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Tip: Two sumo deadlift myths, destroyed



There are two major reasons for using sumo deadlifts: building a powerful rear chain and lifting as much as possible humanely. To train the former means to focus on the buttocks muscles and thighs as well as on the upper and lower back muscles. All this applies to a good hinge pattern.

But let's talk to the second reason. For high-powered powerlifting competitors (those who try to humanize as much as possible), it's fine to use a technique within the rules that lets you lift the most. If this means a squatty sumo, so be it. Adjustments for squats, bench and deadlift in competitions should maximize the leverage to achieve the highest possible total with a repeat.

However, these adjustments often differ from the correct training technique and are even counterproductive to maximize the training effect on strength and hypertrophy. They often cause a risk of injury, which is accepted by competitors trying to win. Think of bank bills or deadlifts on exorcist level.

For those of us who are, for another reason, doing the sumo deadlift, we are eliminating the two biggest myths and fixing the mistakes in this elevator to make it a safer exerciser that will give us better results.

Myth 1
Your feet must be as wide as possible.

Many lifters think their feet have to be spread as far as the plates allow, but that's a good way to drop a plate on your toes. Really, your feet just need to be outside your arms and hands to be a sumo. Look at that.

Granted, a broader attitude feels good to some and has leverage advantages that shorten the gap between ground and lockout. But the hips of some people just are not agile enough to take a wider position. Wider is not necessarily better.

If you have your legs just outside of your arms, this is called a "hybrid sumo" or "halfsumo" and is a perfect option to take advantage of the deadlift.

Some clients I've worked with can not take a conventional posture (arms out of the legs) without rounding their lower back. This is due to a limited hip flexion in a tight posture, which makes the semi-sumo a better solution.

A semi-sumo posture can also prevent a valgus of the knee or a collapse inside. This is another common problem that occurs when your feet are too wide. In this case, your knees will not be stacked over your feet, as your hips may not turn outward enough. Or you do not focus on using your hips to create torque to pull your knees to the wider position. This may cause knee pain and injury over time if not corrected.

Myth 2 – You must sit low in your squats.

Deadlift is a hip joint pattern. There will be some people who can squat their sumos and lift more weight without pain. Make a simple adjustment for the rest of us and get a better effect.

When lifters are placed with low hips that pop up before the weight leaves the ground, this usually indicates a loss of back and core tension. Your hips and hamstrings are looking for the tension you did not create when setting up.

It's no problem to squat down, then pull your hips up and pinch yourself before lifting how the elevator is set in motion.

Hold the pole firmly when setting it up and pull it into your shins. Pull the shoulder blades together and form a flat neutral back. Then lift your hips until you feel a curled tension in your hamstrings. When you feel that tension, your hips are like a loaded spring, ready to jump forward and create more power. In a recent seminar, Tony Gentilcore described this process as creating a "lifting wedge".

A summary and a few additions

Your sumo deadlift should not look like a squat. Her hips should not reach to her knees. Your feet do not have to be as wide as possible, and your lower back and knees should not hurt as a result.

Now that we've gotten rid of these essentials, let's make a few more comments:

Pull the rod out of the bar.

You can do this by pulling without sufficient force to lift it off the ground. This should lead to tensions in your body and a stable spine. Then start a gentle but powerful pressure with your hips forward towards the pole. Press your glutes under your chest and avoid hyperextension of the lower back.

Control the negative (lowering) part.

Just remember that heavy weight decreases rapidly. Some lifters can easily switch between repetitions with a tight shape. Others need to reset each iteration to get a good shape. Avoid jumping the weight between repetitions. Use this style to maintain a great shape, maximize the training effect, and get well.

Avoid rounding of the back.

Some lifters argue that a rounded back is safe and makes them stronger. They usually refer to some roundness of the thoracic spine (center top), which is performed by experienced power lifters to improve training and competition. A good compromise between risk and reward for such experienced lifters, but it should not be necessary someone else aligns himself with a rounded upper back. And I would avoid ever lifting with a round lumbar spine when it comes to rare maximum trials.


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