Deadly Grip: Mastering the Sumo Deadlift

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By Jim Turner

Why Choose Sumo Deadlift

Deadlift is an excellent exercise targeting multiple muscle groups, including hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and traps. The Sumo Deadlift is an alternative form of conventional deadlift that is known for its wider stance and narrower grip, making it more comfortable for people with long legs and torso. This variation allows the lifter to lift heavier weights with a reduced lower back strain.

Deadly Grip and Set-Up

One of the critical aspects of the Sumo Deadlift is the grip. The pressure on the back is minimised as the grip is closer to the body. It’s most beneficial to have a thumbless grip, place your hands within the shins, and try bringing your shoulders and hips at an equal distance from the bar. By doing this, you engage your lat muscles, which provides you with added stability.

One mistake beginners make is not having their shins in contact with the bar before pulling. This can put them in an awkward and less efficient position, leading to injuries. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and angle them out at about 45 degrees. The closer your shin contacts the bar, the more inclined you become, which makes it easier to lift heavier weights.

The Pull

The Sumo Deadlift is all about leg drive. Tension is built by taking the slack out of the bar. By doing this, you set the bar for a smooth and efficient lift. You then drive the floor with your legs while driving your hips into the bar. Ensure that your back remains tight and neutral throughout the lift to assist you in lifting heavier weights.

One vital aspect to note is that the lift is not considered complete until the lifter locks it out. It’s not uncommon to see lifters struggle to lock out the lift, especially at the top. By squeezing the glutes, you can activate your hip muscles and complete the lift without any issues.

Common Mistakes

Starting too Eagerly

One of the most common mistakes people make is starting. They bolt forward and begin lifting the weight too quickly. This action exacerbates situations such as back rounding, increased lower trunk flexion, and even spinal compression.

Bar Drift

When pulling, ensure that the bar is above the midfoot of your feet. If the bar moves too far away from you, it may cause undue stress and lead to potential falls. Once the bar moves away, the weight shifts to your toes. This means that all the effort will be spent trying to bring the weight back to the right position.

In Conclusion

The Sumo Deadlift is a weight training exercise that requires more depth and less movement than traditional deadlifts. By implementing proper techniques, grip, and form, you can unlock your full potential and lift heavier weights effortlessly, all while minimizing back strain. Incorporate this exercise in your training regimen, and watch your grip strength and overall power lift to new heights!

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