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I’d like to improve my mobility for my Sumo Deadlifts but I’m not sure where to start?

Sumo deadlifts require good hip mobility. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint which can move in 6 different planes of movement. Due to our modern lifestyles we can experience a lot of restrictions in this joint and this makes the Sumo Deadlift increasingly hard. Our joints are meant to be moving so doing hip mobility everyday can really help with sumo and also reducing lower back pain. The two movements in particular we need for sumo are Hip Abduction and Hip External rotation.

The reasons for this is the better hip mobility you have the easier it is to get your hips closer to the bar resulting in an easier lift. And the better External rotation will save you a lot of Hamstring injuries for example. As when you have restricted movement in the joint (The Hip) you then place more stress and tension you place on the Hamstring tendons which attach at the Tibia. The more the movement (external rotation) can come from the hip and not the Tibia the more you can avoid hamstring injuries.

To start off with your mobility I would recommend doing some Myofascial release (Rolling out) specifically on the Glute Medius, Piriformis, Adductors and Quadriceps. Taking a lacrosse ball and whilst seated on a hard chair placing it under your sit bone. I’d spend around 2-3 minute creating circular motions around the glutes, then try bending and extending the leg as well as crossing the leg over into a figure 4 position.

I would then recommend taking your roller and placing it under 1 leg onto the front of your thigh lying face forward. And then start rolling backwards and forwards over the Quadricep for 1 minute, then start to bend at the knee joint to lengthen the muscle whilst rolling backwards and forwards for another minute- do this each side. You can then take the roller to the inside of your thigh and roll forwards, backwards and side to side on your adductors. Id recommend doing this for 2 minutes each side.

Next up Mobility exercises!

First of all the Hip 90-90 knock throughs. Sitting on your bum with feet slightly wider than your hips- keep both sit bones on the floor the entire time and knocking the knees in and out. This is then taking the hips into internal and external rotation. I’d recommend 1-2 sets of 8-10 reps.

You can then hold the 90-90 stretch for 20 seconds each side for 3 times each side. Make sure the knee and ankle are in a straight line as well as the knee and hip joint!

Moving into slightly more dynamic work- Bulgarian split squats and lean away. When performing a split squat you then lean sideways towards the front leg. I’d recommend doing 2 sets of 8 reps each leg.

Then coming into a slightly more static stretch- a One legged Froggy. Having something soft under your knees. Start kneeling on one knee with the other leg outstretched to the side, then slide the straight leg away from the body to open up your hips and gently come down to your forearms to rest. Go as far as you comfortably can but make sure to keep your hips in-line with your knees and feet in-line with the knees. Hold this still for 20-30 seconds then start gently rocking the pelvis back and forth for a further 20-30 seconds. Do this for 1-2 sets each side.

Next up Half kneeling rock back. Having something soft underneath your knee again and come into a slight one legged froggy but keeping the body upright instead of leaning forwards. With the straight leg have the foot flexed and pointing to the top. Then start rocking the hips back to the foot then thrust forward, tucking the pelvis under and squeezing the glutes. Do this for 1-2 sets 8-10 reps.

This is a great routine to start releasing the fascia around the tight areas of the pelvis and getting the hips to move and become stable in your end ranges! Try this for 8-12 weeks and start to see a difference in your hips! If you want to see more check out the stretch videos on the unified page where I go through more in-depth and run the stretch class in real time so you can join in!

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