The sumo deadlift high pull (SDHP) is one of the nine foundational CrossFit movements. Like the deadlift, it develops strength in the posterior chain. However, by introducing explosiveness and speed, it is a useful conditioning movement that also develops power.

Points of Performance: The Sumo Deadlift High Pull

Learning the points of performance for the Sumo Deadlift High Pull transfers to other explosive movements, like the clean and snatch. Performing a SDHP also takes body coordination between your lower and upper body. But breaking down this movement into its points of performance will help you put all the pieces together so that you’re successfully transferring power from your hips and legs to the upper body and moving with good technique.

The Set-Up:

Start in a “sumo” stance with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out, barbell at the shins. Grip the barbell with hands in between bent legs (about two thumbs distance from the center of the bar). Keep knees in line with toes, shoulders slightly in front of the bar while maintaining a strong core and lumbar curve.

The Deadlift:

With heels down, extend hips and legs.

The Shrug:

Accelerate through the heels to full extension of the hips and legs. At full extension, shoulders shrug with straight arms.

The Pull:

Pull the bar up toward your chin with elbows high and outside.

Return to Start:

The movement is complete at full hip and knee extension and the bar pulled up just below the chin. To return to start, extend the arm, relax the shrug, and send the hips back.

A Few More Tips:

-Your feet will be in a wider stance compared to a traditional deadlift. However, make sure that your knees are able to track over your toes. If not, take a more narrow stance.
-Your arms should be straight until the shrug. Avoid bending your elbows or trying to jerk the bar off the ground.
-Remember, this movement takes some coordination. Practice “deadlift, pull, shrug” so that you’re able to transfer power from your core to extremities.

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