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How to Complete the Sumo Deadlift with Emily Bridgers


The sumo deadlift is the lesser known variation of the traditional deadlift. It requires more hip mobility and is a great way to build hip strength. One of the benefits of this variation is that there is less distance the bar has to move, potentially allowing you to lift more weight than you would be able to with the traditional deadlift. Also, the sumo deadlift may work better and feel more natural based on your body type (ie. if you have a longer torso).

The sumo deadlift is something that Emily Bridgers uses often. After last year’s CrossFit Games, she was dealing with a slight back injury. Emily finds that this variation of the deadlift puts more emphasis on the quads and takes the stress off the lower back. The sumo deadlift gives your back a break that is often much needed.

9 Steps to Execute the Sumo Deadlift

  1. Start with a stance where your feet are just outside of your shoulders
  2. Point toes outward
  3. Drop hips, making sure your knees move directly over your toes
  4. Place hands shoulder width apart on the bar
  5. With straight arms and hips down, feel the quads and hamstrings loaded
  6. Keep bar tight to your shins
  7. Remove slack out of the bar
  8. Drive your feet into the floor
  9. Pull the bar up to your hip

While completing this exercise, make sure your back isn’t overextended. You want your back to be neutral as you lift the bar. Using poor mechanics can lead to back issues and can compromise the benefits.When learning a new movement, it’s always important to follow proper form so you can get the most from the exercise and prevent injuries.

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