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November 07, 2021 9 min read
Every lifter knows about squats. They are considered the best exercises for building muscle and mass. They incorporate every muscle in your legs while also engaging your core. It really is the perfect lower body exercise. But what if we told you there was a way to enhance the squat?
Using what is known as a sumo squat, you can enhance your leg workouts and turn an already amazing lower body exercise into something that’s even more beneficial. Sit tight and we’ll tell you all there is to know about it.
Before we begin, we need to answer this question. Thankfully, it’s easy to answer. A sumo squat is simply a variation of your typical squat where your feet are wider than usual. This provides a few different benefits and changes up what muscles are hit when doing the exercise.
At its core, a sumo squat is still a squat, therefore it's a compound exercise that works quads, hamstrings, glutes, your core, and other accessory muscles in a normal squat. On top of all of these, sumo squats work your adductors and hip flexors.
Of course, your first question must be about the differences between sumo squats and the regular version is. Truth be told, there’s not a whole lot. That being said, there are still some key points that really help make sumos stand out from a standard squat.
Now that you know more about sumo squats and have seen that they have plenty of amazing benefits, let’s show you how to do them.
Like a conventional squat, doing this exercise with good form is crucial, so here are some common mistakes you should look out for. Additionally, you’ll find how to correct them as well.
Like many exercises, the sumo squat has variations that can help to target certain areas better or give you more of a challenge during a workout. Try these out if you want to mix things up or jack up the intensity!
This is a variation we highly recommend for beginners before they start doing barbell sumo squats. The reason is that the movement can be difficult sometimes and it’s very important to really nail down the form before you start loading on the big plates.
For this exercise, all you need to do is follow the steps that we laid out for doing sumo squats, but just don’t use a barbell.
If you want to get an extra core workout in during this exercise, you can try rotating your torso once you lower yourself down. Or, if you want to work your legs even more try slowing down during the entire movement. This will increase the time that your leg muscles are under tension, encouraging more muscle growth.
The sumo squat jack is what you should try out if you want to get a really killer bodyweight workout. As you might’ve guessed, this exercise has you essentially doing a jumping jack while you’re doing your sumo squats. It can be a great way to get some extra cardio in between sets.
For this exercise, all you have to do is spring upwards when you come up from the squat and do a jumping jack. Then, when you come back down, go back into your sumo squat position.
Doing sumo squats with a dumbbell is another great alternative if you can’t do them with a barbell yet, or are looking to take the bodyweight version to the next level. There are two ways that you can do this exercise. You can either use two dumbbells, just one, or even kettlebells.
Either way, all you need to do is hold them in front of you, between your legs and perform a sumo squat. When holding one dumbbell in front of you, this variation is referred to as a goblet sumo squat.
As many lifters may know, there are three main goals that you can strive for when you’re doing weight training. These three goals are strength, hypertrophy, and muscle endurance. What goal you are shooting for will ultimately decide how much weight and how many reps you should be including in your sets.
Because sumo squats can be done in a variety of different ways, you can easily customize the exercise to suit your goals. To help you get started, we’ve set up some recommendations for routines.
In case you didn’t know, muscle hypertrophy is basically when you’re trying to add overall mass and size to your muscles. This style of training is commonly done by bodybuilders. Now, workouts aren’t the only thing you’ll need in order to drive hypertrophy. It’s very important to eat right and increase your protein intake, supplementing it with a protein powder like Whey-ISO.
Anyways, here’s what we recommend for a workout if you’re trying to drive hypertrophy in your muscles:
This is how people like powerlifters will train. Your rep range won’t be as high and you’ll be using heavier weights than when training for hypertrophy. You’ll obviously still see some muscle growth during this type of training but overall you’ll see more gains in terms of how much you can actually lift during these exercises.
Here’s a routine for you to try out for strength training:
Endurance training certainly has a spot in any form of weightlifting. If your muscles don’t get tired as easily, you’ll be able to do more reps and will ultimately have an easier time during your workouts. The only downside about this type of training is that you generally won’t see too much muscle growth if you pursue it. That being said, it’s still important to work on and shouldn’t be neglected.
Here’s a little routine to get you going:
The sumo squat is easily one of the best thigh exercises and is an excellent accessory exercise for any leg or lower body day. It’s perfect for someone looking to strengthen their hip muscles while still being an excellent substitute for a conventional squat.
Not only that, but it can actually be more comfortable for many lifters. We highly recommend this exercise to anyone that’s looking for a new challenge to their lower body!