How Wide Is A Sumo Squat? (& Can It Vary)

Photo of author
Published On

Sumo squats are a variation where you put your feet wider than usual. Find out how wide your foot position should be to get the different effects.

There is no official definition but a sumo squat is typically done with your feet slightly wider than shoulder/hip width apart.

In more precise numbers, this will generally be around 1.6 to 2.3 feet (50 to 70 cm) from heel to heel.

The lengths of human bones often vary so the exact distances in inches, feet, and centimeters will often be different for different people.

This wider sumo stance is generally considered to work your inner thighs more and lower back muscles less compared to a regular squat (although EMG measurements do not always find the same).

The wider you put your feet, the more the different muscle engagement effects will apply.

How far apart are your legs for sumo squats?

When it comes to exercises like sumo squats, there are often no precise amounts of inches or centimeters you have to keep your body parts apart.

This is mainly because not all human bodies are the same. Even if two people are the same height, the lengths of certain bones can vary.

That is why exercise walkthroughs of sumo squats offer the relatively vague advice of keeping your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and pointing your feet outward.

In practice, this will be a distance of about 1.6 to 2.3 feet (50 to 70 cm) from heel to heel. However, this is still a relatively big range.

Additionally, even if some people would not consider it to be a sumo squat anymore, you could put your feet even wider than that if it aligns with your personal preferences, training goals, and personal capacities.

What is the difference between sumo squats and regular squats?

The main difference between sumo squats and regular squats in terms of the movement you do is the position of your feet. Sumo squats will involve the wider stance described.

In terms of muscles worked, sumo squats are generally considered to work the inner thigh muscles more and erector spinae (lower back muscles) less.

That being said, some EMG activation studies only find significant differences in gluteus maximus (butt) engagement (1). More specifically, that wider sumo squats work this muscle more.

Are wide squats and sumo squats the same?

The definitions of exercises are not always that precise and the same applies here.

Many people will consider wide squats and sumo squats to be the same.

On the flip side, you could also consider sumo squats to be a variation where your feet are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and wide squats as anything wider than that.

In the end, these are just definitions to put names on certain movements.

You generally want to focus more on the effects these stances will have, whether you want to implement them, and exactly how wide you should put your feet to reach your training goals and satisfy your personal preferences.

Photo of author


Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.