The Ultimate Guide to Sumo Deadlifts: Techniques and Variations

How To Do Sumo Deadlifts: Variations, Benefits, and Common Mistakes

Sumo deadlifts are a powerful strength training exercise that can help you build lower body strength, increase muscle mass, and improve your overall fitness. In this comprehensive guide of Myhealthonly, we will cover everything you need to know about how to perform sumo deadlifts, their variations, the benefits they offer, and common mistakes to avoid.

Section 1: How to Perform Sumo Deadlifts

Step 1: Set up Your Stance

  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Toes should point slightly outward.
  2. Position the barbell over the middle of your feet.
  3. Bend at your hips and knees, keeping your back straight and chest up.

Step 2: Grip the Bar

  1. Bend down and grip the barbell with both hands, palms facing you.
  2. Your hands should be inside your knees.

Step 3: Lift the Bar

  1. Brace your core and lift the barbell by extending your hips and knees.
  2. Keep the barbell close to your body as you stand up.
  3. Fully lock out your hips and knees at the top of the movement.

Step 4: Lower the Bar

  1. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower the barbell to the ground.
  2. Keep it close to your body to prevent back strain.

Section 2: Sumo Deadlift Variations

  1. Deficit Sumo Deadlifts: Elevating your feet on a platform increases the range of motion, making the exercise more challenging.
  2. Sumo Deadlift High Pull: This variation combines the sumo deadlift with a high pull, incorporating more upper body muscles.
  3. Single-Leg Sumo Deadlift: This variation emphasizes balance and works each leg independently, helping to correct strength imbalances.
  4. Dumbbell or Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift: Ideal for those without access to a barbell, this variation involves using dumbbells or kettlebells.

Section 3: Benefits of Sumo Deadlifts

  1. Strength and Muscle Development: Sumo deadlifts target the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and lower back, promoting muscle growth and overall strength.
  2. Improved Posture: The exercise encourages proper spinal alignment, which can help alleviate back pain and improve posture.
  3. Increased Grip Strength: The grip required for sumo deadlifts strengthens your forearm and hand muscles.
  4. Functional Fitness: Sumo deadlifts mimic real-life movements like lifting heavy objects off the ground, making it practical for daily activities.
  5. Boosted Metabolism: Compound exercises like sumo deadlifts increase calorie expenditure, aiding in weight management.

Section 4: Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Rounding the Back: Keeping your back straight is crucial. Rounding the back can lead to injuries.
  2. Incorrect Foot Placement: Ensure your feet are in the right position to maximize muscle engagement and minimize strain.
  3. Improper Breathing: Don’t forget to brace your core and breathe properly to maintain stability.
  4. Lifting with the Back: Sumo deadlifts should be initiated with the legs, not the lower back. Avoid jerking the bar up.
  5. Overloading the Bar: Start with manageable weights and gradually increase. Overloading can lead to injury.
  6. Neglecting Warm-up and Mobility: Proper warm-up and mobility exercises are essential to prevent strains and injuries.


Sumo deadlifts are a versatile exercise that can be adapted to various fitness levels and goals. They offer numerous benefits, including increased strength, improved posture, and enhanced grip strength. To reap these benefits safely, it’s crucial to perform the exercise with proper form, avoiding common mistakes. Incorporating sumo deadlifts into your fitness routine can help you achieve a stronger and more functional body. Remember to consult with a fitness professional or physician before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have preexisting medical conditions or injuries.

By mastering sumo deadlifts and their variations, you can unlock a world of possibilities for your fitness journey.

Section 5: Sample Sumo Deadlift Workout Routine

Now that you have a solid understanding of how to perform sumo deadlifts, their variations, benefits, and common mistakes, it’s time to put that knowledge into practice. Here’s a sample sumo deadlift workout routine to help you get started on your fitness journey.

Day 1: Strength and Technique

  1. Warm up: Spend 5-10 minutes on dynamic stretches and light cardio.
  2. Sumo Deadlift – 3 sets of 5 reps with a moderate weight. Focus on perfecting your form.
  3. Deficit Sumo Deadlift – 3 sets of 8 reps to increase range of motion and challenge your muscles.
  4. Romanian Deadlift – 3 sets of 10 reps to target the hamstrings and lower back.
  5. Core work: Planks and Russian twists – 3 sets of 20 seconds for planks and 10 reps per side for twists.
  6. Cool down and stretching: Spend 10-15 minutes stretching the major muscle groups.

Day 2: Recovery and Mobility

  1. Rest or engage in low-intensity activities like walking or yoga to aid recovery and improve flexibility.

Day 3: Hypertrophy and Endurance

  1. Warm up.
  2. Sumo Deadlift – 4 sets of 8 reps with a moderate weight.
  3. Single-Leg Sumo Deadlift – 3 sets of 10 reps per leg.
  4. Dumbbell Sumo Deadlift – 3 sets of 12 reps to isolate the muscles.
  5. Farmer’s Walk – 3 sets of 30 seconds to work on grip strength and overall endurance.
  6. Cool down and stretching.

Day 4: Active Recovery

  1. Engage in low-intensity activities or active recovery exercises to aid in muscle recovery and prevent overtraining.

Day 5: Strength and Power

  1. Warm up.
  2. Sumo Deadlift – 4 sets of 5 reps with heavy weights to build strength.
  3. Sumo Deadlift High Pull – 3 sets of 8 reps to incorporate power.
  4. Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift – 3 sets of 12 reps for muscle endurance.
  5. Cool down and stretching.

Day 6: Rest or Active Recovery

Allow your muscles to recover or engage in light activities.

Day 7: Flexibility and Mobility

Dedicate this day to mobility and flexibility exercises to improve your range of motion and prevent injuries.

Remember to adjust the weights and repetitions according to your fitness level and goals. Gradually increase the intensity and weights over time to continue challenging your muscles and making progress.

Incorporate this workout routine into your weekly schedule, but always listen to your body and rest when needed. Staying consistent and progressively overloading your muscles will help you reap the full benefits of sumo deadlifts and other related exercises.

With dedication and the right workout routine, you can achieve your fitness goals and experience the many benefits of sumo deadlifts. Happy lifting!