Julia Anto (formerly Ladewski), elitefts coach and speaker for the Strong(er) Sports Training Success Summit, presents the first part of her video series, What I'm Seeing and Why It’s Wrong.

Poor technique and form are issues she’s seen in far too many social media lifts are what inspired her to start this series. She hopes that by addressing these common issues and presenting easy fixes, she will prevent injuries and help lifters improve their form.

In this video, she focuses on fixing form for the sumo deadlift. In this particular lift, she’s seen a problem in the set-up: people pushing down instead of out.

"What’s happening because of that is the initial force production is down, we’ll see an immediate collapse of the knees, which tells me that there’s no glute activation and no external rotation. When that happens, all of the brunt of the force is going to the lower back, and there’s also a great chance that the bar will end up further away from you, which is going to end up with a missed lift."

So how do you go about fixing that? Julia suggests using the cue “spread the floor.” She doesn’t hear that one as much as she used to, and she guesses it could be that people don’t understand what it means. More often she hears the cue “knees out,” which is slightly different than “spread the floor.”

With “knees out,” your force production can still go straight down.

"For me, that’s where the cue ['spread the floor'] immediately goes to is doing the splits and pushing out and spreading the floor to get that force production to engage the glutes, to engage the hips, and maintain that position. From there, 'knees out,' I can push knees out but I can still be pushing straight down. As we get into position, we want to think, 'Externally rotate and spread the floor out.'"