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How to Do Sumo Deadlifts

By April 25, 2013January 11th, 2014Glute Training, Strength Training

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


  • danielle says:

    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!!

  • Tammy E. says:

    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.

  • Erin says:

    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.

  • Tom says:


    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!


  • Joe says:

    Thanks for this..I was definitely doing some things wrong.

  • ggs says:

    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…

  • Bibabu (France) says:

    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.

    • Bret says:

      ??? 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!

  • Dustin says:


    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!

  • Dan says:

    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?


  • David Robin says:

    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.

  • Eric Klemchak says:

    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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