Workout Routines

The Sumo Deadlift High Pull WOD

Boost your pulling power and cardio capacity with one brutal barbell move.

The Sumo Deadlift High Pull WOD
Per Bernal

Taking a big strength-and-power lift and adding a conditioning element to it is a CrossFit hallmark. Exhibit A: the sumo deadlift high pull (SDHP), an exercise so deeply woven into the CrossFit fabric that it remains one of the nine “foundational movements” taught at the Level 1 certification course.

The move is pretty self-explanatory: a sumo deadlift extended into a high pull to maximize range of motion and overall bang for your training buck, particularly for the crucial backside muscles. “One of the benefits of the sumo deadlift
high pull is that it improves power in the posterior chain, namely the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back,” says Brian Strump, owner of CrossFit Steele Creek in Charlotte, NC ( “The lift will also impact the upper traps and midback musculature.”

The “sumo” stance (feet wide, toes pointed outward) is useful for those with lower-back issues. It puts you in a more upright torso position compared with standard deadlifts. As for the conditioning element, your heart and lungs will be tested. Try the WOD at right at the end of your next workout, using the SDHP pointers below it.

How to Do It: Sumo Deadlift High Pull

  • Step 1: Position your feet outside of shoulder width, toes pointed out. Grab the bar with a narrow grip, inside your shins.
  • Step 4: Keep your butt low, back flat, and knees pointed outward coming out of the hole. Engage your core. Pull the bar explosively straight up your body.
  • Step 3: Reach full hip and knee extension, then execute the “high pull” until the bar is just below your chin.
  • Step 4: Let the bar fall back to the floor, keeping your core tight throughout to protect the lower back.

Sumo Deadlift High Pull WOD

Perform five rounds of the following for time:

  • 10 sumo deadlift high pulls
  • 20 pushups

For access to exclusive fitness advice, interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!