August 5, 2011
August 10, 2011

In keeping with CFDC’s posterior-chain-Sunday tradition, this Sunday was all about the Sumo deadlift.

Sumo Deadlift 5, 5, 3, 2, 2, 2, 2

The Sumo DL should, theoretically, benefit all lifters by shortening the lever arm – the distance between your hips (the axis of rotation) and your arms (the line of action of the force) – by allowing the bar to stay closer to the mid-line of the body. The widened stance also shortens the distance the bar has to travel from floor to lock-out. However, the Sumo DL will benefit some lifter more than others, especially those who are long in the torso (i.e., their torsos are longer relative to their legs).

The Sumo DL requires a greater degree of flexibility in the adductors (inner thighs) and strength in the hips than traditional deadlifting does. Additionally, it is important to concentrate on keeping the knees out over the toes, as the adductors will really pull in on the knees during the initial pull of the lift.

We did a quick review on set-up for the Sumo DL back in June when we did our DL-variety class. However, for a great break down on set-up and execution, check out this review from the European Powerlifting Federation.

ALSO, an important tip about grip: not all barbells are the same, and you may often find yourself trying to grip a bar at a spot where there is no knurling (the rough grip portion of the bar), especially during the Sumo DL. This is where the ‘alternate grip’ can really help out. Simply grip the bar with one hand in an overhand grip (palm facing the floor) and one hand in an underhand grip (palm facing the ceiling). This can really help as things get heavy during the deadlift. BUT, be sure to alternate your overhand/underhand with each lift, otherwise you risk imbalance, or worse, a strained bicep.

Partner WOD = 5 x 15 alternating box jumps & 30 partner sit-ups

Alternating box jumps: P1 jumps, then p2 jumps; continue in this fashion until each partner has complete 15 box jumps.

Partner Sit-Ups: partners lock ankles and complete the sit-ups at the same time.


Band Pull-Aparts

Band pull-aparts are great for the shoulders, and so it’s important to maximize the effect by keeping the elbows locked, pinching the shoulder blades back and down so that you’re pulling the band apart with the lats, rather than bending the elbows and pulling with the triceps.

Some great work with lots of attention to form. The first full week of working with CF Dupont is under our belt, and I have to say it’s gone much smoother than expected. If you haven’t been in yet, no worries, just remember to give yourself a few extra minutes so we can take care of your payment option through Balance. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send Tom or I an e-mail.


  1. Tom Brose says:

    I’m just going to let you all know, the new class schedule will not get you off the hook for 220 blourpees…just saying.

    Sumo’s are a great way to build hip power, but also a good diagnostic tool. In either version of the DL, we want to press feet down, squatting the weight off the floor with the back angle staying constant. The shorter ROM of the sumo will expose those who initiate with the low back. You’ll see the legs straighten early and a slow lockout. Good Sumo Deadlifts finish fast and strong.

  2. SaltyHat says:

    WOW – I’m all for the blourpee rule, hell, I’m all for burpees in general, but the 200-count escalation seems a bit draconian. (or is this the good cop, bad cop thing you were talking about, Tom? did I just F it up??)

    The sumo set-up suits my style of DL, and I notice a big difference in ability to keep tight while deadlifting with the sumo stance. At Tom’s suggestion, I messed around with band-resisted lifts in rack. Using the rack meant the bar started a little higher than it normally would, but man those bands made locking-out a real struggle as the weight increased. A lot of fun. Thanks to Brendan for working with me on the met-con – he was putting me to shame on the sit-ups. Damn these military guys and their body-weight-exercise capabilities…

  3. Tom Brose says:

    I think 220 blourpees is insane, but hey, its not up to me. I’m commenting on the blog, and my picture isnt even up.

    200 to go.

  4. Sara says:

    I have a hard time with sumo deadlifts. Not sure if it is about becoming comforable with the movement or something else. I worked up to 215. did 1 set at that weight discovered I had no more left after that (even when I dropped the weight down).

    I enjoyed the metcon but man my abs hurt now. I worked with Julia on the MetCon. The box jumps went well.

  5. Ethan says:

    My hips were and still are very tight from Sunday. I was a little frustrated with the sumo, because it is such a short range of motion, but looking forward to giving it another try.

    Gonna be a hot one this afternoon.

  6. Julia says:

    I think I’ve really benefited from the ‘light and fast’ approach when first learning how to do these. On Sunday I went up in weight with each set, while still trying to keep that explosiveness in mind.

    And Sara did awesome on box jumps. Chris and Brendan, we were gunning for you!

  7. Amelia says:

    I had never done the Sumo deadlift. Was good to get it under my belt. I worked up to 172 which is a little higher than my regular deadlift PR.

    Joanne and I worked together on the metcon and kept a good pace going.

  8. Dian says:

    I felt more comfortable with the sumo deadlifts this go round. I tried to pay attention to my form each round. I worked up to 190lbs I think. That weight felt good (as in, I thought this would feel heavier good).

    I worked with Dana on the metcon. I started out thinking, oh, this isn’t too bad but the situps caught up with me around the end of the 3rd round. My abs were really sore yesterday. So, of course, I had a few sneezing fits during the day and each sneeze hurt like hell.

    Just found out that I have to go to London for a case for 10-days. Recommendations for a CrossFit box in London would be appreciated. I will be in London city centre.

    See y’all tonight.

  9. edgy reggie says:

    Sumo deadlifts: Love sumo deadlifts (then again, I love deadlifts in general). Sumo deadlifts work well for me because I don’t have to travel as far to lift the weight. 🙂

    I worked with “Easy-E” (Ethan), and we managed to work up to 170 kg (~374 lbs.) for two reps. Both of us attempted 175 kg (~385 lbs.), but it wasn’t in the cards for either one of us. Oh well, not every day can be a max rep day.

    Met-con: I partnered with “Easy-E” again for the met-con. For the box jumps, I started with my usual “jump-on, step-off” method; then, I “graduated” to the “jump-on, jump-off” method between the second and third rounds. My right knee is no worse for it. 🙂 Oh, and I did like the met-con.

    Post-class: More double-under practice. Miles to go before I sleep. 🙂

    …and later: Yoga. Lots of shoulder and hip stretching in this class.

    “Not too bad for an old man.” – CFDC’s (and possibly CrossFit Dupont’s) own ODB.

  10. edgy reggie says:

    @Dian: Did you look here:

    Take me with you! 🙂

  11. Dian says:

    @Reggie – Thanks Reggie. Turns out I was checking out the CrossFit Central London page just before I had to run back out to the passport agency to get my renewed passport.

    I don’t know if you want to do this trip, just heard that the rest of the team in London has been putting in 12-hour days (sigh).

  12. Greg says:

    I did a p.r. of 210lbs on this lift.

  13. edgy reggie says:

    @Greg: Congrats! 225# (four plates) is just around the corner. 🙂