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4 Quick Tips To Deadlift Over 650lbs On Sumo!

Ft. Dan Howell

Posted by Scott_Herman - May 3rd, 2017

What’s going on Nation! This time around I have a special treat for you! I invited my friend Dan Howell over to my studio to share with you his 4 BEST TIPS on how to become a powerful SUMO deadlifter.

Dan is an amateur powerlifter competing in the 83kg (181lbs) weight class and in competition he has totaled about 1440lbs with a 645lbs deadlift and his deadlift PR in the gym is 660lbs which is quite impressive for a natural lifter his size. Without any further ado let’s jump right into the 4 tips!

Tip #1 – Proper Stance

While typically a conventional deadlift utilizes a shoulder-width foot stance, the sumo deadlift is the exact opposite. But it’s not just putting your feet wide and hoping for the best. There is an actual process involved, and it has to do with creating tension before you even touch the bar.

Start with one foot first and plant it into the ground by activating your quad and calf as much as you can. It’s almost like twisting your foot into the ground, creating tension in the entire leg. As soon as you’ve successfully planted the first foot, do the exact same for the second foot.

So to recap, screw your feet into the ground, create tension and a strong, stable base.

Tip #2 – How To Grab The Barbell

Grabbing the barbell isn’t as easy as reaching down and picking the barbell up. When you’re lifting heavy weights, this can get dangerous and cause a serious injury.

One of the most important parts of the pull is actually your lat activation. Before you even reach down, you want to stick your chest out, drop your shoulders back and down and flex your lats as hard as you can. The point of this, is to eliminate any space between your lats and your arms. This way you can ensure that you stay nice and tight throughout the movement.

As soon as you create tension in your lats, lower your hips and grab the barbell one hand at a time. At this point, your lats, glutes and quads should all be firing and everything should be tight. When it comes to a successful pull, being loose anywhere in the range of motion is your worst enemy.

Tip #3 - Proper “Pull” Technique

When it comes to actually pulling the weight, there are two things you need to be aware of:

  1. The first one is your knees. You should always make sure your knees are not collapsing inward because that can cause a serious knee injury and it will limit your strength off the floor. So push your knees out every time you pull the weight up.

  2. Secondly, vital to your deadlift performance is proper breathing. Always inhale at the bottom, keeping your core tight and your back flat and as you pull through, exhale and let out all the air at the top of the movement. Repeat this breathing pattern for EVERY SINGLE repetition and make sure your breathing is constant and relaxed.

Tip #4 – Creating Your Deadlift Program

Deadlifting 2 times a week is probably ideal if you want to increase your performance with this lift. The first deadlift session of the week should be the “heavy” session where you perform 5 sets of 2 reps with 5 – 10 minutes between sets to make sure your Central Nervous System (CNS) has enough time to recover. The second deadlift session, which ideally should be a few days later, is a “volume” session where you perform 4 sets of about 8 – 12 reps with 2 minute MAX rest between sets.

The reason why you need both a strength and a volume component in your program is because it’s important to train both for muscle and strength gain as the two will always support each other. Generally, you will be able to hold heavier weights, if you have more muscle mass, so even if you are powerlifting, don’t underestimate the value of volume training.

Wrapping Up

There you guys have it! I’m sure you are going to be pulling much heavier sumo deadlifts in no time, as soon as you apply these tips into your training.

Depending on your actual build, sumo deadlifts might be more practical for you than conventional deadlifts. For me particularly, I know that I’m stronger on sumos and for those of you who have lower back issues but still want to deadlift, sumos are your best friend because you will not be bending as much and your torso will be relatively vertical to the floor.

I hope you enjoyed this informative article, let me know if you have any suggestions in the comment section below, and as always…more good stuff coming soon!

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