Tip: The Core Exercise for Deadlifters

If you deadlift (specifically if you use a sumo stance) this should be one of your key supplemental exercises.

The deadlift lets you move a ton of weight around, and because of that it's crucial to maintain a stable, linear spine. Anti-rotation exercises are popular, and rightfully so. These are excellent accessory movements for your big compound lifts and they offer a great stability stimulus.

What they lack, however, is specificity for the deadlifter, particularly the sumo (or sumo-hybrid) deadlifter. That's where this movement comes in:

The Sumo-Stance Rocking Anti-Rotation Press

There are two unique benefits to this variation of the anti-rotation press: foot positioning and initiation specificity:

1. Foot Positioning

This stance allows for foot "rooting" and setup. By keeping a wide base and externally rotating through the hips, you gain a very solid base and you'll see that carry over to the sumo/sumo hybrid deadlift.

2. Initiation Specificity

This is where the magic happens. By hinging back into the setup position of the sumo pull, driving through the floor and hips, and "rocking" forward while pressing the cable forward simultaneously, you'll get a near-perfect sumo deadlift top position with one heck of an anti-rotation stimulus. That extra drive through the hips allows for an additional load to the movement, increasing the carryover to the actual deadlift.

Try to keep the cable stable, shifting as little as possible, for each rep. Start light and work up slowly to identify which side is compensating more. Then begin with that side and you'll start to progress accordingly.

This exercise is a great neural activator prior to doing your actual deadlift work, serves as a secondary accessory movement, or can be a stand-alone exercise for extra positioning and specificity practice.

Sets & Reps

  • For Neuro Activation: 1-3 sets of 3-5 reps
  • For Secondary Movement: 3-5 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Movement/Positioning Practice: 5-10 sets of 1-3 reps