T Nation

Sumo DL Help


Hey guys, I switched to sumo about 3-4 months ago. The weight seems to fly off the floor for me but I just can't lock it out. The video attached would have been a pr at 515. I read the T-Nation article on sumo lifts and I think I may be starting to ahead of the bar. Any help would be great because I have a competition in a month and i need to fix this. Thanks all

  1. Stop yanking the bar you are not Dan Green. No offense but it is wasted effort the way you are going about it. Dan doesn't and to create tension I'm not sure why you did it. Didnt do anything except pull your upper back out of place and made you re set again.

  2. Stop yanking the bar once you reset. The Sumo pull you need to take full advantage of opening the hips, keeping them close to the bar, and then pulling the bar smoothly but forcefully off the ground. Otherwise your knees come back in and you get a wide stance rdl looking deadlift. Also it pulled you over the bar which puts you in horrible place to start in sumo. You can not afford this in sumo as mechanically the pull is much slower and harder off the floor than anywhere else in the movement generally speaking. Which means if anything is off in the bottom it is pretty much gonna screw you immediately.

  3. You really just don't look like you are strong enough to pull this weight. Do you have a video of a sumo pull around 90-95% of your max that you actually finished.


I don't right now. 495 flies up for me and I'll try to not yank the bar during my set up. So what you're saying is I need to sit back more in order to not have my upper body so far in front of the bar? Also, would you recommend switching back to conventional? I'm a month out from a competition and I don't think I could bring my conventional back up in time. Thanks for the input


your hips are like a mile away from the bar, and what reed said dont yank it like that. You are basically doing a conventional deadlift in between your legs


Yea I've never had someone critique my sumo dl form so thanks for the feedback I'll work on it


Deep down we are all Dan Green wannabes and we pay tribute to him by copying his technique. Sometimes for better. Sometimes for worse.

Agree with Reed looks like the weight is too heavy for you. It also looks rather slow. I think what would work is doing explosive reps with bands, as they would really help you activate your glutes and hams for the lockout.


Another thing with the yanking off the ground is that it may actually get you red lights in a meet. Maybe it depends upon the fed but it looks a bit like the bar goes up then back down a bit before going up again. I actually got told by the head judge last weekend at the meet I went too that he would've probably red lighted me for the same thing (if I had actually got it locked out, which I didn't). This might be something to do with tightness before the lift, i believe that mine was due to not wearing a belt and so not getting tight so as soon as I started my back bent a bit before I got tight and carried on. On a side note, I've finally now discovered that wearing a belt really fucking helps.


reed is a very smart guy. i would take his advice very seriously.

i would really focus on getting in a better starting position. i think you fail because you end up with you knees locked and your back rounded. getting your knees out and your hips closer to the bar will help you get a more upright starting position. and that should help some. but i'd also spend some time strengthening your upper/middle back.


I dont know DAN GREEN who he is but i "yank the bar,,,off the floor to lol:
Deading 615 and going up soon at about 200lbs sometimes less or more sumo.
I wouldnt pick on your form I would suggest LOCKOUTS aka Raxk pULLS your weak point is locking out do lockouts!!!!I like to do 5x5 followed b=y 1-2x10 off the floor every oether week when im having issuse locking out usually if i can get it off the floor i can lifyt it tho....


Thought pretty much the same thing. A conventional pull with the feed spread really wide lol.

Pulling a no-lockout sumo really helps develop a feel for the movement in my experience.

You can call it pulling up to the knees if you like, but the height may vary for individuals. Get it to where you would just about to start the lockout portion and then go back down. DON'T use your lower back to get the weight up, and keep the bar real close when you go up and down, and lastly try to exaggerate pushing your ass out as you lower the weight (like an RDL -- it helps keep the bar close and weight off your back).


It sort of looks like a conventional sumo deadlift. You need to get your hips way closer to the bar by pushing your knees out to the sides. I think the reason for your "speed" off the floor is 1. yanking and 2. your hips aren't in the actual sumo position. When you get to a good sumo position, you will be much weaker off the floor. I would go back to conventional for your meet, because your mobility isn't up to snuff yet.


i agree with above the bar seems to far away from you and you want your traps invloved more close your grip up ect...But work on form and do some rack pulls sumo stance from mid shin level...Start out light


  1. How the hell do you not know who Dan Green is but yet you are on a PL forum giving PL advice?

  2. His lockout is weak as hell because of his shitty positioning from the start of the pull. I agree lock out work is exceptionally important but as of right now he is not even getting it completely passed his knees. It is not a lockout problem yet.


I've just looked into him a bit...Didn't know you needed to know Dan Green eto give advice(LOL).Not that my advice is better than anyone else...Again I agree form is off like I said.Work on form if lockouts are still a prob rack pulls are great.Ive got 615 at 200 bw from doing rack pulls followed by high rep sumos off floor.The week after I just pull heavy off floor and the alt. again.
Good luck.


Your exact words were "I wouldnt pick on your form". You never said anything about his form being off you jumped straight to rack pulls. Congrats on your lift that no one has seen how ever that lifts has absolutely nothing to do with his lift. Chances are you have a hard time with your lockouts because you also have a bad starting position possibly from yanking the bar.


my form is pretty good.Hows yours?Perfect i bet.lol...Look at my post count....I am on plenty of boards and whenever someone posts for the first time or so if there is anything to pick out certain people will jump all over it.Kinda funny.Anyway when i pull 625 ill post the vid for ya so you can tell me how my form is since it sounds like you have tons of exp....Dont worry it wont be long bro.As for the OP Im just giving you advice on what i would work on.Lighten up for a bit work on form/speed off floor throw in some rack pulls and youll be good.


Also posted this before you started ?ing my advice...work on form ect right?If I can get it off the floor I can usually lift it...I started doing rack pulls not for a weak spot but because for me partials help me get used to the feel of heavier weights and overload your muscles.I do lockouts for bech occasionally and half squats ect...Anyway by Reeds 4,000 something posts he obv spends alot of time here so ill leave this thread alone and let the experts handle it...


Awesome you will pull 20lbs more than me at about the same BW that completely makes your advice all he should listen too. Next I never said I had perfect form hahaha not even fuckinf close my dead lift is one of my worst lifts at lock out due to shitty starting position. Which is once again most likely your same problem. 9/10 times a missed Sumo at the top is due to a bad position off the floor. Maybe you are just that weak at the top but I don't think that's this dudes problem. He just doesn't pull sumo correctly at this point so there fore hammering rack pulls will due little for him until he figures his shit out. Stop being so damn touchy.


sorry im on alot of boards (and know the usuall firstnew guy dumb post start off didnt want to go that way lol)and know quite abit but more old school...Shits gotten way to adv for me to keep up with Reed...I have a dead video older but i dont want to post it as its got my name and bros name...Ill try to pm u the link and you can message me what you think about form on the lift(Just tried is there no PM on this forum?)....As far as op he should take all the advice pick what he feels is best and use it...Hes lucky to have gotten this many "Advices"


No unfortunately the PMs have not worked for almost a year on here sucks only draw back to this board.