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Effective Exercise Program Alternative: Sumo Deadlift

This workout favorite gets a boost by adjusting to a wider stance.

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Doing the same old exercises time and time again in the gym can lead to a plateau…not to mention it gets really boring. Modifying exercises every 3-4 weeks keeps your workouts fresh and ensures that you’re constantly seeing progress. However, too much change can be a bad thing. Constantly changing exercises every workout can prevent your body from ever adapting to a stimulus and halt any progress. The key is finding the right balance to maximize your program.

Ideally, the modification or alternative exercise will still work the same type of motion or movement pattern but in a slightly different manner. This will ensure that your body still gains strength in a certain move, but the exercise is different enough to spur huge gains.

Each week, look for a new exercise alternative to spice up your favorites, prevent boredom, and mix up your routine to avoid plateaus. This week, we’ll switch out the traditional deadlift.

The Old: Deadlift

The New: Sumo Deadlift

* Note: Images within this feature are NOT a sumo deadlift.

How To Do It: Start with your feet wider than hip width apart and your toes slightly pointed out (think sumo wrestler stance). Start with the barbell close to your shins on the floor. With a narrow grip (inside your legs) push your hips back and lean slightly forward to grab the barbell. Keep your torso up and your core tight as you squeeze the bar off the floor and push to a standing position. Keep the barbell close to your body as you lower it back down.

The Difference: The wider stance in the sumo deadlift allows you to keep your chest up at the bottom of the deadlift, reducing the potential for low back stress. This is especially beneficial for taller individuals that have a hard time getting down into a typical deadlifting position. Plus, the change in stance also involves the adductors along with the typical glutes and hamstrings giving your body a slightly different stimulus while still working on the hip hinge.

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