The Deadlift: Sumo or Conventional?

Suzanne —  November 21, 2013 — 2 Comments

Kristin L sent us another great question, Can you discuss your opinions of sumo versus conventional deadlift position? Is one position preferred over the other? Limitations? Who should use which position and why? Thanks. Love you guys!”

Thanks Kristin! I love this question. Why? Because I love to deadlift and my fellow Miss Fits agree that you’ll be hard pressed to find another exercise that makes you feel more like a badass. So with that said, I’m going to assume that Kristin and others who are interested in the answer to this question are motivated by a strength goal and the desire to experience the awesomeness of holding crazy weight in your hands.

So, which style is best for you? First, you probably already recognize the two major differences: width of stance and width of grip. In the conventional style, your feet are close together (shoulder width or closer) and your grip is positioned right outside your legs. In sumo, a moderate to wide foot stance is utilized with your grip positioned inside your legs.  Generally speaking, sumo is often the best choice for women because it’s more of a technical lift whereas a conventional pull requires brute strength. Five of the seven Miss Fits pull using the sumo style.

Some other important considerations include body type, groin flexibility, hip mobility and hamstring strength. This can get pretty complicated so if possible consult with a knowledgeable and experienced coach. Below are video explanations and demos of why I pull conventional and Emily is better suited for sumo.

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2 responses to The Deadlift: Sumo or Conventional?

  1. The deadlift is my absolute nemesis. I’m 5ft7 and have a long torso and always feel like there’s too much pressure on my lower back. Really interesting video, think I’ll give sumo a go whilst also working on my conventional deadlift!

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