Sumo Deadlift, Dumbbell

How to Sumo Deadlift with Dumbbell 

What is Sumo Deadlift? 

The sumo deadlift is a strength training exercise that works nearly every major muscle group in your body including buttocks, hamstrings, thighs and lower back.

Its effectiveness to target multiple muscle groups at once got many fitness experts calling this exercise as the king of all exercises (1, 2).

Because of its wide stance, this deadlift is also known as Wide Stance Deadlift. 

Equipment to Use

To sumo deadlift, you can either use a barbell or a dumbbell. 

If you are a beginner, start with a dumbbell. It is slightly easier to perform a sumo deadlift with than a barbell. 

Video Instruction Guide on how to sumo deadlift. 

How to Sumo Deadlift with Dumbbell 

  1. Stand with your feet very wide, wider than shoulder width apart with a dumbbell in the middle of your feet. Make sure your toes point outwards. Bend at the hips to grab one end of a dumbbell with both hands, arms hanging in front of you.  
  2. Tighten your abs and lift the dumbbell by straightening your legs and standing up straight. 
  3. Keeping your chest and head up, lower your hips until the dumbbell passes through the knees. Make sure to keep your weight on the heels and bend through your hips and knees. 
  4. Repeat to complete 10-12 repetitions for 2-3 sets. 

Back Friendly Deadlift

Compared to other traditional deadlifts, sumo deadlift is slightly more back friendly.

According to Jen Weir, personal trainer, during the exercise, your pelvis does not get tilted as other deadlifts, placing less pressure on your back and making it safer for your back.

Work Your Hamstrings and Glutes Harder

This difference in the body positioning also leaves you with other positive impacts. 

Because you are bending through hips and knees and your upper body is leaning in more than other deadlifts or squats, it utilizes your quadriceps and adductors more and increase its effectiveness as a leg slimming exercise. 

Target Your Problem Areas

It also doesn't fail to work other muscles in your legs such as thighs and hips, and it's a good thing for many women.

Patrick J.Bird, Dean of the College of Health and Human Performance at the University Florida explains "Due to hormonal changes, women tend to deposit fat around the pelvis, buttocks, hips and thighs."

Bust the Myth of Bulking Up

Despite of this leg slimming and back safety benefits of the sumo deadlift, many women often shy away from performing deadlifts, believing that it'd make their thighs bigger and bulk up. 

It is a myth and couldn't be further from the truth. 

Lean Muscles = Slim Down 

The truth is lean muscle mass raises your resting metabolic rate, which helps to burn extra calories while the body is at rest. 

It also helps slimming down your thighs

There are two reasons how building lean muscle can help you slim down. 

Firstly, because muscle is denser than fat, by trading in fat for lean muscle mass mean your thighs going down in size.

Linda Tarr Kent, Bosu instructor reports on "muscle takes up four-fifths the space of fat" (3). 

Secondly, muscles are active fibers that take more energy to function. By having more lean muscle, It makes your body a "skinny type" by constantly burning calories at a higher rate.

ACE, American Council on Exercise also voiced their vote for women leaning up.

They urge women to put the fear of getting bulky to rest and understand the hormonal differences between genders create different body built outcomes for women and men (4). 

Exercise such as this sumo deadlifts and other thigh slimming exercises such as squats and lunges is a great way to slim down faster, tone the legs and shape the rest of the body.

All these benefits are a tremendous help in any weight and fat loss and should be performed regularly. 

Exercises similar to Sumo Deadlifts: 

  • Deadlifts 
  • Barbell deadlifts 
  • Romanian deadlifts 

Other Exercises for Thighs: 

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Side lunges
  • Plie squats 

Exercise Table

Reps Sets Level Location
10 3 Medium Gym or Home

Sample Women's Leg Workout Plan with Sumo Deadlift: 

  • Sumo deadlift
  • Pushups
  • Glute Bridge
  • Plank
  • Bicycle Crunch

Perform each exercise for 10-12 reps. Complete 2-3 sets.


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