You can never go wrong with adding some variation to your leg day. Your legs are the largest muscle group in the body, which includes your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. While the front and back squat are highly effective for building strength and size, the sumo squat can target the inner thighs in addition to the glutes and quads adding a valuable accessory movement to develop your lower body.
What Is Sumo Squat
Sumo squat is a functional strength training movement and a variation of the traditional squat. Sumo squat differs from the front squat or back squat in positioning, muscles worked, and load. The key difference in the sumo squat, is that you take a wider stance, with your feet turned out. While the sumo squat still works the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, the positioning stimulates the inner thighs as well.
Sumo Squat Muscles Worked
Sumo squat works all the same muscles as a traditional back squat in the lower body and extremities, like the hamstrings, quads, calves, glutes, core, and hip stabilizers. The sumo squat, however, emphasizes the inner thighs as opposed to the traditional front or back squat.
Sumo squat also puts emphasis on the adductors. As the name aptly suggests, the adductors are a group of muscles that function primarily to adduct the femur at the hip joint, which run along the inner thigh.
Sumo Squat Benefits
1. Lower Body Strength
With the sumo squat and squats in general you’re targeting all the major muscles groups in your lower body. Squat has been shown to be one of the best compound movements to build more muscles mass and strength. As a bilateral structured movement, the sumo squat develops full body strength, and demand a strong posterior chain, hamstrings, quads, and a relative amount of midline stability as well as ankle mobility.
2. Mobility And Balance
Because the sumo squat is a functional compound movement, it builds strength with purpose that mimics human movement. Sumo squat places more emphasis on midline stability and strength, improving mobility, posture, and balance. Not to mention, more functional strength also translates to better athletic performance in performing heavier loaded barbell movements. The sumo squat is a highly effective accessory movement to incrementally build more raw power and strength, in addition to mobility.
3. Better Body Composition
By now, it’s no secret that the key to body optimization and fat loss is resistance training. Cardio takes the glory, however more lean muscle mass on your frame, will burn more calories at rest, increasing you bodies thermic effect resulting in less body fat and more lean mass. Squats in general require more intensity and max effort which will burn more calories than steady state cardio any day.
How To Sumo Squat
- The conventional way to perform a sumo squat is with a single dumbbell, or kettlebell.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width with your feet pointed at a 45 degree angle.
- Holding a dumbbell from the top on one end, push your hips back and squat down slowly, keeping your upper back straight and chest open and up.
- Pushing through your heels, engage your core and come down until the dumbbell slightly touches the ground, or until your legs are parallel to the floor.
- Pause, then push back through your heels, chest up and core braced.
- Repeat for as many reps as needed.
Sumo Squats: Takeaway
Sumo squats provide more variation and flexibility in your lower body training split. They can help you improve functional strength, mobility, posture, and incrementally add size and strength. If you want to build those glutes, hamstrings, and quads, you'll want to add the sumo squat to your training program.
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