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Look Good, Move Well: How to Build Great Glutes with the Sumo Deadlift

The right way to build muscle.

Do you know what is the sumo deadlift? Find out, step-by-step, how to turn this bodybuilding exercise into something you do regularly for better athleticism and mobility.

The right way to build muscle with the sumo deadlift was exemplified by Jordan Syatt, a fitness coach and entrepreneur creator of the online fitness business Syatt Fitness. Although it might look similar to the conventional deadlift, there are a couple of things to keep in mind to get the best benefits from this exercise.

Syatt often contributes to Mind Pump TV, a YouTube channel with more than 700k subscribers that gathers all information surrounding health and wellness with evidence-based fitness advice and debunking fitness myths. The channel was created by four personal trainers: Sal Di Stefano, Adam SchaferJustin Andrews, and Doug Egge.

See how he showcases his expertise and delivers the best 101 guide for the sumo deadlift below.

How to Build Great Glutes with the Sumo Deadlift

The sumo deadlift is a variation of the conventional deadlift, which is a compound exercise that primarily targets the muscles of the posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. The main difference between the sumo deadlift and the conventional deadlift is the positioning of the feet and hands.

It begins with a wider stance than traditional deadlifts. How wide? It depends on what best feels for you, how tall, but the most important is that it feels comfortable for you when you do the movement, especially your back.

You also should be close to the bar before the beginning of the lift. “I like to call it feel the steel,” Syatt says, but you shouldn’t be touching the bar with your shins, but very close to it. You want to walk up to the bar.

Syatt also talks about how to keep your butt back when reaching for the bar before initiating the movement.

Deficit-Deadlift-athletes nordic curls How to Deadlift Properly for Muscle Growth
Build that posterior chain

The sumo deadlift is popular among powerlifters and strength athletes, as it can potentially allow for a shorter range of motion and put less stress on the lower back compared to the conventional deadlift. However, it may feel different and place more emphasis on the legs and hips. It’s important to note that the suitability of the sumo deadlift depends on an individual’s body proportions, flexibility, and personal preference.

Check out the video below for more information on how to perform the sumo deadlift perfectly and improve your overall lower body strength and mobility.

8 Awesome Benefits of Sumo Deadlift

To summarize, the posterior chain is a collection of muscles that run down the back of your body, from your neck all the way to your ankles. They are crucial for maintaining posture and balance, as well as providing strength and stability throughout your entire body. If you want to perform better in athletics or just look good in jeans, it’s important to make sure these muscles are strong!

The sumo deadlift is an excellent exercise to add to your routine. It targets your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings, which are all important muscle groups for building power in the lower body. The sumo deadlift also strengthens your core muscles so you can lift more weight and increase overall strength without worrying about injury!

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Should I Use Conventional or Sumo Deadlift? Which One is Best for Me?

Both the Sumo and conventional Deadlifts are hugely effective compound exercises.

The easiest way to find which one you prefer is to try them both. Train both types equally for 2-3 months then see how you feel at the end of the training experiment.

Ask yourself which feels more natural, stronger?

Also find out which feels best for both submaximal (around 70-80% of your 1RM) and 1RM attempts.

sumo deadlift vs conventional deadliftSource: Unsplash
Stay strong

After this time, you will earn a deeper understanding of the mechanics of the movement and how that fits to your personal preferences and body shape.

You can also use the numbers you gain (submaximal and 1RM) from lifts to make deductions about your own strengths and weaknesses.

For example, if your conventional Deadlift feels stronger with submaximal loads, but your Sumo 1RM is higher, then you can deduce that your back is weak. 

On the other hand, if your Sumo lift is better with submaximal loads, but your conventional 1RM is higher, then it is fairly probable that your quads are weak.

Generally speaking, if a lifter is on the shorter side with shorter arms, then the Sumo Deadlift may not be the best variation for them.

Is the sumo deadlift cheatingSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
Sumo deadlift and traditional deadlift

Sumo Deadlift FAQs

Got more questions?

Why is Sumo Deadlift Cheating?

The Sumo Deadlift is not “cheating”. A common misconception, some people seem to think of the Sumo as a cheating version of the conventional Deadlift. This is an erroneous idea.

The Sumo Deadlift has a shorter range of motion but, exactly like other forms of Deadlift, has all the excellent strength and muscle building capabilities as the big compound lifts.

Why is Sumo Deadlift so much Easier?

The Sumo Deadlift is sometimes seen as technically easier than conventional but this does also depend on personal anatomy.

 The Sumo is easier on the lower back because of the angle of the torso during the lift. It is not easier on the glutes and quads, which have to work harder than during a conventional lift.

Is Deadlifting Sumo Better?

Honestly, both lifts are excellent in their own respective ways. We would recommend doing both in order to maximise your gains, strength and progress. Use your knowledge to know when and why to use the different lifts.  

Both deadlift variations are safe as long as you use proper form.

Can you Deadlift More with Sumo?

Most athletes can lift more with the Sumo Deadlift because it requires a shorter range of motion. However, Sumo demands more hip, glute and quad strength and conventional requires greater lower back and hamstring strength.

The Sumo Deadlift

If you enjoyed this article and want to further your strength knowledge and gains then check out these guides to the Zercher Squat, Hack Squat, Close Grip Bench Press or Bulgarian Split Squat.

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