How To Do A Sumo Deadlift – Dumbbell

What is Sumo Deadlift? 

The sumo deadlift is a compound exercise that works for 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.

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.

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 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 increases its effectiveness as a leg slimming exercise. 

Targets 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.

Bust the Myth of Bulking Up

Despite 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 slim down your thighs. 

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

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

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.

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.

Misato Alexandre


After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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