The Sumo deadlift is my favorite lift. There are many differences between a sumo deadlift and a conventional deadlift and I’ll go over just a few. The deadlift in general, in all of its forms, is really the best way to develop hip and posterior chain (backside of the body) strength and power. In the most simple of terms, the most noticeable difference between the sumo vs conventional lift is simply your stance (wide vs shoulder width).
Below is a video I made of a sumo deadlift from a side view and front view. A few things you may notice that would help with your lift….
1. I get set before I make the lift. When getting set, my stance is where I want it to be, I get my breathing pattern set, I manually tighten my back, I mentally think about what I want to do, I pull the slack out of the bar opposed to jerking the weight off the floor. There are quite a few more tips to setup the sumo deadlift as well…
2. The bar travels vertically in a straight path from the floor to my hips. A straight path is the shortest path.
3. When setting my grip, I allow my arms to fall straight down parallel to the bar. Your arms should not be angled in or out. If you notice when the plates hit the floor, both sides evenly. Use the rings on the barbell grip to make sure your grip is even on both sides. If you do grip the bar even then your pull will not be distributed through your body evenly…one side will be working harder than the other.
Most people will generally have a preference in sumo vs traditional based on their build and mobility. Regardless of your preference, definitely incorporate both variations into your routines. Assuming someone is completely healthy with no injury history or limitations there is really no better total body exercise than the deadlift.