Sumo Deadlift 475x 3 Form Check

Hey guys, I’m looking for advice on my DL form. Is it mechanically sound? Is my back rounding too much? I usually train alone or in a commercial gym so I don’t get much critique on form (besides the gym’s “Mr. Motivator” telling me I’m going to hurt myself—Thanks, Buddy).

I’m trying to work up to heavy weights in the 181 lb class but as an over-30 lifter I’m trying to be careful with my form. Thanks for watching.

My two cents: sumo is all about the start, so everything after the 1st rep is just low back work, the follow-on reps are nothing like a meet rep from a dead stop. You’re starting with your hips high, which is kind of turning it into a wide-stance RDL. Sink the hips a little lower (moving your feet out further may help, can’t tell where they are), stay tight all the way down with your shoulders pulled back tight, then when you start to ascend, thrust the hips forward, not up. Its hard to explain, I’d watch some vids of top sumo pullers like Priscilla Ribic to see.

Thanks for the help. I’ll give it a shot. I’ve pulled my stance in over the last few months to give myself a little more ROM, but I’ll put it back out and see what happens.

Your back seemed fine to me. It didn’t appear to round through the whole set. It looked like you might have been able to squeeze one or even two more out if you really pushed it. Well done at 181.

I agree with your hips being high. Try to force your knees out. You want to get your hips close to the bar not way back. It’s different than a squat in that way. Your hips are your power so the closer to the bar they are the better. That’ll keep your lower back more neutral. You shoulders are actually in front of the bar some. You want them even with the bar or behind it. You’ll have much better leverage.

I’ve never seen the grip’n’rip style of deadlift work to well for sumo pullers, I’d suggest:

  • Hips lower.
    …that may mean increasing your flexibility/mobility
    …might also require you to tweak your stance, or both (hard to say as I can’t see your foot placement)

  • Chest out and shoulder blades back (pulled together).
    …check your core and upper back strength?

  • Be patient and think of ‘squeezing’ the bar off the floor, the first few inches should always be the hardest–if I miss a deadlift it either floats several inches off the floor and then stops or doesn’t break at all.

Mike Robertson has written some pretty helpful articles on the sumo deadlift, here’s a couple you should check out:

Thanks for all the help guys. It’s good to get feedback from some experienced lifters. I focus quite a bit on upper back work and can do 20 or so consecutive pullups very consistently. If any one has any suggestion on lower back work, I’m all ears. I alternate between Good Mornings and RDLs, using 4-5 sets of 8-12 reps. While I have not gotten hurt, I haven’t gotten much stronger in the assistance lifts either.

Now do you do the GMs? If you want to target lower back then go narrow stance and go until your upper back starts to round and then come back up. Conventional SLDL are good too. Stand on a plate or something to increase the ROM.

I’ve been doing the GM with my squat stance which is relatively wide. I’ll experiment with a narrow stance and see what happens. Thanks for the tip.