Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift Guide

Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift Guide

Sumo Deadlift Kettlebell

Welcome to part one of our 20 part series of kettlebell workout routines. Each week we will be adding a new kettlebell workout routine you can try at home. This week we are talking about the sumo deadlift.

Sumo Deadlift Kettlebell Routine

The Sumo Deadlift gets it name from sumo wrestling because the starting position and action is similar to that of a sumo wrestler. At least that’s what they say. The routine involves picking up a kettlebell from the floor into a standing position.

Sumo Deadlift Muscles worked

The sumo deadlift works the following muscles:

  • Hamstrings
  • Quads
  • Glutes
  • Abs

If you are unsure of the whereabouts of any of these muscles, checkout the muscle chart of the human body guide.

Sumo Deadlift Benefits

  • The sumo deadlift works a number of muscles and is suitable for both beginners and professionals. Completing this routine regularly will tone and strengthen muscles, whilst improving your stability. It is extremely effective at improving core body strength and will work muscles traditional routines forget i.e. the hips.
  • The sumo deadlift (when done correctly) puts less stress on the back. Back injuries are very common so if you are worried then the sumo deadlift is a good choice.
  • The routine is very safe with minimal chance of injury. Just make sure that your warm up adequately and follow our sumo deadlift guide.

Sumo Deadlift Difficulty

The sumo deadlift involves just a couple of steps but the technique can be tricky to master.

Starting position

Start with your feet facing forwards a little wider than your shoulders. Position the kettlebell in-between your feet with the handle pointing upwards. Position yourself as you would on a barstool with your legs bent and hips pushed backwards. Without squatting and keeping a straight back, lean over placing your hands in the handle.

You will it easier to complete this routine with a flat bottom kettlebell.

Sumo Deadlift Technique

Step 1 – Lifting the kettlebell. From your position drive your hips forwards. As you do this straighten your legs. Using two hands, lift the kettlebell all the way to an upright standing position. As you lift the bell, do not be tempted to shift your weight onto the balls of your feet. Your weight should be on the back part of your foot at all times.

Step 2 – Returning the kettlebell. Push your hips backwards and bend your knees (remember the barstool). As you do this, lean forward and place the kettlebell on the floor.

Sumo Deadlift vs Regular Deadlift

You will be able to lift heavier weights with the sumo deadlift as the weight has less room to travel. As you progress with this routine and lift heaver bells, you will be giving your muscles a more intense workout compared to the regular deadlift.


  • Beginners: 3 x sets of 10
  • Advanced: 5 x sets of 10
  • Keep you neck and back straight at all times
  • Tense your muscles before and during your sumo deadlift routine
  • Do not lift with your arms by bending your elbows
  • Do not squat
  • If you feel this routine in your back you are not doing it correctly. Make sure your upper and lower halves are working in tandem
  • Do not attempt to lift a kettlebell that is too heavy, this can cause injury. Remember you are not trying to build muscles.
  • You should only feel the burning sensation in your quads when you are stood in the upright position. If you can feel your quads working whilst lifting or returning the bell, make sure your weight has not shifted towards your toes

Sumo Deadlift Video

Lookout for part two of our kettlebell workout guide. Next week I will be introducing the kettlebell renegade row.

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