The Sumo Deadlift

As many of you experienced last week, the sumo deadlift feels significantly different than the conventional deadlift. While many of the same muscles are being used, proper execution really allows us to use our glutes and hamstrings more effectively. As I've said before, weak glutes are a common affliction across the board, especially for those of us working lame-ass desk jobs.

Keys To Appropriate Set-up & Lift:
1) Feet wide. Width will obviously vary from person to person, but it should be enough to comfortably pull with our arms inside our knees.
2) Toes pointed slightly out. Again, weight on our heels.
3) Obviously, just like picking anything off the ground, keep your lower back in extension. Similarly, remeber to keep your keep your scapula retracted i.e. pinching a pencil between your shoulder blades. And to expand on this even further, think about actually pulling your lats down and back. If all of this is done properly, your entire back should be locked as one solid, straight piece.
4) Arms hanging straight down at shoulder width.
5) Head looking forward. Unlike the conventional deadlift, our torso will be in a more erect position, so we will not be in a position to hyper-extend at the cervical spine. How nerdy did that sentence just sound?
7) Be sure to keep your midline or "core" tight - this means abs, back, and obliques working in unison.
6) Once all of the above it taken care of, your breath is absolutely vital to a successful lift (this is true with all heavy lifting). This isn't just about taking a big breath in; it's about trying to fill your entire abdomen with as much air as possible.

7) When set, raise your hips until you feel tension in your hamstrings. This is important.
8) Begin by driving your feet into the ground and away from your center, utilizing that hamstring tension to begin elevating the barbell.
9) Once the bar passes above the knee, squeeze your glutes and drive your hips through to complete the lift.
10) Basically, do what Jen does...

Note her excellent glute strength and hip drive

Lastly, a big thanks to Bobby Goodfellow for his input on this post. He's strong and has a pretty epic beard, so I value his opinion. Check him out as he soon resumes his grip training at Cinderblock Hands.

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