Correct Sumo Deadlift Form



The sumo deadlift is a great exercise, but it is one that a lot of people do incorrectly, risking damage to their back. Learning the correct sumo deadlift form can help you to protect your back, while potentially moving even more weight.

The sumo deadlift is different from the conventional deadlift because it puts less shear force on the spine, and uses a shorter range of motion. One thing that a lot of people get wrong with this lift, however, is that they treat it as a hip hinge. While it is true that the conventional deadlift is an exercise that relies on the hip hinge, the sumo deadlift is hinged at the knee.

To perform a correct sumo deadlift:

- Stand with your knees wide and your toes angled outwards so they are pointing towards the plates.
- Fix your feet, you should be 'rooting' your feet into the floor, with the tension in the feet accentuating your feet's natural arch.
- Keep your butt high
- Focus on turning your knees and quads out.
- Brace to take the slack out of the bar and keep your spine in neutral alignment. Do not let your back bend as you move the bar.
- The lift comes from hinging at the knees.

Do a few sets barefoot, and get a lifting partner to look at them for you, focusing on the feet and knees until you develop robust form.

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