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Anyone else try the semi-sumo deadlift over conventional (or regular sumo)?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by sakfjgadsyukgf, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. sakfjgadsyukgf Orange Belt

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    I've been trying to master the conventional deadlift off and on for a few years.... and failing miserably. I'm a mini-Sean Sherk clone- 5'6'', 180+ lbs., T Rex arms and legs. I just *cannot* seem to involve my hammies and glutes in the conventional DL, I just use my lower back for 90+% of the lift. I know what I'm supposed to be doing- the deadlift is a push, not a pull/drive from your heels/pull back/etc. etc. I just can't seem to do it, my limb lengths are too short and the weight is too far away (even if I drag it on my shins) for me to use anything but my lower back to lift. I do see other guys with my build successfully doing conventional and I've even asked them for tips, but I just can't seem to make it work. Conventional DL just *feels* unnatural and weird to me, in a way that no other weightlifting exercise ever has. (On the flip side, my bench and squat are just fine).

    I have experimented with sumo a bit, but was always sort of skeptical. Recently I discovered the 'semi sumo', which is basically standing in squat stance (for me, feet a bit past shoulder width) with hands on the inside rather than outside the legs. Here are the Powerlifting To Win guys demonstrating

    Has anyone else tried this? Interestingly it's billed for taller/longer-limbed guys, but I want to give it a shot. Everything I've read about it agrees it's easier/safer on the lower back. I did a bunch of manual labor in my youth and have no interest in making my back pain any worse. I searched the forum and noticed a few mentions of the semi-sumo, though no detailed descriptions.

    Because someone always asks- my goals are strength for grappling/general purpose strength. I'm not a powerlifter and could care less what my totals are- just looking for functional strength for BJJ/wrestling/if I have to carry a couch or something lol. Would be interested to hear other lifters' experiences with it, if any
     
  2. gspieler Silver Belt

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    I don't DL often, but when I do, I tend to use "semi-Sumo" stance, primarily because (1) easier for me to prevent injury, (2) I feel it's better assistance to the squat than conventional, and (3) it is simply feels more comfortable.
     
  3. sakfjgadsyukgf Orange Belt

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    Nice, yeah me too. The more I think about it, the more the semi-sumo just seems like a 'natural' movement pattern. If I wanted to lift something heavy outside of the gym I'd get in a half crouch and have my hands inside my legs to grasp it. In the conventional DL, I have to stand with my feet super-close together and my arms outside of them- just doesn't seem very natural or intuitive
     
  4. fbmmofo Blue Belt

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    I did semi sumo for a long time and got to a fairly decent weight ( nothing spectacular). I'm a similar build to you Op e.g a tall dwarf. I've just recently moved my stance out to a more normal sumo.

    I found doing a semi stance I had the draw backs from both stances, it felt slow off the floor but I also struggled at lock out as well.

    You don't see many top powerlifters doing a closer stance sumo which should tell you something IMO.

    All that being said, if you like it and you're progressing then carry on.
     
  5. SexyMahnaz Green Belt

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    i use it. if it feels more comfortable & you can lift more with it, go for it. trust your intuition.
     
  6. future_king White Belt

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    Just depends on the person, semi-sumo with a double overhand hook grip is and as for functionality, you can never have a strong enough back, glute, hamstring or grip, and there is nothing that extra strength won't transfer to
     
  7. sakfjgadsyukgf Orange Belt

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    Great, thanks for all the replies guys. I'm going to keep at it and see how it goes. I do feel like a bit of a failure for not being able to figure out the conventional lol, but maybe that's just herd mentality. It doesn't really seem intuitive to me why the conventional would translate to a real world/odd object lifting type of situation more than the semi sumo, so I'll try it for a few months at least. You only get one back....
     
  8. fbmmofo Blue Belt

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    If you're looking for carry over to real life then being stronger is going to help more than a certain stance IMO.

    Trying to pick up a 20kg stone is going to be easier if your deadlift is 200kg compared to 100kg.
     
  9. rocketskates Red Belt

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    Why don't you just do what feels natural? I like to warm up with some light sumos just to stretch out but if I go over 405 on sumos I feel like my junk is gonna fly off. If sumo feels good for you then have at it.
     

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