If you’ve been around the fitness industry for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard of sumo squats. Sumo squats are a great exercise to mix into your leg training routine, but they’re not exactly like regular squats. But what are sumo squats, and which muscles do they work?
Sumo squats are a type of squat that is done with the feet farther apart than shoulder width and the toes pointed out. This exercise is often used to target the hips, glutes, and inner thighs.
Which Muscles Do They Work?
Sumo squats are an awesome exercise. But what do they do? What do they work? Like most exercises, they provide a whole host of fitness and health benefits. I’m going to break down the top five muscles that sumo squats work.
Sumo squats work quadriceps by activating the muscle fibers in the thighs. The quadriceps are comprised of four muscles on the front of the thigh – the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius and rectus femoris. When these muscles are activated, they work together to extend the leg and bend the knee. This motion is what causes you to squat down and rise back up. Sumo squats are a great way to target the quadriceps, as they require more activation than traditional squats.
Gluteal muscles are those which are down to the pelvis and comprise three individual muscles: gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. The largest of the three is the gluteus maximus, which is responsible for extension, lateral rotation and posterior movement of the hip joint as well as abduction of the thigh. In English, it acts as a main muscle behind our walks, runs and lunges.
Sumo squats work the gluteal muscles by activating them as you lower your body and then press back up to the starting position. Additionally, the range of motion involved in sumo squats targets the gluteal muscles more than other squat variations.
Hamstrings are three muscles located in the back of your thigh and is a very important muscle in our body which works together with quadriceps muscle to flex, extend and rotate our knee joint. This muscle is responsible for bending forward or back at the knees (flexing or extending) while moving one’s legs backward sharply. Hamstring muscles also help us to move thighs and pelvis in the opposite direction.
Sumo squats work the hamstrings by contracting them as you lower your body down and then extend them as you press back up to the start position.
Inner thigh muscles are a pair of muscles that make up a part of the posterior thigh. These muscles are located closer to the pelvic bone when compared to the outer thigh muscle group. The larger of the two inner thigh muscles is known as the adductor group. This group consists of four main muscles and plays a vital role in knee stabilization and hip movements.
Sumo squats work the inner thigh muscles by contracting them as you bend your knees and lower your body towards the floor. The inner thigh muscles are responsible for knee flexion and hip abduction, which are both movements needed to do a sumo squat.
How To Do Sumo Squats
- Start with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointed out.
- Bend your knees and hinge at your hips to sit back into the squat.
- Keep your chest up and your spine straight as you squat down.
- Drive through your heels to stand back up to the starting position.
In short, sumo squats are a great exercise for your legs. Squatting with a wide stance increases your range of motion and puts more emphasis on your inner thighs and glutes. What’s more, it targets the same muscles as other variations, but without the risk of injury. If you conduct this exercise properly and if you do it regularly, you can change your body to be more muscular. And putting on muscle mass is important if you are trying to improve your overall strength. If you want to go beyond weightlifting and incorporate some bodyweight exercises into your workout routine, then sumo squats are a great way to do so.