What Is The Best Way To Master The Sumo Deadlift Form?

The sumo deadlift form has been mastered by many Olympic lifters, bodybuilders, and enthusiastic gym goers. And I’m sure they know all about the sumo deadlift benefits. Enhancing muscle activation, reducing back pain and lowering a range of motions are some of the main sumo deadlift benefits. But that’s only if you’re doing it right.

Many beginners and amateurs think that the form of sumo deadlift is the same as the traditional deadlift. Even though there are many similarities between the two forms, the sumo deadlift is performed with your feet in a wide stance.

Sumo Deadlift Form

Sumo vs Conventional Deadlift​

You should also know that the sumo deadlift is a technical workout; one that requires consistent practice. And most importantly, in order to learn how to do sumo deadlift, you must understand the proper way to do so with a conscious effort.

Sumo Deadlift Form: Best Way to Sumo Deadlift

1. Foot Placement


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  • During the setup process, the placement of your foot is not something that needs to be done in a particular manner.

In fact, it all depends on your individual strength, biomechanics, and hip mobility. Even though there’s no definitive answer to the question of foot placement, the way your feet are placed contributes to enhancing your deadlifting ability.

  • The best way to sumo deadlift is to strictly keep in mind the angle of your shin during the setup of the bottom position. You should be beginning the sumo deadlift with your shins slightly at a right angle to the weightlifting bar.

As far as the stance is concerned, remember that the narrower it is, the less effortless it will be for you to break the floor. But this will create a certain hip height and torso angle. And that will make it difficult for you to lock out the weight.

On the other hand, it will be tougher for you to break the floor if the stance is wider. But this will enable you to complete the lift quite effortlessly due to the perfect positioning of your upper body.

So to sum it up, a narrower stance makes the sumo deadlift similar to the traditional deadlift. While a broader stance applies reduced stress on your lower back. It also increases emphasis on your hips, upper back, and hamstrings. (Traditional Deadlift vs Sumo Deadlift)

2. Toe Angle

When it comes to the best way to sumo deadlift, remember that your toes must be positioned correctly. And the proper sumo deadlift form for your toes is 45 degrees.

If you want more stress to be placed on your hips or if you want to challenge your mobility, then your toes should be pointed forward. On the other hand, the more toed out you are, the tougher it will be for you to lift the weightlifting bar off the floor completely.

3. Knee Positioning


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Opening up the hips is exactly what the knee positioning is supposed to do. So before you begin the sumo deadlift, place your knees in an outwards position behind the weight.

This is where the sumo deadlift differs from the traditional deadlift. Your shins need to be in a vertical position, so keep them as vertical as you can. This contributes to bringing the shoulders and the hips in the correct position.

4. Hip Positioning


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During the sumo deadlift setup process, you should be aiming towards keeping your hips high enough while also managing to keep your shoulders properly aligned.

So how does one do this without messing it all up?

  • Simply force your knees outwards
  • Drop down your hips
  • Keep them as near to the weight as possible

If you want to make the process of locking the weight out easier for yourself, then keep your hips close to the weightlifting bar.

5. Shoulder Positioning


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How to do sumo deadlift with the proper shoulder positioning?

Just remember that your shoulders have to be above the weightlifting bar throughout the whole exercise.

Once your hips are high enough and have opened enough, your torso will be in an optimally vertical position. And that’s exactly what you need for proper shoulder positioning. So do you know where above the weight actually is at your shoulder?

Many weightlifters don’t know the correct answer to this question. The most efficient way to figure it out is to pay attention to the angle of your arm. When you’re pulling the bar, your arm should be perpendicular to the ground.

The “shoulder” is not your anterior delt. So don’t make the mistake of lining that up with the weight. Doing something like this will force your hips downwards, which will make the process of breaking the floor extremely hard for you to accomplish.

And when you line up your shoulder blade with the weight, your hips are forced too high. This might cause the bar to be harder to the lockout. (Sumo deadlifts high pulls are not good for your shoulders)

So before you begin the sumo deadlift, make sure that your knees are forced outwards. Such a step contributes to opening up the hips the perfect amount. Keep your knees behind the weightlifting bar with your shins in a vertical position.

If you want your shoulder positioning to be proper, then it is crucial for you to master the ultimate form of the sumo deadlift.

6. Bringing it together


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At the beginning of the sumo deadlift, lift the weight against your shins and drop down your hands. Force your knees outwards and lower the hips until both your hands reach out to the weightlifting bar. And while you’re doing this, push your chest out a little. But don’t forget that you need to keep your hips as high as you can.

Once the hip height is properly maintained, push the heels straight through the ground while pulling the bar’s slack out of the weight. Do this until the chest is high enough and the shoulder above the weightlifting bar. This helps in keeping the torso in an optimally upright position.

The pull is initiated with the support of your stance. The idea is to force the hips towards the weightlifting bar. The hips and shoulders at this point should advance upwards at one and the same time. As soon as the weight reaches your knees, begin the lockout process.

The lockout begins with a hard knee extension. What you need to do is lock your knees, so you have enough leverage to complete the lift. The locking of your knees will cause your hips to extend and be forced towards the weightlifting bar. To finish the sumo deadlift, keep your shoulders pulled backward like you’re creating a large pendulum.

How To Deadlift With Proper Form (Sumo)​?

That’s All there is to Know

You should know that the sumo deadlift lockout needs to be performed correctly. Failing to do so might cause your knees to sag and will make the lockout process even harder to carry out. So I hope now you know how to do sumo deadlift.

The best way to sumo deadlift form is to be patient enough to break the ground with the perfect timing during a lockout. Because locking your knees before time will cause your body to move forward.

And locking your knees too late will make extending the hips very difficult. But once you learn how to do this properly and at the right time, the form of sumo deadlift will indeed seem like a beautiful and beneficial process.

Did you follow the instructions correctly? How far along are you in mastering the sumo deadlift? And do you know what muscles do deadlifts work the most?

Please let me know if there’s anything else that you would like to share with us here. I hope you enjoyed reading the article. And I hope that it helps you in learning how to do sumo deadlift better.


1. https://www.lift.net/2013/09/25/sumo-deadlift-form/

2. http://deadliftpotential.com/proper-sumo-deadlift-form

3. http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/blog/how-to-improve-the-sumo-deadlift/

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