Sumo Deadlifts

A great way to build strength along the quadriceps, glutei, and hamstrings, the Sumo Deadlift can be a solid addition to any exercise regimen. 

This variation of the conventional deadlift can also be used as a rehab exercise after a back injury, and is a great way to step into the world of deadlifting and powerlifting. 

Sumo Deadlifts In History

This deadlift variation may be popular today, but it was little known before the 1970s. 

However, after Japanese lifter Hideaki Inaba popularized the lift, it began to spread across the world and is now known as one of the more technical deadlifts. 

The deadlift gets its name from traditional sumo wrestling, as it is similar to the position a sumo wrestler takes just before a match. 

The Power Of The Sumo Deadlift 

The sumo deadlift is a powerlifting technique that is designed to decrease force on the spine while still strengthening the lower back and leg muscles. 

The difference between the Sumo deadlift and other deadlift variations lies in the way the weightlifter stands and holds their hands. In this case, the bar is gripped with hands inside the legs, and the hip stance is wider than a typical deadlift. 

Adding The Sumo Deadlift To Your Routine

As with each deadlift variation, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before starting your workout. 

  1. Make sure that your barbell is adjusted for the weight you’d like to use. 
  2. Set up your spine correctly to help ensure that your back remains straight throughout the lift. 
  3. Keep in mind the range of motion of your hips, as they will come into play during the exercise.
  4. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and turn your feet out slightly. 

Start The Exercise

Once you’ve set yourself up for success: 

  1. Bend at the hips, taking care to keep your back straight as you reach the barbell. Keep your hands inside your legs for the ’Sumo’ form. 
  2. Breath in and tighten your abdomen. 
  3. Squeeze your glute muscles and bring your hips forward to raise the barbell. 
  4. Gently bring the barbell back down, shifting your hips back. Breath out. 
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for your desired number of repetitions. 

Benefits Of This Deadlift Variation

The Sumo deadlift is a great way to really learn the technical skills necessary for a deadlift. 

Though sometimes considered to be easier than other forms of deadlifting, this particular technique can be a great way to get an intense quad and glute workout that’ll benefit your overall lower-body strength. 

Further, performing Sumo deadlifts can increase your pulling strength, and can also be useful for strengthening the back and  preventing injury. 

Sumo Deadlift To The Max

For a more intense workout, consider: 

  • Timed or rhythmic sumo deadlifts. Increasing time under tension can help boost your motor control and overall strength. 
  • If you don’t have a barbell or are simply looking for an alternative, consider using a kettlebell to increase your endurance while performing this exercise. 

Ready To Start Your Sumo Deadlifts? 

This exercise is a fantastic way to start getting into deadlifting, and a really solid way to round out your lower-body workouts. By coordinating your back and lower-body muscles, you’ll help improve your general strength and stamina!

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