• christina

Sumo Deadlift Start Position


If you are not familiar with the basic biomechanical/physics concepts of force, segments, moment arms, and levers, here's a good place to start: Click here and here.

**Note: I haven't addressed how grip might or might not affect your starting position in this piece, but I'll get to that at some point.

Key Points:

1. Scapula over bar (not shoulder!) 2. Shins perpindicular to floor (optimal force production) 3. Hips as close to bar as possible (shortening moment arm) 4. Upper back/lats engaged: think shoulder blades in opposite back pockets; "short" back (shortening segment)

5. Using the "crank" technique

Scapula over the bar

When setting up for the sumo deadlift, you want your scapulae over the bar as it breaks the floor, NOT your shoulders. If your shoulders are over the bar, your hips are likely too low (or too far behind the bar) and will be the first thing to shoot up, causing the bar to swing away from you. Anytime the bar path deviates from vertical, the lift becomes less efficient (basically, you're exerting extra energy to move the bar horizontally rather than vertically). If your shoulders are too far in front of the bar, the bar will still likely travel forward, and you'll end up using relatively more back to complete the pull (compared to a sumo deadlift with a more optimal start position). A great way to check for this is to video directly from the side of the barbell with the camera at roughly hip height. You can slow the video down and screenshot the point in which you initiate the pull. Draw a straight line or line up a credit card with the end cap of the barbell and your shoulder blade (specifically T3 or the spine of your scapula). Make sure to also look for key point 4, as this can change your position needs slightly.