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Should You Be Trying the Sumo Deadlift?

This topic becomes the basis of many weightlifting debates, but the sumo deadlift is a legitimate variation of the traditional deadlift; it is accepted even in power-lifting competitions. In fact, if you haven’t tried it to date, you should. There are a number of reasons why the sumo deadlift is a very good option for anyone that wants to lift weights. Here are some aspects you would have to take into consideration when starting out of sumo deadlifting:

  • If you are a powerlifter and are contemplating on which style of lift you want to adopt, there are certain things you would have to keep in view. If you are planning on participating in powerlifting competitions, you are going to be concerned about the amount of weight you will be able to shift in a single repetition. That is the basic requirement of competition powerlifting. This is exactly why it makes a great deal of sense to choose a variation that will enable you to lift a greater amount of weight.
  • When you are doing a sumo lift, the bar has to travel for a shorter distance. If you look at the set-up for a benchpress or powerlift squat, you will realise that your priority should be to see that the bar has a shorter distance to travel.
  • The lifting style is the other aspect that has to be taken into consideration. The sumo deadlift needs a much more specific set-up. And so if you typically use the grip-it & rip-it style of lifting, then the sumo lift technique may not suit you.
  • Top-level strength isn’t ever a concern, as both sumo deadlifters and traditional deadlifters break records in competitions. The aspect you should be focusing on is identifying which style gives you the scope to play your strengths and helps you draw-out the biggest lifts.
  • In the case of people that cross-fit, the discussion doesn’t stay so simple, as there are a range of factors that have to be taken into consideration. Crossfitters are concerned with maximum strength; however they are more focused on building overall fitness and strength. And so, these are the markers you should be considering while deciding which deadlift style will suit you. In most instances, when you are considering overall strength and fitness, the traditional deadlift will come out tops. This is why your individual situation will largely decide which type of deadlift you should be using.
  • There are times when people have certain weaknesses like hip strength. If this is the case, you can bring that weakness up to speed by doing the sumo deadlift. The cross-fit philosophy is centred on ensuring there are no major chinks in your armour and that is exactly what the sumo deadlift helps with.

Some pointers

Even as you focus on all these aspects, there is one more extremely vital point you should take into consideration. The version of deadlift you choose should be one that suits your injury history and body type. For instance, if you have suffered a back injury in the past, you may benefit from the sumo deadlift as it has reduced shear forces.

The objective is to always prioritise staying injury-free. The variation you choose shouldn’t just sound great in theory – it has to work for you in practice. We believe that learning the sumo deadlift is a good thing and you can use it as and when you need it.

If you have any questions about the sumo deadlift or any other weightlifting techniques, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Schembri PT. You can send us an email to [email protected] or fill in this contact form and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading,
Schembri PT Team
02 9648 6405