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Conventional & Sumo Deadlifts Done Right!

No More Mistakes!

Posted by NattyGains100 - September 11th, 2019

Deadlifts are an amazing exercise when done correctly. They are KING when it comes to compound lifts! You are literally using your entire body doing them. It’s truly a full body exercise, but FORM on deadlifts is super important. Though it’s one of the best compound lifts you can do, you’re asking for an injury if you have sloppy form. Let’s learn how to do both styles of deadlifts correctly, and start to make some gains!

Conventional Stance

You want to have your feet right inside shoulder width for the conventional stance. Having a flat foot (barefoot) or shoes with a hard, flat surface is going to be best when performing deadlifts. Your feet are the foundation of the lift, and should feel like they are driving into the ground. Your hand placement is important as well. Have your hands either in a cross grip position, or both in an overhand position placed right outside of your shins. If I am trying to move more weight, I will choose a cross grip position. You will be slightly bent over (legs almost touching the bar) with a straight back at about a 45 degree angle. Your chest should remain upward and all the slack out of your arms. In one fluid motion, starting with your legs, stand up with the weight.  

Sumo Stance

Your feet will be in a wide stance and pointed outward for sumo position. You want to go wide but not so wide that it feels uncomfortable for you. Your grip is going to be a little closer together compared to the conventional deadlift, but the same grip options apply – cross grip or overhand grip. See what feels best for you. Your set up will be basically the same though, having your knees bent and your chest up. You won’t have to be bent over as much for the sumo stance compared to conventional. You want to drive through your heels and have the bar basically slide up your shin path until your reach lockout.


If you are wondering which form to use, I would suggest trying them both to see which one feels best for you. Typically taller people will do sumo compared to conventional simply for the range of motion. Make sure you keep your chest up and a solid motion through these lifts. It is pretty much guaranteed that you will gain strength and size with deadlifts, but you do not want to get injured. Choose the right weight, and do not have an ego on this exercise. And remember, these are called DEADLIFTS, not bounce lifts. You shouldn’t be bouncing them off the ground for reps. You are better to reset, and start each one from a dead stop position.

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