Sumo squats are a strength-training exercise that is targeted toward improving the muscles of the lower body including quadriceps, hamstrings, and inner thighs. It also improves stability and flexibility.

The wide stance of this exercise engages different muscle groups compared to traditional squats and puts additional emphasis on the inner thighs and glutes. It requires you to position your feet wider than your shoulder and turn your toes outward.

How To Do A Sumo Squat?

The sumo squat is quite different than traditional squats since it emphasizes the inner thighs and glutes. This exercise is an important well-rounded fitness routine that helps you strengthen your lower body.

Performing these squats helps to improve stability as well as flexibility of your legs. Here are the complete steps that you need to follow to do sumo squat form the right way including.

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  • Stand with your feet wide apart
  • Engage your core by tightening your abdominal muscles
  • Keep your back straight
  • Lower your body by bending your knees and hips simultaneously
  • Go as low as comfortable
  • Push through your heels and engage your glutes and quads
  • Repeat for a manageable number of times

Add A Resistance To A Sumo Squat

You can use different equipment, such as resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, or even a barbell to increase the difficulty of a sumo squat. If you want to test your muscles, gain strength, and improve general lower body development try adding these resistances may be helpful.

1. Sumo Squats with Dumbbell

Holding a dumbbell or kettlebell at the center of your body while performing a sumo squat adds extra weight increasing the resistance and demanding more effort from your muscles. Sumo squat dumbbell workout is useful for those who want to build strength and muscle mass.

The most crucial aspect is choosing the right dumbbells to ensure a safe and effective workout pattern for yourself. You should always consider using adjustable dumbbells that allow you to adjust the intensity of your workout.

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2. Sumo Squat with Resistance Bands

These bands are versatile and easy to use which you can simply put around your thighs or just above your knees to engage the muscles more intensely during the squat. This is great for targeting the outer thighs and glutes.

You can use different kinds of bands such as Loop resistance bands, Mini bands, and Fabric resistance bands to increase your performance. They come in various levels from light and medium to heavy.

3. Sumo Squat with Barbell

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Placing a barbell across your shoulders can significantly increase the resistance on your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It's a great option for those who are comfortable with barbell exercises and want to lift heavier weights.

The most suitable option is the standard Olympic barbell which typically weighs forty-five pounds for men and thirty-five pounds for women. Find a barbell that has moderate knurling and smooth-spinning sleeves.

Sumo Squat vs Traditional Squat

Either Traditional and Sumo, both of these squats are great exercises that target the muscles in the lower back. This involves compound movements of multiple joints and muscle groups that tend to increase their functional strength.

Proper form and technique are crucial for both exercises to maximize benefits and reduce the risk of injury. Despite all these, there are some striking differences between these two exercises which are pointed out here.

Traditional Squat

  • This involves a hip-width stance with toes pointed forward or slightly outward.
  • The focused areas of this exercise are the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
  • The emphasis is put on flexion and extension at the hip, knee, and ankle joints.
  • You often need to maintain a slightly more forward-leaning torso.
  • Achieving a deep squat without compromising form, it requires good flexibility and mobility.
  • This exercise can be performed with body weight, barbells, or other resistance equipment.

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Sumo Squat

  • This exercise involves a wider stance with toes pointed outward that gives the impression of a sumo wrestler's stance.
  • Its focused areas are the inner thighs and tends to work the adductor muscles more.
  • This exercise places more emphasis on hip abduction and external rotation.
  • It requires one to maintain a more upright torso due to the wider stance.
  • This fitness routine also allows for a deeper squat with less stress on the lower back.
  • It can be performed with or without weights and it is commonly associated with kettlebell or dumbbell variations.

Variations of Sumo Squat

One of the main reasons squats are such a great exercise is that there are so many ways to vary the movement and resistance. Some of the most common techniques involve changing the stance, foot placement angle and hip depth.

You can use these techniques to add variations to your daily fitness routine to work to concentrate on particular muscles. Here are some of the variations that you can try.

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  • Traditional Sumo Squat which is performed by keeping your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointing slightly outward.
  • Sumo Squat with Pulse where a pulse up and down is added after reaching the lowest point before returning to the starting position.
  • Sumo Squat with Calf Raise where you lift your heels off the ground as you stand up.
  • Sumo Squat Jumps are done by exploding upward into a jump at the top of the movement.
  • Sumo Squat with Dumbbells hanging by your sides and perform a sumo squat.
  • Straight arm Sumo Squats with Kettlebell held on both hands in front of you at arm's length.
  • Side-to-Side Sumo Squats where you move straight up and down, shift your weight from side to side and engage your inner thighs more.
  • Sumo Squat Hold where you maintain the sumo squat position for an extended period.

Benefits of Sumo Squats

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This is a great exercise that adds variety to your leg workout routine and enhances hip flexibility and mobility. The sumo squat exercise benefits you can get by adding this exercise to your daily routines are given below.

1. Targeted Muscle Engagement

If you are wondering sumo squats work what muscles, people actually perform sumo squats for glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and inner thighs. This promotes the development of these muscle groups' strength and tone.

You can target the inner thigh muscles to improve lower body strength. It is beneficial because the workout places less stress on the lower back.

2. Improved Hip Mobility

This is needed for enhanced hip mobility due to the wide stance. Sumo squats are a great exercise to include in your program on a regular basis to increase hip flexibility and range of motion.

The wider stance is the main reason that promotes hip and knee flexibility. As a result, you will get enhanced joint mobility, and reduced stiffness which contributes to a better overall range of motion

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3. Core Activation

Your core muscles are used in the squats as you stabilize your body. This will result in increased stability and core strength.

The need to maintain an upright posture during the squats strengthens core muscles and enhances overall stability and balance. This in turn reduces the risk of injuries and improves functional movement.

4. Joint-Friendly Exercise

Sumo squats have a wider stance than standard squats, which makes them a less strenuous exercise for the joints. It offers a powerful lower-body workout while reducing stress on the knee joint.

This is a flexible exercise that can be performed with or without weights which makes it accessible to individuals with varying fitness levels. If you are looking to diversify your training regimen, sumo squat will easily fit into your routine.

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5. Calorie Burning and Fat Loss

Like any compound movement, this squat engages numerous muscle groups, resulting in a larger calorie burn. Incorporation of this workout into your training program helps you lose fat and burn calories.

The engagement of large muscle groups elevates heart rate and increases calorie expenditure. This process aids in fat-burning and weight management.

6. Variety in Leg Training

The inclusion of this squat in your leg workout regimen adds diversity, preventing workout boredom and ensuring that different regions of your lower body are targeted. This can help to attain a more complete and well-rounded leg training program.

You will see an increase in muscle development, and strength, and improved overall lower body tone. Weight-bearing increases bone density and prevents conditions like osteoporosis.