Remember: all information, content, and material of this website is just for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or your healthcare provider/personal fitness trainer.
LAVERA STEWARTEditor-in-Chief of the Approved By Coach
When performing deadlifts people often get confused between two major types: sumo vs conventional deadlifts. They fail to understand the differences between both and do the one which might not be the best for their body. However, we would like to help you understand the key difference between the two, and how you can choose between them.
First of all, we need to clearly understand what a deadlift, exactly. A deadlift is basically a type of weight training workout where you have to lift from the floor to the level of your hips. It is a great exercise for building muscle, burning fat, strengthening your core, and so on. There are many various types of deadlifts, however, two of the most popular ones are sumo deadlift vs regular deadlift. So let’s take a look at them more closely, and figure out, how different and similar they are, as well as which one is better for you.
- 1 Sumo Deadlift: a Mechanical Analysis
- 2 Conventional Deadlift: a Mechanical Analysis
- 3 Comparison Between Conventional vs Sumo Deadlift
- 4 Which One to Choose from Sumo vs Conventional Deadlift?
- 5 Final Advice
Sumo Deadlift: a Mechanical Analysis
In order to perform the sumo deadlift you have to:
- Keep your foot at a distance of more than your shoulder distance.
- Push the knees slightly outwards.
- Hold the weight with an ‘over-under’ grip.
- Take a deep breath and hold it until one turn is over.
- Tighten your back and pull up the bar.
- Thrust your hips a bit forward.
- Slowly put down the bar and exhale.
The sumo deadlift is an excellent workout for your glutes, back, and hamstrings. It works mostly on the core of your body and helps in strengthening it. It has a lesser impact on the chest muscles but it works great on your thigh muscles.
A strong spinal cord and quick fat loss are also among other sumo deadlift benefits. Another important thing to note is that since the exercise puts the load on the hip joint it increases its flexibility.
Pros and Cons
- Helps to strengthen glutes and hamstrings.
- Does wonders for back pain or injury.
- Helps to build stronger quadriceps.
- It is more comfortable while pulling up.
- It needs practice and patience to get the position correct.
- Your medical hamstrings and abductors are stressed a lot.
Note: The exercise is safe when done under the guidance of a trainer with proper techniques.
Conventional Deadlift: a Mechanical Analysis
The steps of conventional deadlifts are:
- Keep your foot shoulder-distance away.
- Turn your toes at a 10-degree angle.
- Hold the weight in a double overhand grip.
- Inhale a deep breath.
- Pull the bar up.
- Slowly put it down and exhale.
This workout helps several muscles, especially the quadriceps, lats, hamstrings, back, calves, and chest. It’s a full-body workout and helps to strengthen most of the body muscles. Moreover, it works on the hip joints to increase flexibility.
Pros and Cons
- The technique is easier to learn.
- Works on almost all muscles of the body.
- Great for reducing back pain.
- Core strengthening takes longer than usual.
Note: You can perform this workout in a gym safely without straining your muscles.
Comparison Between Conventional vs Sumo Deadlift
- Building muscular tension: You will have to put in maximum muscular tension for any banded deadlifts.
- Timing of lockout: In both the exercises, the movement of the knees and the hips will occur at the same time.
- Work on glutes: Both the workouts are great for your glutes and strengthening the core.
- Motion range: The motion range comparison of conventional vs sumo deadlift says that later one has around 20% less range of motion.
- Start position: Another important thing to point out in the sumo deadlift vs conventional dilemma, is the fact that in sumo deadlift, you will have to be in line with the weight but for the conventional one, you should learn a bit forward.
- Muscles involved: Sumo deadlifts work best on glutes and hamstrings, whereas the conventional deadlifts are suited for the back.
Which One to Choose from Sumo vs Conventional Deadlift?
Based on Hip Joints
People, who have a lower angle between the femur and the pelvis, should go for the conventional type. And the one with a greater angle must choose sumo deadlift. Therefore, the femur to pelvis angle is a very vital deciding factor.
Based on Limb Length and Height
Your choice for sumo or conventional deadlift as per your limb length and height should be:
|Long torso/average arms||Yes||Yes|
|Short torso/average arms||Yes||Yes|
|Average torso/long arms||Yes||No|
|Average torso/short arms||No||Yes|
|Short torso/long arms||Yes||No|
|Short torso/short arms||No||Yes|
|Long torso/long terms||Yes||No|
|Long torso/short arms||No||Yes|
Based on Weight
It is recommended that people that weigh less (93kg for men and 63kg for women) should go for a sumo deadlift. Those who weigh more than this should practice conventional squad and deadlift the same day.
Based on Muscular Weaknesses and Strengths
If you have strong quad muscles, then go for the sumo stance, and in case you have stronger back muscles, choose a conventional stance. Similarly, if you have a quad weakness, then practice conventional deadlift and for back weakness, the sumo will work better.
You should choose an exercise depending on your body type. However, if you are a beginner, then you should start with the conventional form. It is easy and benefits the whole body. So, between sumo deadlift vs conventional, which one will you choose? Let us know in the comments!