Some people were born to deadlift. Long arms, short torso, big hands.
That’s pretty much me to a T.
Other people…not so much.
My buddy Johnny is a great example of this.
Shorter arms (although not quite T-Rex like some folks), small hands, and a long torso make pulling a conventional deadlift with good form really tough for him.
That’s why god made the Sumo deadlift.
Here’s my buddy setting a pretty significant PR.
Its really prevalent in competitive powerlifting. You’ll see most of the big name lifters pulling sumo style.
A lot of folks cite the fact that you can get more power from going wide then you can from being narrow. A lot of this comes from the work of Louie Simmons.
I know the video is talking about squatting, but the same biomechanics and musculature generally will apply.
I think the reason that you see it so much is that the levers that favor squatting and pressing also are very unfavorable to the conventional deadlift.
The sumo deadlift is a great way to artificially shorten the legs and torsos and help keep your back in a more vertical position for your pulling.
So which should you train?
Both. Regardless of which one is better for you it benefits you it helps develop strength in areas where you normally don’t train.
The only cue I’d give to my buddy is to pull the bar closer into his shin at the start of his pull. Its a little out over his toes, making it harder to keep in that good back position.