Sumo Deadlift Technique

the rack front door

Many of my clients have questions about the Sumo Deadlift Technique. It’s a great variation of the deadlift that works your glutes, lower back, quads hamstrings, abductors, trapezius, and forearm flexors. Below is the step-by-step guide to properly executing the Sumo Deadlift Technique.

  1. Start with the bar slightly off the shins with the feet turned outwards a little more than you would box squatting. The stance is going to be wider than your box squat, but it all depends on flexibility, the longer the legs of the athlete the wider the stance will typically be. 
  2. Start with a double overhand grip on the bar until the weights reach the submaximal level and then switch to a mixed grip. Your strong hand will go under while the weaker will go over. Your arms should track just inside the legs going into that small little crease in your inner thigh. 
  3. You want to think of bending the bar in half and pulling shoulder blades back and down. All while pushing out onto the feet as hard as you can as if you’re pushing the floor apart like in the box squat. Make sure the butt is down and the chest is up. 
  4. As you lift the bar, keep the bar against the shins and thighs the entire time. Don’t try and straighten the legs out until the bar gets above the knees, if you straighten them out before the weight will be lifted almost entirely by your back and take much longer; we want this to be almost all glutes and hamstrings.
  5. When reaching the top, drive hips forward through the bar and lean back the entire time.

Please reach out with any questions. The deadlift is a workout that can seriously injure your lower back if not done properly. At the Rack, we provide one-on-one training to ensure that you’re not only hitting personal bests but doing it properly and healthily.

In strength,
Kalil Sherrod
CPT – WSBB Special Strengths

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