Sumo wrestlers are some of the strongest and most powerful athletes you can ever come face to face with in a competitive arena. That is why if you consider including the name “Sumo” in one of the most common techniques of strength training, you can be sure that the effects will be particularly awesome. The Sumo Deadlift is a slightly modified version of the standard or original deadlift technique with the minor modification primarily found in the stance of the lifter. Here’s what you need to know about the Sumo Deadlift.
If you have ever seen a Sumo wrestler enter the ring and face an opponent, then you are already well familiar with the classic Sumo stance. It provides you with a wider base of support plus a lower center of gravity primarily because your center is much closer to the ground. This combination of wide and stable stance and lower and more balanced center of gravity allows you to put power in each lift, enabling you to lift greater amounts of weights more efficiently. This is because the travel time or the distance between the floor and the maximum height of the weights has been shortened significantly by the Sumo stance.
There’s another reason why this particular weightlifting stance is a lot better than the conventional technique. Experts say that, when executed correctly, the Sumo deadlift can actually reduce the amount of torque on your back, significantly reducing the risk of lower back injuries and other musculoskeletal injuries or issues of mobility. The reason is quite simple. Because the body is located closer or lower to the ground, you no longer have to bend as far as you possibly can to reach and lift for the bar. It is a great workout for the muscles in your hips, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps, too. So, if you’re into working these muscles, then the Sumo deadlift is for you. But, if you’re looking to increase the strength and resilience of other muscle groups, a conventional deadlift works better.
How to Execute the Sumo Deadlift the Correct Way
While the Sumo deadlift is a great alternative to conventional deadlifts, one wrong move can also have its disastrous consequences. That is why it is imperative that you take your time into learning the basics of the technique and work your way from there. Here’s how.
- Always approach the bar, fully loaded, on a flat, even, and stable surface. Make sure that the middle of your feet is intersected by the bar. Set your feet as wide apart as you possibly can, preferably near the collars of the weight.
- Slowly bend your hips at the knees and grip the bar, making sure your arms are directly below your shoulders and positioned inside the legs. As much as possible, you need to relax your shoulders and let your arms do the gripping. It doesn’t matter how you hold the bar as long as you get a firm and secure grip. It can be a hook grip, a pronated grip, or even a mixed grip.
- Take a deep breath and slowly lower yourself at the hips. Look straight forward and keep your chest up. Slowly drive through the surface of the floor while making sure your feet are spread wide apart. Make sure to put your weight on the posterior half of your feet. Now carefully extend the muscles through your knees and your hips.
- Start leaning back as you see the bar starting to pass through your knees. Once this has been achieved, drive your hips towards the bar while also pulling your shoulders together. Keep it in this position for as long as you possibly can before initiating the return to the starting position.
- Slowly bend at the hips to return the weight to the floor’s surface. Make sure to exert some form of control on the weight as you glide it towards the floor.
Maximizing the Effectiveness of the Sumo Deadlift
Executing the Sumo deadlift can be easy. As long as you are mindful of these three essential considerations, you could very well be on your way to stronger and more defined muscles.
- Never round your lower back at any point in the maneuver, especially throughout the pull.
- Always keep the bar close to your body; don’t ever let it sway away.
- Always squeeze your glutes to activate a full lockout once you’ve obtained a standing position.
The Sumo deadlift is not for everyone. But for those that may benefit from a wider and more stable stance plus the chance to lift greater resistances, the Sumo deadlift is just perfect.
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