for starters a persons build determines his/her starting position. other factors include strength and weaknesses in your pull. for instance a puller with shorter arms will have to set up deeper to achieve the proper starting position. longer arms means a higher starting position. also if your lockout is stronger than your "off the floor" power then a higher setup will yield better results. i can lockout more weight than i can get off the floor so i have a higher stating position. whats th advantage of a higher starting position? whats the advantage of squatting higher than ass deep? the higher the squat the more weight you can move. the advantage of a deeper set up is youll be in be more upright position so more weight is shifted to "squatting" the weight off the floor as opposed to pulling it off the floor.
setup is critical for big pulls. if you are properly setup and you let go of the bar you will fall backwards. your arms need to be hanging straight down. this means you are behind the bar as opposed to being over the bar. leverage makes a big difference whenever work is involved. better leverage = more weight being moved with the same amount of work.
also you dont want you arms to be spread open. your hands should be shoulder width at grip.
make your arms as long as possible. takes a lil practice but it will knock several inches off your pull. do not try to shrug the weigh at all. your traps must be relaxed. shoulders rolled slightly forward. arms relaxed except for the death grip. to practice this next time you pull, at lockout, relax your arms and shoulders and see how low you can get the bar to hang. youll be surprised.
dont pull back past the upright position. the rules say all you gotta be is upright.
once the bar gets past your knees quit trying to pull the weight up and focus more on getting your hips forward. watch the clips i posted and notice my hips. hips forward and the lift is complete. im upright, arms relaxed, shoulder rolled forward, traps relaxed.
sumo is a shorter pull than conventional. i pull sumo in meets but most of my training is done conv. why? i train conv more because its a longer pull. meet time i pull sumo for the shorter pull. also if you have the flexibility using an ultra wide sumo stance is even better. youll be even closed to the floor. i was working with a young lady here in the gym the other night and i had her feet all the way out to the plates. her pull was maybe 8" and she was locked out. she is short with long arms. she was pulling smoother than she ever had and pulling weight more easily. she was also setting up way too deep which did not suit her strengths.
taking the slack outta the bar. (this means to have the bar bent as far as its gonna bend without the weight coming off the floor). once setup there is a couple ways to do this. after setting up and just before you pull arch your back upward slightly. this will take the slack out of the bar, pull your shoulders/traps down and get you in the highest starting position possible with your set up style. the other method is to setup jes a tad deeper than you normally would and using leg drive to do this. i prefer the first method esp if im in gear.