We all have a passion for that heavy deadlift and many of us have even chased new PRs at times. But have you ever deadlifted using the sumo stance? Well, if not, let me tell you that it’s quite technical as compared to conventional deadlifts and takes a lot of time to learn the proper technique, especially if you have never tried it in the past.
Even if you don’t have any plans on competing in a powerlifting meet, it still is a very powerful and effective exercise that develops your hips, posterior chain and strengthens the core.
Sumo deadlifts are performed with a wider stance as compared to the conventional one. Because of this, the range of motion of the bar is shorter and you are able to pull more weight quite comfortably. However, your first try may not be an impressive one, also the stance is a lot wider, but the bar has less distance to travel from the start to the end.
The best thing about sumo deadlifts is that it divides the stress off your back and spreads it across the quadriceps. So, the risk of injury is also less than that of conventional.
What is Required? Technique and Benefits
For a successful sumo deadlift, you must have great hip mobility and flexibility as compared to the conventional deadlift, for which don’t require much of it except with the ankles. But when you pull sumo, it means you’ll be spending more time on mobility like foam rolling, stretching, etc., along with feet placement, stance width, sinking down lower, altering how upright the chest is.
As mentioned earlier, it is a more technical exercise and you must keep the knees out, back tight, bar close to your shins and the chest upright. Once again I’ll lay stress on increasing your hip mobility. You’ll never be able to pull the bar up on your first try if you haven’t fulfilled the prerequisites.
As compared to conventional deadlifts, it is far easier to lockout with sumos and you also don’t have to lean too far forward. However, you definitely need strong quadriceps to maintain your form and balance throughout the set.
Sumo Deadlift for Bodybuilders vs. Powerlifters
If you are a bodybuilder, the crux of the lift during a sumo deadlift is more focused on your back but it also depends on your mechanics such as muscle lengths, limb length, joint mobility, etc.
But when compared to powerlifters, they tend to enjoy doing conventional over sumo deadlifts. If you are a powerlifter, your goal is to push as much as possible for three big lifts. Also, as a powerlifter, you’ll be better able to lockout more weight than with conventional deadlifts. The reason being because of a short range of motion and also your back remains more upright and flat throughout the lift.
Benefits of Sumo Deadlift
- Develops better body composition.
- Full body strength.
- Creates flexibility in the hips.
- Shorter range of motion gives you the competitive advantage.
- Increases testosterone levels.
- Puts less stress on the lower back.
- Makes you look badass.
- Dramatically improves your posture by strengthening the hips and core.
So, if you’re a conventional deadlifter, then definitely give sumos a try. You’ll be able to lift more weight while developing your back differently. However, those who are already doing sumos should alter their technique to the conventional to shock the muscles.