This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
The deadlift is a great functional exercise for your back; the sumo version adds the strength of a squat.
Stand behind a barbell with feet wider than your shoulders and toes pointing out, though in line with the knees.
- From the starting position, inhale to stabilize your core and squat down with your legs until your thighs are horizontal to the ground. Grab the bar with an overhand (palms toward you) or alternating grip (hands in opposing orientations) and your hands shoulder width apart.
- Keep your spine in a neutral position as you do the following movement—meaning that your shoulder blades are back and together (no rounding) and your lower spine is neutral (no tucking your butt under). Now, stabilize the core and drive through your heels as you contract your glutes to come into a standing position. Your arms should be hanging straight down throughout this movement.
- Keeping your arms straight, sit into the squat and keep your back flat to lower the weight back to the floor.