Sumo Speed

Sumo Speed

Dec 9, 2014

The sumo deadlift is a mysterious and elusive creature. Some find it so mysterious they refuse to learn the technique and deem it cheating, or say that it is an unnecessary technique. Some find it so elusive that they try it once, and refuse to give it the time and love that it needs. The sumo technique is definitely not for everyone, and for certain body types it can be disadvantageous, but if you have chosen the way of the sumo there is one question you have asked yourself: WHY IS THE WEIGHT SO SLOW OF THE FLOOR?! It is a problem that has been addressed by every sumo puller, and is something that can be improved.

A mistake that people make is rushing the technique so the weight moves faster off the floor. The weight might move fast initially, but once you rush the technique it makes it even easier  for your hips to shoot up, and put you in an awkward position to lockout the lift. To learn how to increase your speed off the floor, you must first master the overall technique. You have to learn how to be patient off the ground and keep your technique throughout the whole lift, especially when things get heavy. The sumo shortens your range of motion so much that it makes the margin of error very small, therefore it leaves you that much less time to correct mistakes you make during the lift. If the bar gets out in front of you in a conventional pull you can pull it back in during the lift, but in a sumo pull it is almost impossible to correct that mistake and you’ll end up stalling on your lockout. Once you have mastered the technique (you can keep your hips down, not jerking the bar off the ground, etc.) then you can worry about speed off the ground.

We’ll start with technique and mindset. Like I said earlier you want to be patient off the ground, but at the same time you want to be explosive. So you want to explode off the ground, without compromising your technique or your hip placement. As you break the ground you want to think about accelerating the bar, and keep as much speed on the bar as possible throughout the entire lift. This is most important at the lockout, as you want to transfer your speed from the ground to throwing you hips and your lats at the end. So as far as achieving speed through technique; be patient off the ground, accelerate through the lift, keep the acceleration through the lockout.

After you have mastered the technique, and are able to be explosive and patient off the ground, then we can talk about specific exercises. To be explosive off the ground you need to have explosive hips. To accomplish this you need exercises that target the explosive, fast-twitch muscle fibers. I like kettle bell swings (if you’re really fancy you can do 1-arm kettle bell swings) as they focus on your hips, plyometric exercises like box jumps or squat jumps, 30 yard sprints, 10 yard falling starts (http://youtu.be/YaV8ntLuFpA), and sled work. I would pick at least two of these exercises to do every week, maybe on an off day, or after a squat or deadlift workout. When you do these exercises you want to make sure you focus on being explosive and give your self enough rest between reps and sets to be as explosive as possible with each rep. To gain that speed off the ground, requires a lot more that just deadlifting. In order to be explosive off the ground you can’t just train like a powerlifter, you must train like an athlete.

So let’s recap. Don’t be afraid of sumo, it wants you to learn it. Before you do anything to increase speed, make sure you have mastered the overall technique first. Once you have mastered the technique understand the mindset, and the technique to increasing the speed off the ground. The last step is doing target exercises to increase explosiveness which may require you to step outside of your comfort zone as far as auxiliary movements. One thing you must keep in mind throughout your quest for sumo speed is to be patient. It’s not all going to come at once, but you have to make a commitment to it and keep working at it, and you will see results.

370 kg World Record deadlift: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=904652832880545

GB T.O.D- The weights don’t care how you feel

IB

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