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Sumo Deadlift

May 16, 2023 | Joel Runyon

The sumo deadlift is a variation of the traditional deadlift where you are pulling a bar off of the floor. You have probably seen sumo deadlifts performed by power lifters in competition.

The sumo deadlift is a great lift to build power and strength in the legs and posterior chain. Even the traps and upper back get a little bit of work from this lift. Often times, lifters can pull more weight doing a sumo deadlift as compared to a conventional deadlift.

How to do a Sumo Deadlift

Start with a wide stance and toes slightly turned outwards. The exact foot position in the stance will vary lifter to lifter depending on anatomy. You want your feet wide enough to be able to grip the bar with your arms inside of your legs, shins perpendicular to the floor, all while maintaining a flat back.

Once you have found your individual foot position, assume your setup position with both hands gripping the bar inside of your legs. From here, engage your core, pull your shoulder blades back and down, and think about applying force through your feet into the ground.

Push through your legs and pull up on the bar ensuring that your hips and shoulders rise at the same rate. Stand to full hip extension with your legs locked out at the top.

Return the bar back to the ground. This is one rep.

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Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® and MoveWell. In addition to free fitness resources on Impossible Fitness - you can buy performance apparel and supplements on