Sumo Deadlifts and Their Benefits in CrossFit Workout


Deadlifting is a CrossFit workout that has been praised for producing strong people. However, in the deadlifting world, there are constant debates between sumo pullers and conventional style fanatics each defending their own turf. There are lots of strong personal opinions on whether or not deadlifting sumo is easy or difficult compared to conventional pulling.

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There are certain benefits of the sumo deadlift that for some reason are not addressed by the conventional style.

Sumo Deadlift Translates Pulling Strength to Real Life Movements

Almost every real-life movement where we are asked to lift a weight from the ground is usually done in some variation of sumo. Whether it is flipping logs, lifting the backend of your car, or helping a friend to move refrigerators and coaches, there is some element of sumo-style involved.

If you stop and remove yourself from the formal definitions of sumo and open your eyes to movements in the real world, you will realize that sumo deadlift is powerful and practical in your day-to-day life.

Individualization of the Deadlift

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The conventional style is popularly referred to as the gold standard deadlift method. However, the sumo stance can give lots of individuals and athletes a much better pulling approach based on their mobility levels, hip structure, and comfort. Depending on your angle of inclination when doing this CrossFit exercise, you may or may not be comfortable in a given pulling position.

Sumo allows you to choose the way to load your posterior chain so that you can feel comfortable and athletic. This diversification helps athletes become stronger and safer.

Enhances Quadriceps and Gluteus Maximus Development 

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Sumo stance places demands on knee extension and this has been shown to increase electromyographic activity in vastus medialis, vastus lateralis significantly, and tibialis anterior compared to conventional style deadlifts. This, in turn, has led to increased quadriceps and glute development that is unique to the sumo style deadlift.

Since sumo deadlift is the CrossFit workout, which gives you the ability to target the glutes and quadriceps in a given pulling movement, it can help you to strengthen the specific muscles as well as positions you use when taking a wide stance in the back squats.

Also, the deadlift will help you add lower body volume into off-season and preparatory program without the need to excessively tax spinal erectors.

Minimization of Lumber Spine Stress

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Compared to the conventional style, the sumo deadlift has been shown to produce approximately 10% less stress on the spinal extensors. This is because the athletes assume a wider stance where they can open up their hips, flex their knees, as well as keep the hips closer to the barbell at the beginning and this increases the torso angle of the beginning position. Also, it shifts demands placed on the spinal erectors to the glutes and quadriceps.

Therefore, sumo deadlift is worth CrossFit workout to include in your CrossFit training schedule for the above and many more other benefits.


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