Is the Sumo Deadlift High Pull A Good Exercise?
The sumo deadlift high pull is a very popular CrossFit movement, but it is a controversial movement, and it is easy to understand why when you consider the risks of this exercise.
The sumo deadlift high pull involves lifting the weight from the sumo deadlift position all the way up to just below your chin. It involves an unusual grip, with the bar held in the middle. In addition, it involves hinging at the hip rather than the knees, which makes it different from a proper sumo deadlift.
When this exercise is done properly it is a very good full body exercise. Done incorrectly, however, it is easy to get injured. The CrossFit environment, where reps are done for time and people get quite competitive about doing a large number of exercises, makes injury even more likely.
Many CrossFit coaches learn the sumo deadlift high pull as a part of their certifications but opt not to use the exercise in their programming, preferring snatch, clean and jerk or other similar exercises from Olympic lifting instead. If you are a CrossFit beginner you would do well to follow their example, waiting until you are confident in your abilities with other movements to even consider this exercise.