How To Do Sumo Squats

Squats are a very effective and common exercise. They are the ideal lower body exercise, however after a while the standard squat can become quite boring to keep doing. You can tweak the squat to target different muscle groups. Sumo squats are one of the popular squat variations. 

What are sumo squats? It is a sophisticated exercise that uses your bodyweight to activate muscle groups in the lower body, particularly the glutes and inner thighs. A lot of people don’t think about their inner thighs when it comes to exercising.

However, working your inner thigh muscles will help you have that behind you have been working so hard for.

How To Do Sumo Squats

What Muscles Are Being Worked?

When performing sumo squats, you are working multiple muscle groups. The main muscles you are working are the following:

  • Inner thighs
  • Hips
  • Glute Muscles
  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps

You can also check out this article to better understand what sumo squats work and how you can avoid injuries from doing it. 

Method

  • Step 1: Start in a standing position with your feet apart. Your feet should be wider than your hip width apart.
  • Step 2: Your toes should be slightly angled away from the body. Try aiming for 45 degree angles.
  • Step 3: Time to squat! Slowly bend your knees and hips into a squat. Remember to keep your back straight. Avoid letting your knees go out beyond your toes. Also, avoid leaning your upper body forward as you squat. You should bring your butt below your knees.
  • Step 4: Straight your legs, until you're back in your standing position. Make sure that you aren’t lifting your feet off the ground.
  • Begin with 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.

Weighted Sumo Squat

The normal sumo squat might be a little easy for you, or you have worked it enough that now you want a little more of a challenge. The way to do this is by adding some weight. It is up to you how you want to add this weight.

However, we would suggest the weight is added in the form of holding a dumbbell or a kettlebell with both hands. As a result, the weight is in front of you hanging down towards the floor.

The method is pretty much the same as the original. Except this time you have something to hold onto.

Also, with the weight you will be able to know if you are going deep enough with your squat. The weight should almost touch the ground while you are squatting down.

Sumo Squat To Kettlebell Swing

Once you have completed the weighted sumo squat, you can combine the exercise with a kettlebell swing.

It is worth noting that the kettlebell will have to be the weight that you are using as the weight, even when completing the sumo squat.

Method

  • Step 1: Start in a standing position with your feet apart. Your feet should be wider than your hip width apart.
  • Step 2: Your toes should be slightly angled away from the body. Try aiming for 45 degree angles. The kettlebell should be held with both of your hands.
  • Step 3: Time to squat! Slowly bend your knees and hips into a squat. Remember to keep your back straight. Avoid letting your knees go out beyond your toes. Also, avoid leaning your upper body forward as you squat. You should bring your butt below your knees. The kettlebell should almost be touching the ground.
  • Step 4: Now you are in this squat, begin swinging the kettlebell back and forth between your legs.
  • Step 5: Thrust your hips forward and swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height as you stand back up straight.
  • Step 6: Once stood back in your starting position, swing the kettlebell back down.

Sumo Jump Squat

You may not have any weights but want to increase the difficulty of this squat. This is where the jumping sumo squat comes in. This exercise also increases your heart rate due to the jumping.

Sumo Jump Squat

Method

  • Step 1: Start in a standing position with your feet apart. Your feet should be wider than your hip width apart.
  • Step 2: Your toes should be slightly angled away from the body. Try aiming for 45 degree angles.
  • Step 3: Time to squat! Slowly bend your knees and hips into a squat. Remember to keep your back straight. Avoid letting your knees go out beyond your toes. Also, avoid leaning your upper body forward as you squat. You should bring your butt below your knees.
  • Step 4: Now drive and jump straight back up.
  • Step 5: Land softly, on your feet in your original standing position.
  • Step 6: Repeat and go into another squat.

Why Is It Called A Sumo Squat?

Squats are included in most workouts, and especially for those of you who enjoy toning. This exercise is called the sumo squat, due to the similarity this squat has with the pre-match posturing of professional Japanese wrestlers. The much wider stance has similarities with these Japanese wrestlers.

Benefits Of Sumo Squats

The benefits of the sumo squat are very similar to traditional squats. They help build up your strength and involve a large amount of muscle groups. Squats in general demand a large amount of blood flow, so they give you a little cardio burst.

They are the ideal no-impact choice for an exercise to get the heart pumping at the start of a workout.

Squats burn a lot of calories and increase your metabolic rate. Which then in turn helps the body burn even more calories. This is ideal for anyone who is looking to lose some weight.

However, sumo squats also have their own benefits that you don’t receive from normal traditional squats.

As your legs are spread much further apart, the inner thighs are worked a lot more. By having this larger stance, this is a position our body isn't used to. This then helps with hip mobility.

Alongside this, the wider stance is great for stability and balance. The torso doesn't have to shift as far forward as you do with a traditional squat.

Therefore, the sumo squat is much easier to perform. Yet the wider stance can be difficult for people to find their balance if they aren’t used to the strange foot position.

Final Thoughts

Squats are the ideal exercise you should be performing to help strengthen your body. All types of squats target various different muscle groups with just one exercise.

The sumo squat is slightly more effective than a traditional squat, because it provides more benefits and incorporates your inner thigh muscles as well. The sumo squat is an effective lower body strength exercise.

There are ways to advance this exercise if you need more of a challenge. However, you shouldn’t push yourself too hard, otherwise that could result in injury.

Kevin Harris
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