The sumo squat, or more simply called the “sumo,” is a variation of the traditional back squat that places emphasis on your adductor muscles (inner thighs). The difference between the squat and the sumo is that your stance is wider in the sumo position.
How to do the sumo squat
It is important to set up your squat before you begin, with your hands on a barbell, in a shoulder-width stance for your feet. The key to the sumo squat is finding the balance point of your torso where the centre of gravity is in balance with that of your feet.
Here are the steps to do the sumo squat using a barbell:
Step 1 – Start with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, and your feet should be pointed out at an angle of between 30 and 45 degrees. It is important to note that these angles can vary depending on your body structure; it may be more comfortable to squat with your feet point out at 45 degrees if you have longer legs.
Step 2 – Unhook the bar from the rack by using a ‘clean grip’ and holding the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. A clean grip is used when you are gripping the bar with your hands facing “out.
Step 3 – Get into the squatting position by bending your knees and squat down as if you are sitting down in an imaginary chair inside the rack. It is important that you keep your torso upright throughout the entire movement.
Step 4 – Once you reach the bottom of your squat, contract your glutes and push yourself back up to the starting position.
Step 5 – Repeat for the recommended number of times or repetitions (reps).
The exercise can be performed with various weights including barbells, bodyweight and dumbbells, and used with various types of equipment such as the power rack, squat rack, and cable machine.
Sumo Squat Benefits
The sumo squat has been shown to improve overall core stability and turns up the intensity for your inner thigh muscles. This can be particularly effective if you are already lacking strength in these areas. It provides a great amount of resistance for the hamstrings and adductor muscles and put even more emphasis on your abs.
Here are the benefits of doing sumo squats:
- The lower back muscles get strong. This helps you perform better in sports where you need to demonstrate great strength (for example – football, tennis, volleyball). One of the primary muscles is the glutes which strengthen through squats. Your body learns to use them on a regular basis by performing squats daily.
- The hip flexors get stronger. The hip flexors are important for athletes who play jumping sports such as basketball, tennis or volleyball as they help springboard the legs out to maximum force when you run up and jump, or when you take a hit during a game.
- The core is strengthened. This is an important area for athletes. You have to keep your core strong if you are planning to run and jump in sports like basketball, volleyball or soccer. Developing your core will help you stay more balanced when playing these sports.
Sumo Squat Muscles Worked
The glutes and quadriceps muscles are worked to a large extent during the sumo squat but because of the wide stance , a greater emphasis is placed on the adductor muscle (inner thighs) than on the quadriceps.
The hamstrings are also worked to some extent because of their role in knee flexion and hip extension.
Sumo Squat Mistakes
When doing sumo squats be sure to focus on staying as upright as possible and avoid rounding your back. In addition, it is important to avoid mistakes that can lead to injuries
1 – Slouching. Try focusing on keeping a “straight back” so that your shoulders don’t drop when you squat and so that your knees don’t bend inwards too much – this could lead to back injuries. Keep your posture upright throughout the whole movement. This is especially important if you are doing sumo squats with heavier weights or have a long history of knee problems.
2 – Knees buckling inward. Another issue here is knees buckling inward. This can cause knee injuries. So, you should make sure that your knees are pushed outwards while you squat.
3 – Rounding of the back. Another thing to avoid is rounding your back during the sumo squat exercise. Rounding of the back will shift all the weight onto your lower back causing it to become overloaded and inflamed. To avoid rounding of the back, you should be sure to keep your back straight during the entire movement. If you have a long history of lower back issues, it is best to check with your doctor before doing sumo squats.
Safety of Sumo Squatting
The sumo-squat is a very safe exercise that can be performed by almost anyone. However, it is important to note that this exercise should not be performed by those suffering from back problems or knee injuries.
As with all exercises, it is important to warm up and perform the exercise while paying attention to your form and technique. Injuries can occur if you do not warm up before you begin the exercise or if you are using too much weight. For a full range of motion, it is important not only that you focus on your form but also that you keep track of how far your knees are from your chest as this will prevent injury.
Whether you are looking for a great core exercise for regular practice, or for more intense exercise during performance training, the sumo squat is an excellent variation of the back squat because of its strong emphasis on core muscles.
If you are looking for a good core exercise that is challenging but does not require a lot of weight, the sumo squat is an excellent option.
A great weight to add if you want to challenge your back muscles as well as your glutes, the sumo squat can be a good choice.
There are many benefits of performing squats on a regular basis including improving athleticism, increasing strength, muscling up and gaining balance and stability.