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Deadlift Biomechanics


Powerlifting Bench Press

Biomechanical Analysis of the Deadlift

McGuigan et al (1) studied the  differences in the kinematics between the Sumo and  conventional style deadlift.  They analyzed  videotapes of 19 conventional and 10 Sumo style  powerlifting contestants.

FINDINGS:  Sumo lifters were able to  maintain more of an upright posture during the liftoff  phase.  The Sumo style reduced the distance that the  bar travels from the floor to the completion of the lift.   The Sumo style allowed lifters to keep the bar  closer to the body, reducing the resistive torque.

IMPLICATIONS:  The sumo style of  deadlift offers a significant mechanical advantage over  the conventional deadlift and reduces shear forces on the  spine, indicating that it is a safer lifting style than  the conventional deadlift.  

1.  McGuigan, M.R.M., and B.D.  Wilson.  Biomechanical analysis of the deadlift.   J. Strength and Cond. Res.  10(4):250-255.   1996.

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