T Nation

Sumo Deadlift - Vids

Not to steal Hanley’s thunder, but taped some of my sumo deads and wanted to hear others critique/tips as well.

Just recently switched to sumo after many years of doing it conventional.

Things I see wrong -

weight on toes first portion
chest not up
roll bar forwards before picking it up
butt comes up first

Any others and tips? I can’t believe my form was that screwed up. Note these were mid to heavier sets as well (relatively speaking) 300-400lbs.

lower back is rounded. Sit down, chest out and you should be set.

Another one…

Ass down chest up fire the Hips and glutes spread the floor with your knees. Vry hard to well but stance looks like you could stand to go wider to really get the hips involved etc.

Main thing I see fire the hips/glute if you get that ass under you and head Up and pulled back stuff will get in line’ chest will go out etc


I’m not sure how mine look from the side, might be an idea to tape it and see!!

I woulda thought the first vid was a conventional pull if you hadn’t had said sumo vids! Looks like there was no real hipglute work there (like I’m one to talk!)

Maybe try being a bit more patient off the floor and not trying to “rip” it up would help…

You need to get much more vertical in your set-up. In a sumo dead the upper body is much more upright than in a conventional deadlift, it is almost completely upright, you are not even at a 45 degree angle.

If you were looking in a mirror you should easily be able to see your belly button. Also you want your chest up and out, butt lower, hard to tell but probably legs wider and toes out more as well.

Not sure if there is a video but if you can find one of Charr Gahagan deadlifting he has very good form for Sumo’s (and is super strong)

To follow up on my post, here is a pic of Tony Cardella finishing a sumo deadlift. If you look at his upper body, it should basically stay in the same position throughout the lift, imagine that he just bent his knees to drop down to the bar. So you get down, get in that position (very vertical), and pull, start by pulling from your upper body.

Once the upper body gets the bar moving you straighten out your legs, keeping your upper body in that position. If you start the lift with your legs you will almost always bend forward and then with the heavy weights you will have a hard time locking it out at the top.

Thanks for the advice…I think I will work on technique more, I should have done more lighter reps instead of try to go into them heavy right away.

I really need to get the whole chest-up thing too, my conv deads are closer to that as wel with being hunched over. I guess I have to leave my ego at the door a few more times here…

I know I should be more patient to get the technique right too…am too used to trying to dip, grip, and rip. I think I will try to go down and grab the bar with a tight arched position and then come up instead of leaning over and setting up first. Hopefully I will stay in the postition for the entire rep.

I don’t think rolling the bar forward before a lift is bad form. I’m positive it’s alright in conventional but maybe sumo is different. I doubt it is. It looks to me like your glutes aren’t firing in your lift given the way your bring up the bar.

Maybe that’s not how it feels to you. Instead of thinking about ripping the weight off the ground also think about moving your pelvis from start to finish as quickly and powerfully as possible.