How to do Sumo Squats | Techniques, Variations, Benefits

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How to do Sumo Squats | Techniques, Variations, Benefits

how-to-do-sumo-squatsSumo squats are a tougher, much better version of the normal squats that target the specific muscles of your legs to give you maximum gains. The following article contains almost all the necessary information for a newbie to completely understand what sumo squats are. So go through the article and get your queries (e.g.  How to do sumo squat?  Which muscles does the sumo squat target?  What are the most common mistakes while performing sumo squats?) solved, and add the sumo squats to your daily workout routine.

Why you should do a Sumo Squat?

Ever heard of adductors the inner thigh muscle which adducts or connects your both legs and also helps in both balance and stability of hips. Well most of the people miss out on working on them. Well if you have a goal of toning your inner thighs and have well rounded exercise with nice inclusion of hamstring and glutes then you should consider putting sumo squats (which are a variation of regular squats obviously) in your daily workout.

Sumo squat is intermediate level exercise which requires prior regular squat experience

How to do a Sumo Squat?

  • Take a stance of a “sumo warrior” stance as the name suggests which is stand wider than shoulder width apart
  • Turn your feet your 45° outwards (don’t measure it with a protractor) just rotate your feet slightly
  • Tense your abs , butt (if you have one ) and thighs for good form ,more on how to do squat with correct form  below
  • Lower your body keeping your hands straight and continue till your thighs are parallel to floor (ngl you are looking like sumo wrestler now )
  • Push through heels and your extended legs feel the stretch on your inner thighs and come back to starting position

Common Mistakes

Above I covered how to do a proper sumo squat rep but just like regular squats you can commit some mistakes while performing sumo squats so you need to focus on few points mentioned below

1. Knees Collapsing in

So most common mistake while doing sumo squats is that your knees will move inward. This happens due to weak glutes or tight hips. Focusing on mobility and stretching of hips and strengthening of glutes will dissolve this issue

2. Hunchback Squats

You got it due to your weak core you are squatting with a rounded back resulting in you looking like hunchback. To solve this issue you need to practice compound exercises like regular squats and deadlifts and if you are doing with weights then focus on form more than weight and increase weight gradually


3. Leaning forward too much

You may feel like you are leaning a bit forward this happens due to tight hips and calves. You can improve this by stretching hip flexors , strengthening glutes and back and foam rolling calves

Safety and Precautions for Sumo Squats :

Sumo squats are generally safe for normal individuals but if you have a medical condition regarding lower back then you should consult your physician before performing exercise

Additional Form Tips

To do the sumo squats correctly and to prevent injury focus on form which is doing slow reps, keeping your core tight, knees slightly outward and chest out and up . If your heels are coming off the floor then you are going too low

If you are using weights then focus on position of weight , elbows up if weight in racked position and chest up if weight is  in between legs .Perform slow and deliberate reps to get used to form of the exercise

Sumo Squats Variations and Modifications

Sumo squats are generally safe for normal individuals but if you have a medical condition regarding lower back then you should consult your physician before performing exercise

1. Weighted Sumo Squats

Once you mastered bodyweight version of sumo squat you can try this version. To train your glutes and inner thighs more add weights to exercise. You can use any weights but I would recommend kettlebells and dumbbells. Hold the weight between your legs in front of you so when you go down enough the weight touches the floor  

2. Kettlebell Sumo Squats swings

how to kettlebell squat exerciseIf you choose kettlebell as your weights then you can improvise sumo squats as kettle bell swings. Just in step 1 of stance you need to increase the distance for you to allow the kettlebell swings. Hold the kettlebell in front of you and take the stance. Now swing the kettlebell back of your legs. Raise the kettlebell up to shoulder height when you rise up at end of step 5

3. Sumo Jump Squats

This is explosive version of sumo squat. You can use this version if you are fan of bodyweight exercises and don’t have weights available. This exercise even increases your heart rate while squatting . All you have to do is explosively jump straight up in step 5 instead of coming up normally in starting position and land smoothly after the jump

4. Plié Squats

plie- squatsSo you need to make few changes with your standard steps in this variation . Along with all sumo squats benefits it also strengthens quadriceps, calves and extra focus on inner thighs

  1. Keep your stance hip width apart approximately few feet but overextend it
  2. Angle your toes opposite to body central position
  3. Squeeze your glutes then lower your knees ,thighs and get down to complete motion
  4. When you are low enough drag both of your heels until you stand straight and tall

For maintaining the form focus on keeping your back straight and don’t let your knees to move farther than your toes

5. Goblet Squats

how to do goblet squatsThe goblet squats like sumo squats works on inner thighs but also on posterior lower body muscles. It requires a moderate level of flexibility and some experience of normal squats. For doing this variation keep the weight near your chest while following normal squats steps. You can use kettlebell and dumbbells as weights

6. Barbell Sumo Squats

how to barbell squatThis one of the least varied variation .None of the above 1-5 steps changes just you need to add a barbell and some weight blades you are comfortable with.

Just perform the normal sumo squat with barbell on your shoulder nice and firm now take sumo stance go down rise up maintaining the form

Challenge and Reps

If you want to build and tone your Lower body then add sumo squats to your training regiment.

First start by learning some basic steps for exercise, then learn the form. After learning the technique you can practice sumo squats for three to four times a week. For strength training three to four sets each of 15 reps is good start

Are there any benefits? Is it worth it the pain?

Sumo squats benefits are various it is primarily strength training exercise specialising in lower body set of muscles. It gives nice emphasize on glutes, inner thighs, quads, hip flexors, adductors and calves. It also improves core strength and heels stability due to its variation from normal regular squats. The “sumo” stance adds nice challenge and fun to your regular workout routine.

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