Good morning!

Sometimes I think dead lifts sound like an intimidating move if you aren’t familiar with them.  Especially with the word “sumo” in front of them?!  Come to find out, “sumo” deadlifts are actually a more beginner version in lieu of a regular deadlift.

Here’s the breakdown on how to correctly do one.

Sumo Deadlifts

Step 1

Load the barbell and roll it against your shins.  Stand with your feet about twice shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out at an angle. Bend at your hips and grasp the center of the bar with your hands 12 inches apart and palms facing you.

Note:  Here I am still rolling that bar toward my shins – you should try to get it as close to your shins as possible!

Step 2

Without allowing your lower back to round, pull your torso back and up, thrust your hips forward, and stand up with the barbell. Squeeze your glutes as you perform the movement.

Step 3

Lower the bar to the floor, keeping it as close to your body as possible.

So what’s the difference between a deadlift and a sumo deadlift?!

  1. Works different muscles:  This version of a deadlift focuses work on the quadriceps and adductor muscles of the legs; the initial squat pose puts more of the work on the front and inside of the leg, as opposed to behind.
  2. Less back work:  This exercise may be safer for beginners.  In the sumo deadlift, there is less back involvement as you do not bend forward as much as in a standard deadlift.

And how can you incorporate a sumo deadlift into a workout?!

Check out the workout I did with these the other day!  This was the third workout from my four-week customized personal training plan from Tina Reale over at Best Body Fitness.  If you missed Day One and Day Two from Week 1, make sure to check them out too!

Pyramid Strength Sets + 20 Minute HIIT Cardio Intervals


  • Perform a light 5 minute dynamic warmup.
  • Go through entire Pyramid Strength Set series.  Start with a light to moderate weight for the first set.  For each following set, the reps will decrease and you should increase the weight you use accordingly.  For my class takers – I used heavier weights for these exercises than I normally do in class since it’s less reps!
  • Finish workout with the 20 minute HIIT Cardio Intervals.  This can be done with cardio of your choice, I opted for the elliptical!

This kicked my butt, ESPECIALLY the cable leg extensions.  And I thought the sumo deadlifts would be the culprit, ha!

See my Tweet?  I just had to let Tina know.  🙂

Ever done a deadlift or sumo deadlift before?  Are there any moves out there that sound scary or intimidating to you?  Or, were you ever nervous to try a move and then come to find out it’s not that bad?

Have a fabulous day, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win four free boxes of cheesesticks!  They are all natural and yummy.  I’m announcing the winner tomorrow!!