They say that overall fitness is made 60% in the kitchen and 40% in the gym.
That means that when you’re in the gym, you have to be going hard and in the zone to get the most out of each and every single day. Many people are much too focused on how heavy they are lifting, and not on their technique. Lifting technique, commonly referred to as form, will determine just how your muscles develop and grow. A properly done lift at a lower weight will do you much more good than an improper one at a much higher weight. This is because if you cut corners and do things poorly because the weight is too much for you, you’ll end up either not working out the muscles properly or imbalancing certain muscle groups over others. One such workout that requires a very specific technique is the Sumo deadlift.
What Is The Sumo Deadlift?
It’s a bit of a variation from conventional deadlifting. Where things get different between the two workouts is in the placement of the hands and feet of the athlete. In a Sumo deadlift, the hip stance is wider and the toes are pointed in a more outward fashion. The benefits of this difference are well explained in this post from LiftingJake.com. Basically, the bar is gripped with the athlete’s hands inside of their legs as opposed to in front of them like in the conditional deadlift. This is pretty much the only requirement for a deadlift to be considered “Sumo.” But doing it right takes a bit more effort than just starting with your hands inside your legs.
Sumo Deadlift Technique
Let me explain just about everything you need to know about proper Sumo deadlift form. First, your feet should be about twice the width of your shoulders apart, much wider than the typical deadlift form. Your shins should be lined up with the rings on the barbell, and you’ll start to look like a squatting Sumo wrestler, hence the name. Your toes should be pointed outwards at a forty-five degree angle as you keep your shins vertical and your knees slightly behind the bar. Make sure to keep your spine as neutral as possible and your torso as upright as can be. The hands will grip the bar shoulder width apart and your shoulders will hang just in front of the bar overall.
From there, it’s just a matter of contracting all of the muscle groups in your body (glutes, etc), and you can begin your lift much in the same way you go about the average deadlift.
Proper form is necessary to both make sure you’re getting the most out of your lifts and to stay safe. It doesn’t do you any good to be out of the gym for weeks at a time because you hurt yourself with improper form. Sumo deadlifting is favored by powerlifters as opposed to bodybuilders, due to the focus on lifting heavy weights as opposed to body aesthetics as well as strength capabilities. Good luck with your gains, my friends.