Try sumo!

Sumo deadlift that is.

I’m sure most of you reading this love deadlifts and it’s probably a staple of your lifting regimen. But, maybe not many of you have experimented or dabbled with the sumo deadlift variation.

Well, I’m happy to report that you should probably incorporate it into your lifting routine, especially if you have been lifting for a while.

Why?

Here are some benefits that I have noticed since I’ve started:

  • Develops great hip strength because of the wider stance
  • Forces you to activate your glutes and hamstrings more so than conventional
  • Takes pressure off your lower back (lumbar spine)
  • Shortens the distance for you to lock out the weight (beneficial for powerlifters)
  • Adds variety and excitement to your lifting routine (combats boredom and monotony when lifting)

I switched over to sumo recently and can’t be happier with how it feels and the benefits it’s giving me (as shown above). I can’t say I’m as strong in sumo as I am in conventional, at least right now since I’m just starting, but it definitely feels a lot more comfortable.

It may be because I have a stout body type (short and thick) and it’s easier for my body to move the weight mechanically from that position. It’s not that I lack mobility–quite the opposite in fact–but that’s just how my body is put together. It’s an advantage that I have and I think I should use it. Maybe if you’re similar you should too.

Regardless of your body type, however, I think you should definitely include it as a variation in your lifting to continually test and challenge your body and improve it’s strength. If you do the same movement over and over, like conventional, then you may fail to fully develop the full spectrum of muscles that you could be using if you don’t include something like a sumo variation.

Of course, the sumo deadlift is a lot more technical than the conventional deadlift and should be approached with respect and a proper mindset. If you’re a beginner lifter then I recommend you develop the conventional first and try sumo much later. But, if you’re a seasoned lifter with a good amount of experience then I say go for the sumo and see what happens. That’s what I’ve done and I’m looking forward to every deadlift training session I have.

Hey, who knows? Maybe you might become the next Dan Green (pictured above).

In reality, probably not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pull some serious weight. You won’t know until you really give it an honest try.

So, what are waiting for?

Try sumo!

(If you’re interested in the technical side of the sumo deadlift, check out this easy and informative article on T-Nation or this video by powerlifter Mark Bell about the sumo deadlift and how to do it properly.)

(Photo Credit)

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