The Sumo Deadlift

Tags: conventional deadlift deadlift sumo deadlift

In today’s video tutorial, we explain why sumo deadlifts are important for powerlifters and advanced lifters as a deadlift variant. While we still prefer the conventional deadlift for general strength purposes, the sumo deadlift does have its place in certain strength programs.

Sumo vs Conventional

The sumo deadlift requires a wider stance with the hands positioned inside the legs. A wider stance artificially shortens the lifter’s legs and therefore reduces the range of motion significantly compared to conventional form. This is why most lifters can pull more weight using sumo and is the choice for competitive powerlifters – the shorter range of motion.

Sumo does not strengthen the back (spinal erectors) like the conventional does, because it relies heavily on the quads and adductors rather than the posterior chain muscles. This is why, for general strength trainees, the conventional deadlift is the better choice. It trains the largest group of muscles in the entire body – the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes and spinal erectors).

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