usually results in a struggle (and ultimately, over-extension at the top).

Bringing the hips into the bar by forcefully contracting the glutes is the best way I've found to create a strong lock out at the top. As said above, you can start this contraction as soon as the bar crosses the knee.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:14 AM   #5
Luke Sirakos
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Re: Deadlift stalls 2-3" from the top

Add in some heavy rack pulls
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:05 PM   #6
Struan Potter
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Re: Deadlift stalls 2-3" from the top

Originally Posted by Luke Sirakos View Post
Add in some heavy rack pulls
That is what I'd recommend because you can overload that portion of the pull.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:58 PM   #7
Kristian Skarsfeldt
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Re: Deadlift stalls 2-3" from the top

Try a few heavy singles with deadlifts vs bands from low blocks.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:40 PM   #8
Bryan Hood
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Re: Deadlift stalls 2-3" from the top

Like stated above. Rack pulls are great, chains/bands, Dimmels, Good Mornings (with SSB if you have access to one), RDLs, Reverse Band DL, Sumo DL, etc, etc. Using those hams and glutes are absolutely key. Keep the bar moving fast and fire to extension when above the knees. I also keep my knees out slightly when I do conventional pulls. About mid-thigh I try to lock my knees out so I can really fire the glutes. This was today. (wfs)
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