How to Deadlift - Sumo, Conventional, RDL

The deadlift is one of the key compound movements to help you progress in your weight lifting journey. Doing deadlifts can overall increase your core stability and improve your posture all while working out many part of your body from your back, glutes, hamstrings, and quads. You can perform the deadlift with either of these items: dumbbells, kettlebells, barbell, or resistance bands. 

There are different variations of deadlifts that work out different parts of the body. It's all in the grip, stances and where you target your muscles when pulling. We'll be focusing on 4 variations: Sumo, Conventional, RDL, and Trap Bar.

Sumo Deadlift

 Sumo Deadlift

The sumo is a variation of the conventional deadlift. You will have a wider stance and the hands will be placed between the legs. 

  1. Walk up to the bar, spread your feet out past the rings. Open your stance wide. You want your knees to push outwards rather than caving in. This will help support your hips.
  2. Take a huge breath of air in, fill your belly up, pull your hips in and forward, keeping the space between your hips and the bar as minimal as possible.
  3. In one explosive movement, pull up and back. To prevent over extending your back, squeeze your glutes and shoot your hips forward.

TIP: During the entire movement, you want the least amount of distance from your legs and the barbell.

Conventional Deadlift

  1. Walk up to the bar, you want the middle of your foot placed under the barbell to provide balance. Bring your shins to the barbell with your hips and shoulders aligned.
  2. Place your hands outside the legs and don't bend completely.
  3. To flatten your back, squeeze your chest out and up.
  4. When pulling up, drive the knees out and don't sit your hips down completely. Keep the barbell as close as you can to your body, squeeze your lats and glutes.
  5. For the lock out, stand tall with your chest out and glutes squeezed.

TIP: Do not touch the bar during the whole set up. You want to be bring your body to the barbell rather than bringing the barbell to you.

Kettlebell RDL

RDL or Romanian Deadlift

Similar to the conventional deadlift, you will be focusing more on the hamstrings and lower back. Set up as how you would for the conventional deadlift. When you're pulling you want to focus more on lifting with the hips and hamstrings. 

Trap Bar Deadlift

A great introduction to deadlifts for beginners or those who have back issues. You want to have the same set up as a conventional deadlift. The difference is that the hands will be beside the body rather than in front, and the grip is neutral making this variation the most comfortable out of all deadlifts we've talked about. During the pull, drive your heels into the ground and your knees out and bring you chest up. Squeeze your glutes and don't over extend your back.

Keep all these steps and tips in mind when you're performing your next deadlift, and soon enough you'll be a pro.

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