How to do a Sumo Deadlift with Correct Form: Get it Right!

The Sumo deadlift is a great exercise, but many people perform it incorrectly. Avoid the risk of injury and other issues by ensuring that you do your deadlifts right.

The Sumo Deadlift Variation

The deadlift is often touted as the king of bodybuilding exercises. It’s an exercise that works different muscles in the upper and lower body at one time. One variation of the deadlift is the sumo deadlift which is used frequently among powerlifters. This variation of the deadlift puts less strain on the lower back at the starting point and this is great for those lifting massive amounts of weight.

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You can get great results with the Sumo Deadlift if you do it right. 

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The muscles used when performing the sumo deadlift include the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, traps, rhomboids, rectus and traverse abdominals, erector spinae and gastrocnemius. This means you are working all the muscles in your legs, your back muscles, and your abdominals. When performing the sumo deadlift, you must concentrate on stance and knee, hip, and shoulder positioning.

The Sumo Deadlift Stance

There are different stances adopted by those who perform the sumo deadlift, but the preferred stance is a wide one. A narrower stance will make this exercise more like a traditional deadlift and place a slightly greater strain on the lower back. The best stance is where your feet are much wider than shoulder width apart. Your feet should be just outside your grip width when performing this exercise, and your grip-width should be in line with your shoulders.

The next thing to consider is the way in which your toes are pointed. Your toes should be pointed outward at about a 45-degree angle. Pointing the toes outward places less stress on the hips and increases mobility. If you place your toes at a degree wider than 45, that will also make it more difficult to get the weight off the ground.

Sumo Deadlift Knee Position

Knee positioning is very important when doing the sumo deadlift. Your knees should be forced outwards and behind the bar. Throughout the movement, your knees must remain fixed. They should not bend in and out. Doing this will increase the possibility of injury.

Correct Hip Position

At the start of this lift, your hips should be kept high. When you actually perform the lift, your hips will drop down and you will keep them as close to the bar as you possibly can. Keeping your hips close to the bar makes it easy to lock the weight when you reach the top of the movement.

Best Shoulder Position

When starting this lift, the shoulders should be kept above the bar. Above the bar has to do with the angle of your arms. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor and your torso should remain as vertical as possible. Your knee, hip and shoulder position all go together. So, at the start of the exercise your knees should be pushed outward, hips high and shoulder positioned above the bar.

Performing the Exercise

Now that you know the proper stance and position of the knees, hip and shoulders, you can perform the exercise. Keep your chest out, head held high and prepare to lift the weight. You should go from the starting position to lock out in one smooth motion. Don’t jerk the weight upward and make sure your knees remain fixed throughout the movement. Returning to the starting position should be done slowly, while consciously adhering to form (stance, knee, hip and shoulder position).

The Sumo deadlift is a great exercise, but many people perform it incorrectly. Avoid the risk of injury and other issues by ensuring that you do your deadlifts right.

After completing one repetition, continue on for the desired number of reps and then you are done. This exercise takes a bit of practice in order to perfect, so it’s wise to begin doing the exercise with a lighter weight and gradually increasing the amount of weight you lift.

A Great Multi-Joint Exercise

The sumo deadlift is a great multi-joint exercise that will allow you to lift more weight once your form is perfected. The major factors to consider when doing the sumo deadlift are your stance and the position of your knees, hips, and shoulders. With just a little time and patience, you will be doing sumo deadlifts just like a powerlifter.

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  • a couple of weeks ago
Joe Bensam

I am an experienced bodybuilder and qualified personal trainer who specializes in strength training, conditioning and building muscle. I am committed to helping others improve their health, fitness and build through good advice on workouts and nutrition.