T Nation

Sumo vs. Traditional

From my understanding, sumo deadlifts are easier on the lower back than traditional deadlifts, besides that, is there a difference? Do they both hit the same muscles? The same way?


Sumo deads will stress more of the quads/glute/hams with minimal/no low back.

Conventional deads will not only hit your glute/hams, but also low back.

Good post, Patricia.

I’d just add that different body types will have success with different variations of the deadlift. People with shorter torsos and longer arms, possibly longer legs, too, (aka “natural deadlifters” like Lamar Gant who pulled over 5x his bodyweight[!!!]) will probably pull better standard deadlifts. People who are good squatters (short legs, short arms, medium or long torsos) will probably pull better sumo-style.

I think that you should learn both variations and see which works the best for you, though putting yourself into one of those two categories might clear some things up.

Dan “Has scoliosis like Gant, but can only pull 2x bodyweight… for now” McVicker