How to Do Sumo Deadlifts

I think around 99% of newbies screw the sumo deadlift up. The knees track outward and the bar skims the shins. Arms go straight down and chest stays up. Watch this 3 minute video and make sure you’re doing it right.

You’ll get much stronger by following these simple rules. Happy pulling!

sumo deadlift

18 thoughts on “How to Do Sumo Deadlifts

  1. danielle

    great video! I struggled with not being sure what the best position for my hands were. also bar touching shins should give me a different feel. Thanks!!

  2. Tammy E.

    Thanks for posting Bret! Feel like this one should have been dedicated to me :-) Along with everything else I was doing wrong, I also had my hands spaced too far apart which you couldn’t see on the video. These are actually on the agenda today so we’ll see if I can’t pull it all together finally.

  3. Erin

    Great info, a few things to add: keep your core engaged, this helps you from collapsing your back, and keep your head up. A saying I heard a few years back works too ” Spread the floor” with your feet, this helps drive the lockout at the top with your hips/ glutes.

  4. Tom


    Whenever I sumo with my shins touching the bar I feel like all of the my weight is on my heels. This makes me feel very very unbalanced. Is this an issue with me not taking a wide enough stance, not flaring my feet enough, or something else? Thanks for the great content as always!


  5. ggs

    Great video..I have never tried to do this type of deadlift. I have mostly done rack pulls.. I occasionally do deads from the floor…I will definitely give this a go…I am on my third week of my strong curves workout…I started with the booty only and I want to change to the fully body beginners workout….Is this cool or should I stay the course…You and Kellie did a bang up job on this book…

  6. Bibabu (France)

    I heard that Bret will be on Superhuman Radio next week to talk about Strong Curves.
    Months after asking Carl Lanore to invite him, finally it happens.

    1. Bret

      ??? Not sure what you mean Bibabu. We got in touch with Carl last week and he scheduled a show for this week. Excited as Carl is very intelligent which makes for excellent conversation!

  7. Dustin


    1. Does this same stance apply for Sumo Deads to High-pull?
    2. When doing these w/ KB’s, would you recommend going “wide” on the KB handles?

    Thanks for the video!

  8. Dan

    Hi Bret,

    Thank for posting this. I have one question – does flaring the feet make it difficult to maintain a good arch in the foot?


  9. David Robin

    Sumo deadlifts is one I rarely do nor do I rarely see people doing them. After trying them out for the first time, it definitely targets the thighs very well especially the inner thigh.

  10. Eric Klemchak

    Great tutorial for the sumo deadlift! I always had trouble recruiting the glutes during deadlifts and this video helped me a lot.
    Thank you,


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