Friday Technique Video: Mastering the Sumo Deadlift

TAGS: The Spot Athletics, technique video, sumo deadlift, mastery level, lock out, hinge, hand placement, foot stance, bar path, pull, beginner, JL Holdsworth

The best lifters make specific modifications to their lifting technique. Ed Coan’s modified sumo deadlift stance is famous for this very reason — it looked like no one else’s.

But before you can specialize technique, you have to reach a mastery level. To get there, your fundamentals need to be perfect. For this Friday Technique Video, JL Holdsworth covers the sumo deadlift. This stance recruits more hips than a conventional deadlift. It can be used as a training tool to build a conventional deadlift (JL shares that he has hit conventional-stance PRs after training exclusively in a sumo stance, primarily due to its lockout-building capability) or can be trained as a competition stance.

If you decide to use the sumo deadlift, there are several simple guidelines to remember:


  • Feet wide (more height = wider stance)
  • Flat shoe
  • Hands directly below shoulders
  • Under hand set half an inch wider than over hand

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