T Nation

Deadlifting Style

How did you guys figure out which deadlift style was best for you? Just whichever was more comfortable or whichever helped you with your goals?

I started wide sumo because it was more comfortable and I could lift more that way. I eventually narrowed my stance until I went conventional because sumo takes a toll on my SI joint and hip flexors and for every step forward I made on sumo, I would go back 2 steps due to trying to iron out those problems.

Conventional took a ton of stress of my hip flexors and SI joint, but I had to train my back and legs more to get it to become higher than my sumo.

I alternated back and forth between styles till it became obvious which one was easiest for me to progress and move the most weight comfortably.

I used to alternate, but then realized that, in order to be the man I want to be, I would have to pull conventional. It was not the easier of the two, but so it goes. Never looked back.

David Dieada, Way of the Superior Man and shit

Sumo has always been stronger and more natural for me. There was never any question. It takes a lot of technique work to improve. I do pull conventional for reps as assistance but my sumo is a good 150lbs more than I’ve ever pulled conventional.

Correct me if I’m wrong but conventional is better for your posterior chain right?

[quote]chobbs wrote:
Correct me if I’m wrong but conventional is better for your posterior chain right? [/quote]

Define “better”? You will probably need a lot more hip strength or favorable geometry to pull sumo easily. Personally, heavy conventional pulls consistently hurt my spine so that might not be better for my posterior chain over all. Conv for reps certainly put a hurt on my back musculature tho.

[quote]grettiron wrote:

[quote]chobbs wrote:
Correct me if I’m wrong but conventional is better for your posterior chain right? [/quote]

Define “better”? You will probably need a lot more hip strength or favorable geometry to pull sumo easily. Personally, heavy conventional pulls consistently hurt my spine so that might not be better for my posterior chain over all. Conv for reps certainly put a hurt on my back musculature tho.[/quote]

Better as in it will make it stronger/bigger

Depends on which part of your posterior chain you’re referring to. Sumo will place the emphasis on your hips and ass. With conventional, less will be placed on the hip complex and will be put onto your back (your entire back). Either way, you’re blasting your P-chain.

I switched from conventional to sumo about 9 months ago and my lower back feels a lot better after deadlift days. I finally got back to my strength level using conventional and I feel like I’m capable of making faster gains with sumo but only time will tell. Right now I feel like I’m much better suited for the sumo because I have a relatively thin build.

After discussing this with a friend, we came to the conclusion that people with thin mid sections (or having small moment of inertia) experience much higher stress if using conventional and by switching to sumo the more upright angle reduces the moment arm of the weight and reduces stress in the back. It’s like comparing a large tube to a small tube given the same bending moment.

We’re probably geeks for thinking of this from a mechanics perspective but it seems like a good explanation lol. Of course there are other things to take into consideration such as leverages. I remember Dave Tate talking about the teeter totter effect with larger lifters as well.

I have a really long torso and short legs (I’m almost a full 6’ tall with an inseam of 30 inches.) I’ve experimented with both styles and find that I keep a better form with Sumo. I have a hard time getting to the bar without rounding my lower back–and that’s just setting up.

I started out conventional simply because I didn’t even really know about sumo deadlifts at that point. Now I’m training with the conjugate method, so I will train both and whichever gives me a higher number come competition time is the one I will use, but it will probably always be conventional as long as I am still competing raw. If I switch to using gear, I will very seriously consider focusing more on sumo.

[quote]chobbs wrote:
Correct me if I’m wrong but conventional is better for your posterior chain right? [/quote]

Not to be a jerk, but Ed Coan deadlifted more weight with sumo than you’ll probably ever dream of pulling.

So don’t worry about it man :slight_smile: just use whichever one feels better to you.

[quote]lift206 wrote:
We’re probably geeks for thinking of this from a mechanics perspective [/quote]

Not at all.

http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/choosing-conventional-or-sumo-based-on-your-bone-structure/

[quote]csulli wrote:

[quote]chobbs wrote:
Correct me if I’m wrong but conventional is better for your posterior chain right? [/quote]

Not to be a jerk, but Ed Coan deadlifted more weight with sumo than you’ll probably ever dream of pulling.

So don’t worry about it man :slight_smile: just use whichever one feels better to you.[/quote]

Probabely more than i’ll dead+squat :frowning:

I Just finished doing heavy sumo for the first time. Got 140kg x 3. My max conventional is 150kg, so at the moment they’re roughly the same, but I’m expecting sumo to increase as my technique improves. Definitely feel like the movement pattern was better with sumo - conventional my hips tend to shoot up high first, with sumo both hips and shoulders rose at around the same rate.

Well that’s a fair amount of writing for something that didn’t answer the OP’s question.

I started competing sumo because it was easier on my lower back. I hit a plateau and switched to conventional. My best conventional has greatly surpassed my best sumo.

I looked down and because I had a penis, I decided to deadlift conventional.

Sumo is cool, I think i could be successful with it because my squat is higher than my DL. However, I think conventional looks way more bad ass, and I feel it helps build a bigger back versus sumo. Nothing against Sumo lifters, I just think someone pulling 700 Conventional versus Sumo is more badass.

[quote]TunaMonkey wrote:
I looked down and because I had a penis, I decided to deadlift conventional.[/quote]

Exctly, sumo is more like a weighted curtsey or giving birth.

:wink: