Deadlift

Is sumo deadlift cheating? Why do some people believe sumo deadlifting is unethical?

Lifters who favour conventional deadlifts argue that the sumo deadlift is cheating.

Lifters who pull sumo claim that just because the sumo deadlift can lessen low back stress doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Sumo lifts are kosher for competition, according to the basic rules of powerlifting.

Is sumo deadlift cheating
Is sumo deadlift cheating

Different powerlifting circles, however, will assert that conventional deadlifts are the sole legitimate deadlift. According to the logic, you’re giving yourself an unfair advantage. Why?

Why do some people believe sumo deadlifting is unethical?

Why do some people believe sumo deadlifting is unethical?

The sumo deadlift is frequently accused of cheating since it appears to be a simpler lift to the untrained eye, owing to a restriction in range of motion.

While the assertion is true, sumo deadlifts move a distance that is roughly 20-25 percent shorter than traditional deadlifts. Other parts of the lift, though, provide a different level of difficulty that you wouldn’t find in the traditional variation (I’ll explain further below).

Sumo deadlifts do not put as much stress on the lower and mid back, in addition to the reduced range of motion. For people who are weak in these muscular groups, this may appear to be a “crutch” deadlift variation.

Why Is The Sumo Deadlift Harder Than Traditional Deadlifting?

Why Is The Sumo Deadlift Harder Than Traditional Deadlifting?

Let’s look at some of the reasons why, despite its limited range of motion, the sumo deadlift might be more difficult than the traditional deadlift.

Sumo Deadlifting necessitates extra mobility.

Furthermore, if you have a history of groyne pain or injury, the sumo posture may not be the greatest option for you. Because of the additional hip mobility required to execute the sumo deadlift successfully, it may be the more difficult version for some individuals.

Sumo Deadlifting necessitates a higher level of technique off the ground.

Sumo Deadlifting necessitates a higher level of technique off the ground.

When comparing conventional and sumo deadlifts, conventional deadlifts are significantly easier to break ground with the weight, whereas certain big sumo deadlifts may take several seconds to break ground and require a great deal of patience.

The angle of your shin and hips must be in the right position to load your glutes, hamstrings, and quads in order to start the weight moving. In addition, if you look at a decent sumo deadlift from the side, you’ll note that the shoulder is directly in line with the hips.

Small differences occur between lifters, but if you want to get the weight moving, you’ll need to discover the ideal position for your feet, hands, knees, hips, and head.

Getting it off the floor with traditional methods can be done with some of the worst techniques available.

When technique fails, Sumo Deadlifting leaves less room for error.

When technique fails, Sumo Deadlifting leaves less room for error.

Deadlifts are the most “forgiving” lift in that you can push yourself to lock out even if things go wrong. With squats and bench press, this is a more difficult technique to master.

When comparing conventional with sumo, however, sumo is far less forgiving when you start moving inefficiently. Because they have nailed down every component of the lift, the finest sumo deadlifters have reps that seem almost mechanical and robotic.

As a result, sumo deadlifts can be a lot more challenging for some people because they need a lot of technical skill and you can’t get away with sloppy movements.

The Sumo Deadlift is a lower-intensity lift.

The Sumo Deadlift is a lower-intensity lift.

Because lifting the sumo deadlift off the ground is difficult, the lift takes several seconds longer on average, resulting in more time under tension. When deciding whether a lift would be challenging, time under strain is one of the crucial factors to consider.

While the sumo is gentler on the lower back, it still works other muscle groups and demands you to maintain your strength and power output for longer than a traditional deadlift.

When Sumo Deadlifting, you can’t lock out the knees too soon.

When Sumo Deadlifting, you can’t lock out the knees too soon.

While both sumo and regular deadlifts entail some hip hinging, the sumo demands the quads to be involved in locking it out. Because of this difference, if your knees lock out too early, you lose leg involvement and are left with only your hips to carry you through.

While a conventional deadlift can get away with an early knee lockout, it may merely end up looking like a stiff leg deadlift or Romanian deadlift, sumo is less forgiving.

Because of the broad leg positioning in sumo, switching to using only your glutes and back to lift the weight with stability is considerably more difficult, and you may wind up falling forwards in the lockout.

As a result, not only is sumo important at the start of the lift, but even minor errors like early knee lockout can result in a lift failure.

For Some Body Types, Sumo Deadlifting Isn’t the Best Option

For Some Body Types, Sumo Deadlifting Isn’t the Best Option

The sumo is frequently done by people who have tried out the sumo stance and found it to be more comfortable and natural than a traditional deadlift. This is not the case for all lifters, which is why there is such a wide range of deadlift styles.

Because of their natural architecture of the femur and hips, body types that favour sumo deadlifting also point their toes out during squats. This could also explain why women are more likely to take up sumo.

In Powerlifting Competitions, Is Sumo Deadlifting Allowed? Is It Cheating, or Is It Something Else?

In Powerlifting Competitions, Is Sumo Deadlifting Allowed? Is It Cheating, or Is It Something Else?

Yes, all powerlifting contests, regardless of federation or class, allow sumo deadlifting. In fact, in the lighter weight classes, it’s a more prevalent deadlift form.

Cheating involves breaching the rules, yet sumo does not do so in any way, and each lifter is free to use their favourite stance when completing a deadlift in a competition.

It is not permitted in certain types of sporting events, such as CrossFit and World’s Strongest Man competitions, however it is permitted in powerlifting and is prefered by many lifters around the world.

F.A.Q is sumo deadlift cheating:

Is sumo deadlift allowed in competition?

Sumo lifts are kosher for competition, according to the basic rules of powerlifting. Different powerlifting circles, however, will assert that conventional deadlifts are the sole legitimate deadlift.

Is sumo deadlift allowed in strongman?

There are two ways to accomplish the deadlift: standard and sumo. Opinions on each, especially the latter, are frequently vehement. Despite the fact that both are legal setups in powerlifting events, some people believe sumo is cheating. Sumo deadlifting is not permitted in strongman competition.

Why you should not sumo deadlift?

The closed knee angle in a sumo deadlift distally shortens the hamstring in the same manner as the more closed knee angle in a high bar squat results in a distally shortened hamstring. Sumo’s wide hip position shortens the hamstring proximally as well.

Conclusion:

The sumo deadlift is not cheating if the definition of cheating is going against the rules of competition. If cheating is defined as choosing a legal variation of a movement that better suits your abilities and skills, then all competitive sports laws must be called into question.

We wouldn’t have high level lifters smashing records while competing solely in a conventional posture if the sumo deadlift was indeed the easiest way to deadlift.

It all comes down to personal choice, and each lifter should strive to be strong in both and compete in the one in which they excel.

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Field John

If you are an avid believer in health and fitness and want to do something for your team, I can help. As the founder of Field Goals Fitness, I lead a collective of health and fitness professionals dedicated to helping Australians lead a more active and healthier lifestyle. With a warm, friendly, and supportive approach that gets results, I enjoy helping individuals & organisations achieve sustainable success with their health and fitness goals. Certifying as a Personal Trainer in 2009, was a turning point in my life. I had spent 14 years in the corporate world in Business Development roles and decided to take all that I had learnt in sales and marketing and start my own business.

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