Sumo Squats: How To, Muscles Worked,…

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Changing the positions and angles of your body parts can change exercises. Find out how to do sumo squats and what effects they cause.

Sumo squats are a variation of regular squats where you put your feet wider than usual and point them more outward.

This modification puts slightly more focus on your inner thigh muscles compared to regular squats.

Additionally, you may find it easier to keep your spine straight, keep your upper body upright, and squat deeper by doing the sumo version.

In short, sumo squats can be a good exercise for growing and strengthening your quadriceps (front thighs) and hip adductors (inner thighs).

Especially if you find it more comfortable than the regular version (in a good way).

Keep in mind that many people will have to do sumo squats with weights to be able to pressure the muscles enough for these goals.

How to do a sumo squat

Resistance training beginners can start with bodyweight sumo squats but many people will want to use some form of weights.

That aside, take the following steps to do a bodyweight sumo squat:

  1. Stand up straight with your feet wider than shoulder width. Point your feet outward at about 45-degree angles.
  2. Slowly lower your body as far as comfortable by folding your legs. Keep your knees above your feet and your spine straight.
  3. Raise your body in a controlled motion until your legs are slightly less than stretched.
How to do a sumo squat

Exactly how wide your sumo squats should be depends on details like your training goals, preferences, and body proportions.

That being said, there is not really a perfect width. As long as you pay attention to keeping your knees above your feet and spine straight sumo squats can be a great exercise.

Muscles worked with sumo squats

Some of the primary muscles worked with sumo squats include:

  • Quadriceps (front thighs)
  • Hip adductors (inner thighs)

Some of the secondary muscles worked with sumo squats include:

  • Glutes (butt)
  • Hamstrings (back thighs)
  • Calves
  • Erector spinae (lower back)

Something to note is that you still want to do sumo squats in the right rep and set ranges with enough resistance to see results.

Exactly how many sumo squats you should do depends on things like what you are trying to achieve.

That being said, for a popular goal like growing your quadriceps and inner thigh muscles, you want to do about 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 15 sumo squats with challenging weights.

For many people, this will mean doing one of the weighted variations like sumo squats with dumbbells.

What equipment choice is the best for you depends on what you have available and what you are trying to achieve.

Benefits of sumo squats

On top of the benefits of regular squats, sumo squats offer a few other potential advantages.

A few of these more unique benefits of sumo squats include:

  1. More inner thigh focus: By putting your feet wider apart, your inner thigh muscles will be responsible for more of the upward force. This can be a benefit for certain people.
  2. Can help you squat deeper: Due to the shape of your hip bones, putting your feet wider apart can make it easier to squat deeper without bending your spine. This can be especially good for weighted sumo squat variations.
  3. Sumo squats can be more comfortable: Making it easier to keep your spine straight can also make sumo squats more comfortable in this area than the regular version.

These benefits make it so sumo squats can definitely be worth it for certain people and situations. You can give this squat variation a try to see how much you like it.

Sumo squat alternatives

Sumo squats can definitely be a great exercise option but you may want to know what similar exercises there are available. Some of these sumo squat alternatives are:

  • Regular squats
  • Weighted leg adductions
  • Step-ups
  • Frog jumps
  • Jump lunges
  • Front squats
  • Safety bar squats

Why you are interested in sumo squats and why you decided you don’t love them will influence what alternatives align the best with your situation.

Are sumo squats a good exercise?

Sumo squats are a good exercise for growing and strengthening your quadriceps (front thighs) and hip adductors (inner thighs).

Many people will find that putting their feet somewhat wider apart will make the squat exercise more comfortable on their lower back and makes it easier to squat deeper.

You do still want to keep in mind that you will likely need to make the bodyweight version harder with squat equipment to actually grow and strengthen the strong quadricep muscles.

It is also worth mentioning that there are many other great compound leg exercises. If you don’t like sumo squats, you can also go for one of these alternatives.


What are sumo squats good for?

Sumo squats are good for working your inner thigh muscles more, squatting deeper, and making it easier to keep your spine straight in the squat exercise.

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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.