Hit a 405 Deadlift on Sumo. First Time Sumo Deadlifting

So I decided to try sumo deadlifting for the first time today and see if it fits my leverages more since I’m shortish. I managed to work all the way up to 405lbs which is a PR for first time sumo deadlifting although I will confirm what everyone says about sumo: It’s hard af to pull it off the floor unlike conventional.
My right foot lost balance cuz the platform for some reason has that basketball court wood floor texture. Shoulda went barefoot. Thankfully I stuck it out. Cheers

if any one can give me any tips on how to excel in the sumo stance that would be much appreciated and repped as well.

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So Sumo isn’t just a conventional list with your knees outside your hands (you’re better off going conventional if that is how it looks). You gotta get your knees turned out and your hips close to the bar and try get as upright as you can.

If you’re used to conventional lifting then you must resist the temptation to have your hips shoot up. You’ll lift less weight in the short term but it will pay off in time.

Johnnie Candito has beautiful sumo form, take note of the hips, torso and knees (This is just after breaking the ground)


Probably leave the hitching out of training as well. Anyway, I dont train sumo becausr it’s mostly not allowed and I have the mobility of a donkey so take that into account.

No real tips as I’ve never pulled sumo, but congrats. 4 plates is a good pull.

I don’t know where to begin…

TLDR is pretty much you seem to be a strong dude but to maximise sumo potential and lift max weight technique needs lots of work. As the above poster said you are pulling convention with a wider stance. This way you don’t get the advantages of sumo while keeping the weaknesses of conventional as well as the weaknesses of sumo.

There are many quality youtube tutorials on Sumo DL as well as many more examples of beautiful sumo lifting (some rubbish tho). Watch a few and apply their cues and tips bit by bit slowly improving your sumo technique. For myself when I first started pulling sumo having done conventional all the way up to that point it went kind of like this:

Open at the hips (externally rotate and abduct) so that your knees and feet point out (approx 45 degrees but find what works for you). This means that when you bend the knees they will track out and over the toes as opposed to collapsing inwards.

Drop your nuts onto the bar or lower yourself between your legs while keeping vertical as possible torso position (some people end up 45 degrees others nearer to fully vertical)

Stop as you feel the greatest tension in your quads, hams and glutes. I think about keeping my hips higher because dropping too low relaxes everything.

Set Grip while maintaining all of the above (vertical as possible torso and tension in the quads, hams and glutes)

Set Spine flat or neutral if its not already using the bar to pull yourself into position. Engage lats (externally rotate hands, cover armpits or some other cue)

and finally Pull. Patience off the floor but don’t take it easy. Sumo may be harder off the floor but even at high percentages that should mean maybe 1-2 seconds down there.

Once the bar has broken the floor wedge hips through and finish with a bar hump.

Seems like a lot and is but as you learn you’ll come up with your own set up and cues hopefully simpler than mine. For now here’s a few comments on your technique:

Start Position and Set Up is everything. Might be a mobility thing but for the stance width you’ve used knees are pointing and tracking forward. This probably puts a lot of strain on your adductors on the inside of your leg.

  • Torso angle is around about 45 which is alright but try to get more vertical. This pretty much reduces load on your back making pulling 500 sumo feel like 400 conventional on your back at least.

  • Some sumo pullers rip the bar hard off the ground at the start like Jeremy Avilla, Tee Cummins, Dan Green and Cailer Woolam however they are all extremely tight and maintain position whilst doing so. Conversely there are pullers like Yury Belkin and Krzysztof Wierzbicki who seem to squeeze the bar off the floor. Both methods work however I’m a proponent of not gripping and ripping the sumo.
    When you jerk the bar you lose tightness and positioning making the bottom position even harder than it already is and shifting the load onto your back and away from the big strong muscles of your legs and hips. Loss of positioning made your lockout harder than it needed to be. Jerk the bar hard at the start if that is your style but this only works if you keep tight and in position.

  • Your forward knees and subsequent tracking mean they get in the way of a vertical bar path. You clip them on the way up and it forces you to go out and around them and drag over them losing speed and momentum at the moment that sumo should be strongest as your hips drive forward. This forces you to hitch to finish the lift.

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Thanks for the detailed reply while not busting my balls too much lol

Will begin busting of balls now lel

Happy cheating

  1. Congrats on the lift PR.
  2. Please don’t ever lift like that again. Lol

I’m not sure why everyone’s against the modified sumo stance… there was a poster here named HeavyTriple who DL’d, I believe, 700lbs with this stance. Also, if you google ‘modified sumo deadlift’ the below is the first hit.

I’ve found this works the best for myself. I’ve got longer arms and a stronger back than my lanky ass legs and this has proven to be my strongest stance.

Aside from OPs hitch, it doesn’t appear to have glaring issues. If that’s his first attempt at ‘sumo’ I’d definitely give a true sumo Pull a try and see which works for you though.

Edit: video of HT’s Deadlift from his log.


Wow I didn’t even know there was a modified version of the sumo. I knew my form wasn’t perfect but never thought I’d be breaking even. Shit Tnation thinks of virtually everything. Nothing’s ever black and white

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@Vincepac1500 has a pretty good handle on sumo I’d say and pretty damn good form. Go watch some of his videos in his log.


Izzy of Powerliftingtowin had a thing for semi sumo for a time but a don’t know if he still uses it as his main lift tho.

I have personal experience with semi sumo while transitioning into a wider stance. At the time I wasn’t mobile enough so I pulled as wide as I could which wasn’t very much. These days I’m about shins to the rings so not super wide by any means but it works really well.

When I pulled semi sumo I found that the slow down in speed at the top or “weakness” at the top from conventional hung around while the drive off the ground was about the same or a bit less. So pretty much felt like conventional to me. Only when I went wider did the strengths of sumo really show.

So at least for me Semi Sumo offered nothing over conventional but it worked for the GOAT Ed Coan so who am I to talk shit. Then again he was pretty short and as jacked as Stan Efferding, Larry Wheels etc.

I’m with you here. @khangles has presented some great points/tips but I’m a fan of the semi-sumo/squat stance deadlift.

Just hit a 605lb PR the other day. It is my most comfortable, preferred squat stance.

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I don’t think it’s as much people are against it as it isn’t sumo and that’s what the question was about. I think everyone was giving him tips to improve his sumo rather than even considering him pulling semi sumo because it seemed like OP wanted to improve his sumo pull


It’s only a deadlift if it’s from a 17 inch deficit with a snatch grip. Everything else is only building the ego.


Semi Sumo is cool. You just gotta get the barbell past your knees before the shoulders get behind the hips.

Turning the knees out let’s you use more butt off the floor, and gets the knees out of the way, so you can pull straighter.

Look at HeavyTriple. His knees and feet are so turned out, he looks almost bow-legged.

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Yeah, semi-sumo my ass. This is cheating on a cheat lift.

Autistic lift.


I’m going to try a stupid high deficit snatch grip deadlift tomorrow. Then I’ll be a real man

For true alpha status, do that shit behind your back.