T Nation

Sumo Deadlift

I deadlift traditional style, but now for the last month I been switching to sumo deads after reading an article that it’s a good thing to do because the sumo works the hams and muscles of hips alot more, so I figure that might be a weakness for me and that sumos would address that.

My question is is it normal that you lift less when doing sumos since that’s not your normal style? I find that I just can’t lift as much when doing sumos, certainly not for reps like I did with traditional deads.

Once you get used to the form, you can pull just as well*

I do both, and neither form gives me any advantages or disadvantages. Sumo is definitely more comfortable though.

  • Depending on your body structure

i tried sumo a couple times and i can dl much more using a traditional stance. take a look at the world record dlers, they all lift conventional- bolton, benedikt mag., etc. i dont know if this is just chance or if theres some correlation.

I’ve been doing both since I started, and I find that I can do a bit more sumo. I think the ROM is shorter.

I pull both ways. Sometimes if I feel like my low back has really taken a beating I will pull sumo on that day to keep some pressure off the low back. I can pull almost the same weight in either stance. Sometimes sumo feels stronger and sometimes conventional does.

I can do more sumo style. I’m not sure of the biomechanics or what exactly is wrong with me, but I can never get set comfortably in a conventinal stance. I always want to move my feet wider.

I would definitely say that I prefer the sumo deadlift. I seem to be able to pull alot more weight doing the sumo dl. Also, when going heavy with the traditional dl I have a tendancy to round my back alot more. I agree with everybody else and feel that it depends on your body’s biomechanics

Most IPF guys lift sumo.

Sumo is just more efficient, period.

It’s the freaks like Magnusson, Bolton, and Konstantinovs that can use conventional well.

It depends on your body mechanics.

The first time I pulled sumo, I pulled my conventional PR for five.

I find that sumo takes a lot of stress off the lower back and puts much more emphasis on leg strength.

[quote]AgentOrange wrote:
It depends on your body mechanics.

The first time I pulled sumo, I pulled my conventional PR for five.

I find that sumo takes a lot of stress off the lower back and puts much more emphasis on leg strength. [/quote]

exaclty depends on your body but yes it is smart to train usimng the other hitting weak points.

I pull sumo but in training of late have been pulling conventional in a 3/1 ratio and its helping. Im hitting areas not hit so hard in my usual stance and maintaining and or bringing up still the muscles used for my sumo pull

Mix it up bro and for sure youve been pulling conventional for some time its very normal you pull less sumo. My conventional pull is near 60lbs less then my sumo to date.

Phill

I’m a conventional lifter and the last time I tried sumo, I pulled my right hamstring. I need more work in that area so I’m definitely going to add sumos, starting light and progressing up. I feel that training both stances is better even though I haven’t always trained that way.

I use both.

I pull conventional in comp, but I’m thinking of switching to sumo because I’m still dealing with a low back injury.

Just gotta break the floor and it’s all good with sumo, least it always is for me.

My conventional struggles only after the intial floor break, near knee.

But screw it, I’ve got long arms so I can pull well either way :P.

Give sumo a try for youor next meet. I switched this year and after a few weeks of developing a technique that worked for me (a humbling process), I got some big PRs. I think that the way that sumos spare my lower back made it so I could train DLs more often with heavier weight. Plus, I was good for three solid attempts at my last meet (previously, my third pull was usually a guaranteed miss)- and this was with a back sore from two real ugly squat attempts. Plus, a suit actually helped-I never had much luck in suits pulling conventional.

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
I use both.

I pull conventional in comp, but I’m thinking of switching to sumo because I’m still dealing with a low back injury.

Just gotta break the floor and it’s all good with sumo, least it always is for me.

My conventional struggles only after the intial floor break, near knee.

But screw it, I’ve got long arms so I can pull well either way :P.[/quote]

I read somewhere (probably on this site)that there is a good rule of thumb on whether you are better suited to sumo: If you stand straight, and the crook of your elbow is above your belly button, your proportions are better for sumo. DOes anyone buy this, or is it BS?

[quote]Skuebb wrote:
I read somewhere (probably on this site)that there is a good rule of thumb on whether you are better suited to sumo: If you stand straight, and the crook of your elbow is above your belly button, your proportions are better for sumo. DOes anyone buy this, or is it BS?[/quote]

I think it is just a measure of whether or not you have long arms. People with longer arms (crooks of elbows below their belly buttons) would be better conventional pullers (than people with shorter arms) because of the shorter ROM; people with shorter arms (crooks of elbows above their belly buttons) would find Sumo easier than conventional because it decreases the ROM of the deadlift.

I don’t actually know if it is even possible to have the crook of your elbow fall below your belly button (mine don’t), but if it is, then I guess it is a decent way to measure arm length.

I would tend to agree. Convo pullers usually have long arms and short legs. I’m more of a squatter/bencher (my elbows half way bwtween nipple and belly button) and within a few weeks I got very comfortable with sumo pulling. I’m switxhing over full time now.

I’m only doing it cos I want a bigger total. If you’re looking for back development then stay with convos IMO.

[quote]Skuebb wrote:
I read somewhere (probably on this site)that there is a good rule of thumb on whether you are better suited to sumo: If you stand straight, and the crook of your elbow is above your belly button, your proportions are better for sumo. DOes anyone buy this, or is it BS?[/quote]

None of these hard and fast rules hold true for everyone. The best way to figure out which one you are better at is to try both. One of the guys I lift with has really short arms, and actually has a really hard time getting down to the bar to deadlift sumo. Another guy has really long arms and deadlifts sumo (with a 600 lb deadlift at 181, I’m not going to argue with him about which method he should be pulling with).

[quote]windmill85 wrote:
i tried sumo a couple times and i can dl much more using a traditional stance. take a look at the world record dlers, they all lift conventional- bolton, benedikt mag., etc. i dont know if this is just chance or if theres some correlation.[/quote]

The really weird thing is that most of the biggest DLs by coefficient are from sumo, but most of the world record DLs in absolute weight are conventional. I remember reading that from either elitefts or one of the sites linked from here.

The WSB guys have pulled both in the past and I’ve heard them say that while you may pull one way in competition, it’s a good idea to be able to pull nearly the same weight with the other method, otherwise it may indicate an imbalance. Interesting thought.

[quote]rniel wrote:
I pull both ways. Sometimes if I feel like my low back has really taken a beating I will pull sumo on that day to keep some pressure off the low back. I can pull almost the same weight in either stance. Sometimes sumo feels stronger and sometimes conventional does.[/quote]

It just occurred to me, although I should have thought about this much earlier–this difference in feeling is probably due to the different muscle groups recovering at different rates. If your hams and glutes are fresh and your back is fried, sumo will feel better.

So, maybe when we’re tired and sore going into a DL day, we should think about pulling with a different stance to keep the load up (assuming not a severe imbalance between the two stances). I’ll have to try this out.

I think people get discouraged with sumo pulling too easily. It’s not gonna be easy in the beginning, it’ll probably hurt and it will definately be uncomfortable. But stick with it and you’ll reap the rewards.

I remember the first week I tried them… I literally pulled 225lb for 8 (I had pulled 400+ for a conventional single easily a few weeks before) and they HURT. Like proper hurt. I stuck with them and within six weeks I had pulled 360 for a set of 8 (the best I had previously pulled @ 360 convo was a set of 6).

I then switched back to pulling conventional beccause I was only 8 weeks out from the WDFPF world champs and it was too late to start pushing the sumo’s but I ended up pulling a 40lb conventional PR (my last meet had been July, so 40lbs in 4 months).

I plan on moving over to sumo pulling full time now for a variety of reasons.

My experience so far with sumo dead has been really good.

I tried for the first time doing speed pulls last Wednesday. I was doing every other rep sumo. The sumos were coming up faster than the conventionals so I threw 405 on the bar. The lift was pretty smooth but felt awkward.

Sunday for ME day I maxed and bested my conventional by 5lbs with a 480.

I’m hoping a few more sessions and I’ll be over 500.

I’m going to continue training conventional, at least alternating on speed pulls, but I think sumo is better suited to my frame. (5’8’’)