When I first graduated from dumbells to the big girl bar I quickly fell in love with deadlifts. Most likely because I could pull a lot more weight off the ground than in the Back Squat and there was just this overwhelming feeling of power and strength the first time you stack more weight on the bar than you weigh on a scale.
Of course like any other big lift, there are multiple variations that you can use depending on your goals and mobility. Today we are going to tackle the Sumo Deadlift, which is often mischaracterized as easier because of the shorter range of motion compared to the traditional Americal deadlift. But that statement is simply not true, the sumo deadlift is just different and should be approached with the same caution and regard as any other barbell movement.
What Muscles Am I working With the Sumo Deadlift?
All Deadlift variations are hamstring dominant and great for building a strong back, however, the wider stance sumo deadlift activates glutes and quadriceps more compared to conventional deadlifts.
On a separate note, the sumo deadlift also tends to put less stress on the lower back which may be beneficial for some who have had a prior back injury.
The Set Up
- The width of your feet from the center of your body is slightly dependent on your height. Someone who is taller will likely feel more comfortable with a much wider stance. At the very least the feet should be positioned outside of the hips and you should feel stable as you lift the bar off the ground. If you start to wobble at all then bring your feet in closer
- Slightly point the toes out starting at a 25 degree angle possibly wider from some (not straightforward or 90 degrees).
- Ensure the bar is touching your shins at the starting position and grazing your legs through the entire lift.
- After your feet are positioned lower yourself down by sitting your hips back and driving your knees out. Keep all your weight in the heels of your feet. Once you grab a hold of the bar, keep your head and neck in a neutral position. Do not look up or straightforward. Your neck and head should follow the same line as you back.
As a side note I am using a mixed below, however, I highly recommend starting with double overhand grip (both hands pronated) to work on building up grip strength. As you increase weight over time and your legs become stronger than your grip switch to a mixed grip on your heavier working sets.
5. Before picking the bar up off the ground create some tension by slightly pulling up (you don’t want to have any slack in your arms) and brace your back by pulling back on your shoulder blades
As you stand up keep the bar close to your body, press through the floor into your heels until you hit the top position. Finish things off by squeezing the glutes before descending back down.
With any Barbell movement, I highly recommend starting with a Kettlebell or Dumbell before progressing to the bar. Working on the basics here will make the transition to the bar smooth and natural
The same basic mechanics apply:
Hinge at the Hips
Position feet outside the hips and turn feet out
Neck and spice should remain neutral as you push through your heels to stand up and squeeze the glutes at the top
Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift
Dumbbell Sumo Deadlift
As always Happy Lifting Ladies
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