As you can tell from the title of this blog itself, there are quite a few different variations of the deadlift; namely the conventional deadlift, the sumo deadlift and the trap bar deadlift. The question is, is there one better than the other or should I be using one instead of the other due to my goals and what I want to achieve?
The deadlift is one of the main lifts that uses the whole body but mainly the legs and back. You are pushing the floor away with the legs while also pulling the bar from the floor with the upper body hence, making it one of the best exercises for increasing your strength and building muscle as well as increasing athletic performance.
Although we are going to discuss the difference between the types of deadlifts, let us first start by mention some similarities in technique which include; feet spread on the floor and toes gripping the floor, engaged lat muscles (latissimus dorsi) which leads to the shoulder blades sliding down your back, tight core and neutral back and neck. The differences between the 3 types of deadlifts will be described and discussed below.
The first difference to be discussed due to the variations in technique is load distribution. The conventional deadlift will put more stress on the lower back and spinal erectors and require better use of the posterior chain than both the sumo and trap bar deadlifts.
On the other hand, due to a more upright trunk and lower hips in both the sumo and the trap bar deadlift, which somewhat resembles a squat, there will be an increased demand on the quad muscles. Furthermore, the bar will need to travel less in the sumo deadlift and requires less hip mobility.
Due to these main differences, you will find it easier to lift more weight in the sumo and trap bar deadlift than in the conventional deadlift, but this is not to say that one is better than the other as it will also depend on the individual’s anatomy, strength and weaknesses. Try and learn how to do all three lifts and see what works best for you.