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Barbell Sumo Deadlifts

By RealJock Staff

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.

Muscles Worked
Back, Legs

Starting Position
Stand behind a barbell with feet wider than your shoulders and toes pointing out, though in line with the knees.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Keeping your arms straight, sit into the squat and keep your back flat to lower the weight back to the floor.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is co-founder of the award-winning Diakadi Body personal training gym and creators of RealJock's 12-week Workout Programs. Billy is a certified Level 1 Practitioner and Holistic Lifestyle Coach through the Paul Chek Institute as well as a Certified Personal Trainer through The National Academy of Sports Medicine. Have burning questions about your fitness that you want Billy and Diakadi co-founder Mike Clausen to answer? Send an email to