Sumo Deadlift

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Hamstrings
Secondary Muscle(s) Glutes, Lower Back, Middle BackAbdominalsQuads
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Pull

Sumo Deadlift Instruction

  • Be in a strong athletic position: knees flexed, core and glutes activated, chest up, and shoulders back. 
  • Come towards the bar with a wider foot stance with the bar crossing over the mid-foot. Toes pointed slightly out.
  • Begin by bending/hinging at the hips to grab the bar with your arms inside of your legs with your preferred grip.
  • Re-tighten and engage your body for the lift. You are trying to take all the "slack" out of your body. Imagine pulling your hips into proper position.
    • Raise your hips slightly then lower
    • Activate your upper back & lats by trying to break the barbell with your hands.
    • Screw your feet into the floor.
    • Take a deep breath to brace your core.
  • Imagine 'spreading the floor' with your feet and activate your glutes to pull the bar up.
  • As soon as the bar passes your knees, drive your hips forward towards the bar to finish the pull.
    • You should feel a strong contraction in your glutes at the top.
  • Maintain your core tightness throughout the movement.
  • After you’ve locked out the lift, bend/hinge at the hips to lower the weight.


  • Keep the bar as close to your body at all times.
    • Your shins may get knicked.
  • Your glutes and hamstrings are handling the load, not your low back.
  • Your spine remains neutral throughout the movement, no arch or rounding of the back.
  • Maintain a neutral neck position throughout.
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