Mastering The Sumo Deadlift: Guide, Form, Flaws, Set Up & Execution

Exercise Instructions:

The sumo deadlift is performed in the following way.

Begin with the barbell placed on the floor, not too far out from your shins.

Assume a “sumo stance”, with your feet wide apart and use an overhand grip (meaning your palms are facing away from you), and place your hands in the middle of the barbell.

Your hands should be fairly close together, with a width of about 3-5 inches between them.

With this exercise, you are trying to raise the bar from the floor towards your hips, before lowering it back to the ground. (Similar to a deadlift) to an upright row and then to finally lowering the barbell back down to the ground.

  • With your weight on your heels, lift the barbell and open your hips, ensuring that while you lift the barbell, your hips are extending fully before your shoulders continue the rest of the motion. Think about standing tall to help visualise the position you are attempting to reach.
  • Once your hips are fully extended, lock back. It is important to keep the arms straight throughout this entire movement.
  • Having reached its highest point, slowly lower the barbell back down to the ground while keeping a firm grip on the barbell throughout the entire process.

Reps and Sets: Beginners should always start with a very light weight which usually consists of just the barbell (no added weight) in order to get the technique down before moving to heavier weights. In terms of the number of repetitions, start with 10-12 reps per set and do a total of 2-3 sets. Gradually, you could increase the number of sets to 4-5 depending on your level of fitness. You can also gradually increase the difficulty of the exercise by adding more weight.