December
10

Q&A: Replacing regular deadlifts with Sumo deadlifts?

barbell-deadlift_1

Q: I have a question about the sumo deadlift:What do you think about replacing regular deadlifts with sumo deads? I find it much easier to keep form with sumos, and even at the peak of my stretching and strength last summer my form with regular deadlifts left much to be desired.

If it boils down to another weakness/muscle imbalance that I don’t know I have, and if you think the regular deadlift addresses these things better than a sumo, I’ll keep doing the regular ones.

My sumo lift was always significantly heavier than my regular deadlift last year (numbers are in locker somewhere else).
A: You have to remember that you are ultimately practicing movements when you exercise. While you don’t want to go overboard, considering how you create movements on the bike is important when assessing the value of an exercise.

While sumo deadlifts are a good exercise, they are not as “specific” as regular deadlifts to riding. They also do not require the same degree of hip mobility which is why some people naturally prefer them. You can certainly use them but I would still base most of my deadlifting on the regular stance version.

Do not confuse arbitrary strength numbers with better performance on the bike. Getting strong in a less specific movement pattern is not as valuable as forcing your self to master and get strong in a more specific movement pattern.

-James Wilson-

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James Wilson
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson