What’s The Difference Between the Conventional and Sumo Deadlifts


Doing deadlifts is a practice that can help enhance your endurance, strength, you can easily build your muscles, and you can train for heavy-lifting competitors. This type of exercise can be done by both professionals, and people who are just starting to work out. As you already know, there are different ways to do pretty much any type of exercise, and this is also the case with deadlifts. In this article, we are going to talk about two of the most popular practices, and what makes them different from each other. Continue reading if you want to know what is the difference between conventional and sumo deadlifts.

What is a conventional and what is a dumbbell sumo deadlift?


The first thing we are going to talk about is these two types of exercises and what makes them practical for users. A traditional exercise is when the person doing it keeps their legs and feet parallel to their shoulders. Note that during this practice, the hands should be positioned outside of the knees, and this allows for a better grip, and the workout targets a lot of different muscle groups.

When it comes to the dumbbell sumo deadlift, during this practice, the lifter should widen their stance, their feet should not be parallel to the shoulders, and their hands are always placed on the inside of their knees. This allows for a bigger balance, and during this exercise, the person doing the deadlift is able to light much bigger weights without any issues.



When it comes to begining positions, you should know that both practices are different. When it comes to the conventional workout, you will start with a forward lean, and your shoulders need to be slightly in front of the bar when you kneel down to do the deadlift. On the other hand, when it comes to the other practice, your shoulders should be in direct line with the bar and the floor.

It is said that the sumo practice is far more comfortable and you will feel much more stable when you do it. You can lift a lot heavier weights when you do it, and you should not feel too much strain on your muscles. However, during this practice, it is really easy for you to get injured if you don’t do it properly, so the technique must be on point. You risk injuring your knees if you don’t position yourself in the right way, so make sure you work with your trainer to put your body in the correct way.

Range of motion


The range of motion is another part that makes these two types of workouts extremely difficult. As we mentioned before, both the placement of the feet and shoulders, along with the start position is different, so the range of motion differs.

According to, when it comes to the dumbbell sumo deadlift, you will have about twenty percent less range because of the wider stance that you take. There is a less mechanical workout when it comes to this practice, and on the other hand, when it comes to the traditional or conventional workout, there is greater mechanical work.

Since you have a limited range of motion when it comes to the not traditional type of exercise, sometimes the person lifting the weight may be able to lift a lot heavier weights, and they should be able to do it with ease. However, this is not always the case, and it depends on many different things like their overall positioning, strength, skills, and knowledge. In time, you can train yourself to be able to notice the difference in the stance and positioning of your hands, however, just because you take a wider stance, does not mean that you should start with heavier weights.

Targeted muscles



If you were wondering which type of workout is better for targeting a lot of muscles, you should first know that by doing deadlifts, you will be targeting a lot of muscle groups. No matter the type of deadlift you do, you will still target muscles including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and trapezius.

By definition, if you want to target your quads, then you should go choose the dumbbell sumo deadlift practice. On the other hand, if you want to target your spinal erectors, then the traditional workout is going to be more beneficial for you. Note that depending on how you do your workout, the experience and skills you have, you can target different types of muscle groups.

One thing that you should know is that when you choose to go with the conventional workout, you are going to target larger muscle groups, and you are going to put a strain on most of your body.

Used energy


Now let’s talk about another huge difference between these two types of exercise. Most of the time, we want to have the stamina to continue with our workout for a long time, and we don’t want to waste too much of our energy to do the workout. So, this begs the question, which practice is better if you want to save your energy?

In short, if you want to save your strength, and if you want to work out for a longer time, then you should choose the sumo practice. With it, you will use a lot less energy and that mainly happens because of the distance between your hips and the floor. As we mentioned before, with the traditional practice, you will target and use a lot more muscles, which means you are more likely to get tired faster.

As you can see, even though these two workouts look really similar, and even though they are both ways to do your deadlifts, there are a lot of differences between them. If you are not sure which one is the right one for you, you can collaborate with a personal trainer that will help you choose the best practice for you. No matter how much knowledge and experience you have with exercising and training, you need to always take the needed precautionary measurements to ensure your safety. Always use the right equipment, give your body time to adjust to the new way of working out, and don’t push yourself over your limits.

Written by Marinelle Adams