Leg day is the hardest part of your fitness routine. This day is vital as your full lower body muscles are trained. Targeting your legs with the most effective moves can help you not only in the gym but also in your everyday life. Adding the best exercises to your leg workout is very important for properly training your lower body muscles. Doing squats is one of the most effective ways to achieve this goal. The traditional squats exercise is one of the three lifts of powerlifting. This move targets the major leg muscles and requires no equipment. Although the standard squats are great at their job sometimes you need variety to keep your workout exciting. Sumo squats are one such variation that is similar to regular exercise with a bit different in the position of your feet.
This exercise targets your adductors (inner thighs) more effectively than other variations of squats. During the sumo squats your feet are placed at a wider stance for better stability. Wide stance also focuses on your adductors better than standard squats. Working your adductors is essential as it’s responsible for the movement of your torso and knees.
Below you can take a look at everything that you need to know about sumo squats. It includes the golden benefits, step-by-step guide, and variations.
Benefits Of Sumo Squats
Performing the sumo squats with the right technique is essential for getting the most out of it. Below are some of the major benefits of adding this exercise to your workout routine. The following benefits are genuine and backed by scientific research.
Can Be Performed Anywhere Without Any Equipment
Sumo squats don’t require any equipment as it’s effective with your body weight. This makes it accessible to everyone regardless of their fitness level. You can also do this move at your home or anywhere it’s comfortable. The traditional sumo squats increase the range of motion which results in greater mobility of your joints. To add some resistance to the standard exercise, you can use a resistance band around your legs or hold a dumbbell or kettlebell.
Primarily Targets Your Adductors (Inner Thighs)
The muscles involved in the movement of sumo squats are the quadriceps, glutes, and core. This compound behavior helps in training these large muscle groups which result in better muscle growth. The wide stance of this squat variation primarily targets your inner thighs also known as the adductors. Sumo squats engage your adductors more than any other variations of the standard squats. Training this muscle group is important as it helps in the stability of your lower body. Better stability also helps in preventing lower back pain.
Engages Your Core Muscles
During this exercise, your core is engaged to stabilize the movement. Due to the wide stance of sumo squats, it requires more stability and support than traditional squats. Working your core is beneficial for doing other exercises and sports activities. Strong abdominal muscles help in preventing lower back pain and doing daily activities more efficiently. Training your core also improves your form and delivers a strong posture.
Many Variations To Perform
Doing the sumo squats regularly delivers amazing results but may not challenge your body as before. It’s necessary to add some variety to your workout routine to keep it challenging. There are many variations of sumo squats that you can try like goblet squats, weighted sumo squats, and sumo jump squats. Unlike sumo squats, some of these variations require equipment like a dumbbell or kettlebell for increasing resistance. These advanced variants target your lower body muscles more effectively than
Step By Step Instructions
The steps given below helps in doing the sumo squats with correct form. Following this step by step guide will help in improving your form and reducing the risk of injuries.
1. Start this move by placing your feet slightly wider than the traditional squats exercise. Your toes should be pointing out and away from the center of your body. Keep your back straight and chest up. Engage your core muscles and look in the forward direction. Hold your hands together in front of your chest.
2. Lower your body by bending your knees and moving back your hips into a squat position. Maintain a strong posture by keeping your back straight throughout the movement. Also, Keep your feet flat for maximum support. Breathe in while lowering your body.
3. Hold the position when your thighs are parallel to the ground. Push your feet and raise your body back to the starting position. Breathe out while raising your body. If the parallel is too low then you can bring your feet one or two inches together to maintain the leg alignment. This is one repetition of the sumo squats.
4. For normal intensity, try doing 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions. For beginners start with 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions and keep increasing the number of repetitions as you master the exercise. You can also add additional weights like dumbbells or kettlebells for higher intensity.
Below are some of the tips that’ll help you do this exercise more effectively. These tips help prevent common mistakes and reduce the risk of injuries.
1. If you’re a beginner, master the form before adding additional resistance. The sumo squats are very effective with just your body weight. Doing this exercise with high repetitions will help in building the foundational strength for doing advanced variations.
2. Keep your feet planted flat on the ground and don’t lift your heels throughout the movement. While lowering your body, don’t cave in your knees towards the center. Lower your glutes instead of bending your knees beyond the level of your feet. This puts stress on your joints and results in injuries.
3. Maintain a strong form by keeping your torso upright and core engaged. If you’re using a dumbbell or kettlebell for adding resistance then make sure to select the weights according to your strength. If the weights are pulling you forward then use lighter weights for better stability and balance.
4. While doing the sumo squats, keep your feet 3-4 inches wider than the width of your shoulders. A wider stance requires higher flexibility and strength. Gradually increase the distance between your feet as you master the exercise and your hips become enough flexible.
Variations Of Sumo Squats
There are many variations of the sumo squats that’ll give some variety to your workout routine. Below are some of the best variants of this exercise to try.
Like sumo squats, goblet squats also train your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and abdominal muscles. This variant is commonly performed using a dumbbell or kettlebell for additional resistance. Adding goblet squats to your workout will help in toning your leg muscles. This exercise is performed with a slightly wider stance than traditional squats but narrow than sumo squats. If you’re a beginner, practicing without weights is recommended to improve your form.
Weighted Sumo Squats
When you master the standard bodyweight version of the sumo squats then try adding weights to the exercise. You can do this by holding a dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest. When lowering your body with external weights keep your core engaged to support the movement. Use the weights according to your strength as too heavy can affect your form. Keep increasing the intensity as you get comfortable with the initial weights.
Sumo Squats Jump
This dynamic variation is helpful for people who don’t have any equipment but want to increase the intensity of the exercise. Sumo jump squats are a plyometric exercise that develops the explosive strength and endurance of your leg muscles. Instead of lifting your body to standing, you’ll drive straight up to perform a jump. Try to land softly and keep a slight bend in your knees while jumping. Adding a jump at the end increases your heart rate and helps in burning a large number of calories.
Doing compound exercises like sumo squats that activate your major lower body muscles helps in improving your athletic performance. Sumo squats focus on your adductors (inner thighs) better than other variations of the standard squat exercise. This move also targets your glutes and core which gives you better stability and balance. Training these muscles supports your body while doing weight-lifting exercises. Doing the sumo squats with the correct form delivers the desired results while making everyday activities easier to do.
If you’re new to this exercise then it’s recommended to master the bodyweight version before adding weights. Also, perform this exercise under the supervision of a certified trainer to make sure you’re doing it correctly. After adding this move to your workout routine you’ll notice the results are quite different than the standard squats.