Booty Building Series: How to Sumo Deadlift
Set Up: Equipment To set up the sumo deadlift, you first need to load the bar with a weight you are comfortable warming up with. Since the bar weighs 45lbs on its own, you may need to begin with 5 or 10lb bumper (rubber) plates to get started. I highly recommend using olympic standard diameter size plates (some plates that weigh less than 45lbs are much shorter--your plates should be the same height as a 45lb plate even if they weigh less). You will be most successful completing this lift in very flat shoes (or barefoot). My favorites are Converse and wrestling shoes.
Setting up the lift To set up the lift, walk your feet out to a wide stance with your toes pointed outward. For people of an average height, your shins will be near the rings (small smooth ring between the knurling sections) of the bar. Your shins should be very close to the bar (touching is ok), and your weight should be evenly distributed throughout your entire foot.
Reach down and grab the bar so that your hands are directly below your shoulders (see photo). From this position, bend your knees to lower your hips until your shoulder blades are directly over the bar, with your spine neutral. You should be able to drive through your heels from this position, so you may feel that you need to sit "back" a bit, depending on your leg torso lengths. When you reach for the bar, check to ensure that your knees line up with your toes--they should not cave in. If you find your knees are in front/inside of your toes, try pointing your feet slightly more forward. *Note: The bar should not move at this point--if the bar rolls forward, you need to engage your glutes to keep your knees pushed out.