The sumo deadlift high pull is an underrated functional movement. Not only does it teach and improve the mechanics of the conventional deadlift, but it also teaches proper movement patterns for the olympic lifts.
We program this movement at least twice a month for our athletes at RxFIT for the reasons above. We never build to a maximum set for this lift as it’s difficult to tell how high the athlete actually pulled the bar; but nonetheless, the movement has tremendous value.
Our coaching staff generally likes to teach this movement in three phases: the sumo deadlift, the sumo deadlift-shrug, pull, and the full sumo deadlift high pull.
First, start with a sumo stance–a position where your feet are wider than your shoulders.
The barbell should be up against the shin bones with the shoulders slightly in front. The hips are also lower than the shoulders, but not enough to put the shoulders above or behind the bar.
Finally, the shoulders and hips move simultaneously until the barbell reaches the hips. The spine should remain neutral throughout the entire lift.
After the sumo deadlift, the athlete first will shrug the shoulders before bending the arms to pull. It’s important to keep in mind the phrase, “When the arms bend, the power ends.”
This phrase comes from the olympic-levels as they try to teach athletes that power comes from the hips! A premature bend in the elbows before your hips and knees fully extend, immediately cuts off the power source.
Also, keep in mind that your barbell needs to stay in the middle of the foot.
Last but not least, let’s cover phase three which addresses the full sumo deadlift high pull.
The faster your hips and knees extend, the more power your body will generate. But be sure that the extension of the lower extremeties happen in their entirety before the upper extremeities begin to flex.
The high pull here should finish just below the chin with the elbows high (above the bar) and outside of the body.
I hope you find this helpful.
10 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
20 Calories on the Bike
*Images used from here.