Deadlift Form Check?

Hey guys, could I get a critique on my sumo pull? This is 455 and my max is around 495. I squatted before this so my legs were already shot. Any advice would be awesome!

It doesn’t look too bad, especially given you’re pulling in runners. You get into position very fast, but you seem to know exactly where you want everything to be so that isn’t necessarily an issue. It does look like something is a bit off as you lock your knees out, from the angle I’d say balance.

From what I know of sumo pulling I’d suggest the following:

  • take a bit more time setting up and make sure your shoulders are behind the bar before initiating the pull (its hard to see from this angle whether you do this or not)
  • be patient off the floor: keeping your shoulders behind the bar raise your hips and feel the bar slowly rise. If you rush the pull, you’ll pull yourself out of position and your leverages will go to hell which will kill your lift closer to your max.
  • try to lock your knees out very aggressively. Whether your do this at the same time as driving your hips through the bar or just before is a matter of what works for you. For me, knees first by a fraction works better.

Lastly, if you haven’t tried it much before start doing some conventional pulling. I’m a conventional puller and I’ve recently started using sumo for my speed work. Its made a huge difference to my heavy conventional DL, especially in how much easier and faster my knees lock out. I also think it has helped me use my hams and glutes more in conventional pulling. I’ve always been and still am very back dominant in my conventional DL, but since doing more sumo I’ve found my conventional just feeling much stronger at all points, and I’ve recently been able to pull weights for reps that not long ago I would only have been comfortable pulling for singles.

We’ve got similar max lifts so I’m guessing a similar approach may work for you (ie conventional for speed, sumo for heavy) because it’ll let you work on your weak points.

Thanks man! Now that you say it, I’m not too sure where my shoulders are when I start the pull so I’ll work on that.

What you said about the knees makes sense too, so I’ll try that.

I have my first meet May 31st so I really want to dial in my form before then.

I’m also going to buy a pair of chucks too so I have more of a solid base.

I typically do conventional from a deficit for speed pulls. Not sure if it’s a good idea, but it usually kills me. Before this I had done 3x8 at 315 beltless conventionally from a deficit and I had squatted 1x8 at 310 and 5x3 at 315 so I was pretty dead at this point.

Happy to help. Shoulder position and patience off the floor are the biggest elements of sumo DLs for me.

Enjoy your first meet and best of luck. Relax and have fun, don’t worry too much about the weight on the bar. I had my first two meets not three months ago. I wouldn’t worry about PRs until your third attempt: I went for 90% for my first, my training max for my second and then a 10 lb PR for my third for my first meet.

Chucks are a great idea. I got some Matflex 4s for sumo, and they’re all I wear now, except for squats. I tried pulling sumo for my first attempt at my last meet in my Dunlop Volleys and ended up rolling my left foot out of the shoe and onto my ankle. I just about locked out the 450 lb on the bar but fell on my backside. Went back to conventional for second and third.

Why the high reps? I’ve found one to five works best for me; well, one to three for DL, one to five for the others. I don’t often go over five and if I do it generally won’t be above 70% or so.

One thing I’ve found that really helped my sumo even from small amounts of volume are high box squats set so the hips are at the same height on the box as when the pull starts. I load that up with 80% of my max DL or so and work upwards for triples. Something about it really helped me get my glutes moving the weight from a dead stop. For deficits I prefer pulling snatch grip, it just feels better.