Regular squats are great but in some situations making modifications can be good too. Find out what benefits sumo squats offer.
Keep in mind that the same resistance training fundamentals still apply when doing sumo squats. That means you need to do enough repetitions with enough resistance to see certain results.
1. Sumo squats work certain muscles more
Sumo squats are a strength training exercise you do to grow, strengthen, and/or improve endurance in certain muscles.
In turn, this leads to a variety of health and visual benefits.
There are two ways to look at this aspect of sumo squats.
First of all, you can look at all the muscles you work with this exercise in the list below. After that, I will mention what the difference is with regular squats.
- Quadriceps (front thighs)
- Hip adductors (inner thighs)
- Glutes (butt)
- Hamstrings (back thighs)
- Erector spinae (lower back)
Compared to regular squats, sumo squats will focus slightly more on your inner thigh muscles and slightly less on your lower back, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings (1).
How many sumo squats you should do depends on what fitness components you want to train in your muscles.
For example, to really grow your quadriceps and inner thigh muscles, you want to do 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 15 sumo squats with a resistance where you can barely complete the repetitions.
If you have good cardiovascular health, you may even be able to see this result with higher-repetition bodyweight sumo squat workouts.
That being said, since the muscles you work with this exercise are relatively strong, you likely want to do weighted sumo squats with options like a barbell, weighted vest, dumbbells, etc. to see more and faster results.
2. Sumo squats could be more comfortable
Squats are a great compound leg exercise because they allow you to work a variety of muscles to a large extent.
However, one disadvantage of squats, especially certain weighted versions, is that some people find them too uncomfortable in areas like their lower backs.
One of the benefits of sumo squats is that they could be somewhat more comfortable in this area.
Because of the wide stance you take with your legs, sumo squats make it easier to keep your upper body upright without losing balance.
In turn, this makes it easier to keep your spine straight and the exercise puts less pressure on your lower back.
Keep in mind that this also has an opportunity cost.
By working your lower back less, you should also expect sumo squats to strengthen this area less than something like a regular back squat.
3. Sumo squats can improve flexibility and mobility
You can describe flexibility as the range of motion your muscles can comfortably go through. Mobility is something similar but in your joints and tendons.
Regular squats can help improve these fitness components in certain areas too but the sumo version could be even better for some reasons.
When you do regular squats and really lower your hips, you will likely get to a point where you have to bend your lower back to be able to go farther down without losing balance.
Many people stop at this point in the squat because they want to avoid this bending.
However, due to the shape of hip bones, pointing your upper leg bones more outward in sumo squats often allows you to go lower without encountering the spine bending from above.
Additionally, you will likely feel your inner thigh muscles stretching when doing sumo squats.
These things make it so sumo squats can benefit flexibility and mobility just a bit more.
In turn, this can help reduce your injury risk and the risk of falling down.
4. Sumo squat workouts can be time-efficient
Many people get the impression that getting and staying in shape is a full-time job.
Luckily, this is often not the case. Even relatively short workouts can often offer many benefits. This especially applies to resistance training exercises like sumo squats.
To grow and strengthen muscles you just have to pressure them with enough resistance and do enough repetitions.
This does still take some time to do but as you can see from the rep and set ranges from a previous benefit, you should be able to complete these relatively quickly.
Especially if you do sumo squats with weights.
It is worth briefly mentioning that this also applies to many sumo squat alternatives. You don’t necessarily have to stick to this exercise to save yourself time.
5. Sumo squats can help you lose weight
Many people turn to cardiovascular workouts like running to lose weight but resistance training exercises like sumo squats can actually help a lot with this too.
First of all, doing sumo squats will burn more calories than regular daily activities. Especially if you do them with something like a heavy barbell on your back.
Secondly, doing sumo squats in an effective routine can help you build a nice amount of muscle mass since the quadriceps are relatively big muscles.
Because your weight influences how many calories you burn a lot, adding healthy mass with sumo squats will help you use up more energy throughout the day and your other workouts.
One important thing to note is that losing weight is often not only about the workouts you do. You may need to keep an eye on other lifestyle habits like your diet too.
6. Sumo squats can improve athletic performance
It is easy to see how doing a sport more often can help you become better at it.
However, not everyone realizes that you can also see big improvements by doing other exercises and workouts.
More specifically, sumo squats can help you grow, strengthen, improve endurance in, and improve power in your quadriceps.
These things tend to improve your performance in things like running.
The extra inner thigh training from sumo squats can also be helpful for sports that require a lot of hip adduction movements (moving your leg from the outside to the center).
For example, taking short turns while running will often involve your inner thigh muscles a good amount.
In short, doing sumo squats in a good routine can help improve your athletic performance. Mostly in sports where you benefit from fast running and being able to take short turns well.