Add this squat variation to your lower-body routine, and reap the lower-body benefits.

By Lauren Mazzo
Updated: May 10, 2018

It goes without saying: Squats are great. The classic lower-body exercise is an essential functional movement pattern not only for maintaining strong legs but for making it through life injury-free. But only doing regular squats is like going your whole life only drinking one kind of smoothie-it'll get the job done, but you're missing out on the awesome benefits (and fun!) of all the other variations.

Enter, the sumo squat: the super-wide version of the basic bodyweight squat demonstrated here by NYC-based trainer Rachel Mariotti. It's one of many squat variations you can add to your lower-body workout routine-but one of the most worthwhile. Here's why.

Sumo Squat Benefits and Variations

"The sumo squat is a great lower-body strength exercise that emphasizes the muscles of the inner thigh, as well as the glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves," says Lisa Niren, head instructor for Studio.

It's a surprise core exercise too. "Based on your core strength, you might find the sumo squat adds an additional challenge to your balance because your body is in a different alignment and needs extra stability to keep from moving forward and back on the heels," says Niren.

Once you've mastered the bodyweight version, you can load it up. Choose between weights (dumbbells or kettlebells) either in a racked position (in front of/over your shoulders) or use one weight and hold it with both hands hanging between your legs, says Christi Marraccini, trainer at NEO U in New York City. As you become more comfortable with the sumo squat, you can load up a barbell and perform them the same way you would do a barbell back squat. Bonus: You can likely handle even heavier weight in a sumo squat than a traditional squat.

For an added bonus (or to make it harder when you're at home or don't have weights), loop a mini resistance band around both legs just above the knee, says Heidi Jones, Fortë trainer and founder of Squad WOD. (Then bang out these other lower-body resistance band exercises.)

How to Do a Sumo Squat

A. Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out at about 45 degrees.

B. Inhale to sit hips back and lower into a squat, clasping hands in front of chest, keeping core engaged and back neutral.

C. Pause at the bottom, when hips are in line with knees or when form starts to break. Shins should be vertical and knees should be tracking over (but past) toes.

D. Exhale to press into heels and outer edge of foot to stand.

Do 12 to 15 reps at a medium weight. Try 4 sets.

Sumo Squat Form Tips

  • Make sure knees don't cave in and heels don't come off of the floor. (If this happens, you are going too low.)
  • If weight is in the racked position, keep elbows up. If weight is between legs, keep chest up.
Advertisement


Comments (5)

Anonymous
March 17, 2019
It's been a year since my husband practically threw me away like GARBAGE for being too fat and disgusting, as he called me.And that’s when I decided I’d had enough… No matter what it took I was going to look great! The first thing I wanted to do was to get rid of cellulite. After much trial and error, I finally found a program that taught me the correct body movements to stimulate all 90 muscles of my lower body and the right way to optimize my hormones through nutrient balance. The end result is astonishing. Cellulite is gone.The firmness and tightness of my body is something I've never felt before.I feel proud of myself. And so can you... Visit ==> http://bit.ly/cellulitefreenow
Anonymous
February 1, 2019
In my experience, any safe and effective short term rapid fat loss diet plan has some necessary ingredients. If you want to see the fastest fat loss results, then you have to dramatically reduce the amount of calories you’re eating. The other thing you must be concerned with when dieting is protecting your lean muscle mass. If you’re doing a period of hard dieting, you want to maintain that lean muscle at all costs. Ignoring this rule is one of the main causes of rebound weight gain. With this program, you’re going to know the pros and cons of bodyweight exercises and whether they’re suitable to your goals. Here’s why this program is your best choice to get started today. Check out this >> https://bit.ly/bodyweightprogram
Anonymous
December 18, 2018
Great workout, but did you know that the female lower body has 9 times more Alpha (fat storing) than Beta (fat-burning) receptors? So, every time a Beta receptor tries to release fat, it has to fight 9 Alpha receptors that try to store fat back in. That's why it's so difficult to sculpt the lower body. I really struggled with my pear-shaped body, until i found a way to reduce estrogen dominance. Read my story here ==> http://bit.ly/aboutmyweightloss
Anonymous
October 30, 2018
A very useful Workout Program for Women is http://bit.ly/2oGlztV
stefwdoll
May 12, 2018
Shouldn't the How To Do A Sumo Squat (C) say "not past knees" instead of "but"?