All month, we have been talking about the posterior chain. The past two weeks, we covered some great accessory movements, this week we are covering a main movement that is fantastic for the posterior chain: The Sumo Deadlift.
When programmed properly, the sumo deadlift can be very beneficial for an athlete’s strength in their lower half. Usually, hip structure determines what type of deadlift variation we use (along with the goal of the program — but we’ll save that for another post!)
While the sumo deadlift is a great exercise we regularly utilize in our programming, there are a few common mistakes we’ll see that we want to help you avoid:
Mistake 1: Spine is not neutral (Occurs in Set-Up)
It is very common to see both sides of the spectrum when it comes to not having a neutral spine. On one hand, we have the athlete whose spine is in flexion(rounded) and he/she cannot lock down their lats and brace their core (looks like a candy cane on the way up). On the other hand, we have the athlete who overcompensates and pulls their lower lumbar into hyperextension, creating an extreme amount of tension and pressure on that area.
Mistake 2: Not taking the slack out of the bar (Occurs in Set-Up)
This is very common in younger athletes or when someone is starting to push the intensity with heavy weight. This is where you see the elbows bend and you see the athlete yank the bar rather than initiate the movement through the floor/feet.
Mistake 3: Hips and Shoulders Moving Separately and Hyperextension at the Top of Pull
This is when there is a kink in the movement so to speak. Our Set-up is good, our pull is good, but we allow the hips to shoot up first followed by the shoulders. This should not happen. It is important they move as one. This allows us to be more efficient through the movement as well as maintain a safe position. Now that we have done this, we must finish the pull properly. Many times, you will see athletes go into hyperextension of the lumbar and exaggerate the pull at the top. We want to maintain a neutral spine at all times (like stated above), bring the hips in the bar and squeeze the glutes at the top.
Now we can dominate the Sumo Deadlift and make those gains. Welcome to the Posterior Posse, baby!!