Is Sumo Deadlift Cheating?

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INFS

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Exercise Science

Is Sumo Deadlift cheating? 🏋️‍♀️🧐

The sumo deadlift versus conventional deadlift is one of the most frequently discussed topics in strength sports. Many will argue that sumo deadlift is cheating because it has a shorter range of motion and requires a lesser hip extension. Let’s understand if this is actually the case. Though sumo deadlift has a 20-25% shorter range of motion (ROM) [1], this difference doesn’t really affect the maximum weight that can be lifted in both the variations. - The sumo deadlifts are more challenging off the ground, and the conventional pull are most difficult around the bottom of the knees. People miss lifts because they are not strong enough through these weak points. - Also, both the variations have similar hip extension demands and lead to the similar activation of glutes and hamstrings [2]. The only difference is on the demands that these variations put on back muscles and quads. - The greater forward lean of the torso in conventional deadlifts makes it tougher for the back muscles, especially spinal erectors [3]. - On the other hand, sumo deadlifts require comparatively greater requirement of quadriceps muscles [2]. Therefore, every individual, depending on their hip structure, muscular strengths and limitation, may be stronger and more comfortable in either of the deadlift’s variations! Content by Aditya Mahajan References: 1. ESCAMILLA, R., FRANCISCO, A., FLEISIG, G., BARRENTINE, S., WELCH, C., KAYES, A., ... & ANDREWS, J. (2000). A three-dimensional biomechanical analysis of sumo and conventional style deadlifts. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 32(7), 1265-1275. 2. Escamilla, R. F., Francisco, A. C., Kayes, A. V., Speer, K. P., & Moorman 3rd, C. T. (2002). An electromyographic analysis of sumo and conventional style deadlifts. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 34(4), 682-688. 3. Cholewicki, J., McGill, S. M., & Norman, R. W. (1991). Lumbar spine loads during the lifting of extremely heavy weights. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 23(10), 1179-1186.

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