Weight loss exercises

Do Sumo Deadlifts Work the Hamstrings?-Sumo guide



Do sumo deadlifts work with hamstrings?


Your hamstrings play an essential role in most of your physical exercises. That’s truer for powerlifting and track cycling which put more emphasis on hamstrings and quadriceps. We now look into all details leading to answering our question:


Do Sumo Deadlifts Work the Hamstrings?


The answer to that is a big ‘YES.‘ Sumo deadlifts are considered more effective than conventional deadlifts as they comprise more strength enhancement techniques. They also form a crucial component of strength training programs as they have complete focus on hamstrings and muscular activation.

Sumo deadlifts are considered more focused than conventional ones. It’s known that deadlifts in general work virtually all the muscles of your body, but mostly the lower back and hamstrings. Sumo, unlike conventional deadlifts, features a different stance setup. Sumo applies more concentrated effort on the glutes and hamstrings, making them stronger.


Sumo Deadlifts and Compared to Conventional Deadlifts


Both Sumo and Conventional deadlifts are weight lifting approaches used in bodybuilding workouts. Although both get geared to the same results, they differ in terms of techniques used.

The conventional deadlift is the original method used for lifting. It was a simple method that involved:

-Walking up to the loaded bar

-Placing your feet at shoulder-width distance apart

-Picking up the weight until you reach the complete hip and knee extension


With the modern and more advanced Sumo deadlift, you’re required to assume a bit wider stance as follows:

-Place your feet about twice shoulder width apart

-The shins to line-up with barbell rings

-Point your toes outwards at about 45 degrees.

-Keep the shin at the vertical position and your knees just behind the bar

– Raise your hips and position your thighs just above and parallel with the floor

-Keep torso upright and lumbar spine at neutral position

-Grip the bar with both hands at shoulder width apart, and the shoulders just in front of the bar.


Comparing the two makes you settle on the following facts. The first one is that the Sumo deadlift decreases more, the shearing force on your lumbar spine. It also concentrates on strengthening the posterior chain muscles such as glutes, quadriceps, and the hamstrings.

The Sumo deadlift has become a favorite weight lifting method for powerlifters and sports cyclists. The reason for that is the emphasis it puts on hamstrings and quadriceps well- being. Most people find it more efficient than the conventional method in that it works the same on hamstrings, but with reduced stress on your vertebrae.

Getting used to a Sumo stance might get awkward at first as you have to achieve an upright torso pose. Your body will get used to it fast, and then you start enjoying the benefits. It even becomes more comfortable lifting weights using Sumo positions than with conventional deadlifts.



Doing Sumo Deadlifts without Injuries


Any physical exercise requires you to know the tactics to perform it to avoid any injuries. Hamstrings can get injured easily during a workout, especially a strenuous one like weight lifting. You, then need to follow the right guidelines as follows:


  • Establish your Ideal Stance


The perfect stance will solely depend on your style and body structure. There’re no set rules, but it’s recommended the feet get placed wide apart. The toes should face out front making an optimal angle like 45 degrees. The lifts are harder when you start lifting from the floor and becomes easier on the lockout.


  • Root your Feet for Stability


You need to place your feet wide apart, just enough to maintain stability. You need a reasonable distance that doesn’t make your ankles roll. Create an arc in your foot to avoid any muscle strains and to support your upper body while pulling.

Ensure your feet don’t move and are stable enough to support your upper body when lifting. While lifting, allow for pressure to get applied to your feet outer parts with heels pulled-in.


  • Get your Body Just Behind the Bar


If you duck out your toes, the bar gets in front of you. In that position, it gets harder for you to lockout the weight. Getting your chest and head at the bar front makes it almost impossible for you to complete the lift.

To conveniently get behind the bar, pull your body down towards the bar before lifting. Follow that by pulling the bar towards your body. The upper back won’t collapse, or your hips shoot up as tension gets to the lats.


  • Keep your Hips Low


Your mobility and legs distance depends on how low to the floor your hips area. The lower they’re, the better the leverage. Keep your knees back to ensure the bar is just behind you to achieve a better start position.


  • The Hand Placement


How you place your hand during your sumo deadlift can be complicated. Some lifters prefer a width-grip wider than their shoulder. Others choose to have their hands near each other. The hand placement equal to your shoulder width is most preferred.



The Benefits of Sumo Deadlifts


The Sumo deadlift comes with various advantages such as:


  • Enhances Pulling Strength


Sumo deadlifts work wonderfully to improve your muscle mass and the overall pulling strength. It achieves all this without necessarily affecting your vertebrae in any way. They can get performed using tempos, bands, and extra.


  •  Lessens your Lumbar Stress


The sumo deadlifts ensure that you maintain a better vertical position for your torso than conventional deadlifts would. You, therefore, don’t stress the lower back as the vertical angle gets optimized.


  • Hamstrings, Gluts, and Quadriceps Strength


The in-line knee and hip placement make the sumo lift exert pressure on the torso and leg muscles more than with conventional deadlifts. That’s is ideal for people who want to develop those muscles for various reasons.


Do sumo deadlifts work with hamstrings?



It’s true both the conventional and sumo deadlifts provide significant benefits to weight lifters. Conventional deadlifts exert pressure on the back muscles and upper body. The sumo deadlifts ensure your torso, and leg muscles get exercised.


That leads us to the final verdict to our question ‘do Sumo Deadlifts work the hamstrings?’ From what we have learned above, there is no doubt they do.

Check out my other article on Romanian deadlifts here.


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