Don’t Make This Setup Mistake on Sumo

This may be the simplest form change you could ever make with your sumo deadlift that will make a dramatic difference. I have seen this issue countless times, and its like a lightbulb goes off once the athlete realizes what they were doing. Notice on the left (CLICK HERE) how when Abbee approaches the bar, she does so with her knees bent and one leg at a time. When you see this, you probably initially see nothing wrong with it, as it looks like a typical sumo deadlift setup. But notice one big thing…..once she straightens her legs, that bar is about 3 inches out in front of her shins. With the sumo deadlift, for the most part we want that bar to be in line with our shins. Since our feet are angled out, the front to back distance of the foot is less than a conventional deadlift, so the actual position of the mid-foot is directly in front of the shin, or at most an inch out in front. With this style of setup, it gave Abbee a false sense that she was lining up the bar over her mid-foot. The simple change for her was to line up with her legs straight, as can be seen on the right (CLICK HERE).

I’ve had countless times when I told an athlete to line up closer to the bar, and they just never could, but once I asked to see their full setup it was immediately noticeable that they had fallen for this same issue. They continually thought they were setting up close to the bar, but time and time again, once they actually got into their tensioning setup the bar was floating out in front of their center of gravity. So the simple fix is to set up with your legs straight, and make sure when standing erect that the bar is in the correct position in relation to your mid-foot and your shins.

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