Squat variations are amazing exercises for your lower body and really, most of your body. When you squat, you’re not only working the majority of the muscles in your legs & butt, you’re also using your core for stabilization and support through the entire movement. When squatting you’re also using some of the biggest muscles in the body which means more work and more burn. So, the squat and all of it’s variations are a big asset to any training program. We’ve already talked about a basic squat and points for good form, today we’re going with another super popular variation, the sumo squat. We’re going to break it down and talk about tips for perfect and getting the most out of your sumo squat.
Having good for is key for a few reasons. It’s going to prevent injuries. When your form is on point, you minimize the risk of straining, pulling or adding extra stress on joints. Good form also helps you to work the muscles you are actually targeting. It’s all too easy to forget form when we get tired and allow other muscles, that we aren’t necessarily meaning to target as a prime mover, to come in and do the work. Focusing on form will help with that!
It’s important to have the basics of good form down with a basic bodyweight sumo squat so that when you want to make the exercises more challenging by adding weight or turning them into plyos, you have a solid foundation for these more challenging variations of the exercise. A great way to practice is seeing yourself in a mirror! You may be doing something you don’t realize!
A sumo squat in words: Start with feet wider than your hips and toes pointed out about 45 degrees. Starting the movement at the hips, sit back and down into a squat in this position. Press back up through the heels and balls of the feet, keeping the weight out of the toes. Knees and toes should be in line when you are at the bottom of your squat.
Keep your chest open: You should be tall through the torso and your chest should be open. If you had something written across your shirt, someone should be able to read it! When we hunch over it shifts our weight out of our heels and into our toes, this adds stress to the knees.
Keep your abs engaged: Pull those abs in! When you remember to keep your abs engaged, it protects your lower back. This is especially important when you start adding weight to your squats.
Keep your knees and toes in line: When you’re at the bottom of your squat, your knees and toes should be pointing the same direction. You don’t want your knees coming in and toes pointing out or vice versa. They should line up to both point the same way.
Keep your weight out of your toes: Just like in a basic squat, you want your weight to be out of your toes. You want to sit back into your heels and press up through your heels as much as possible (balls of your feet are fine as well but really shifting that weight back). If you have trouble with this, try to keep your big toes lifted through the movement.
We are all built differently: Each one of us is built slightly differently. We all have different bone, muscles, ligament, and everything else lengths (not sure that’s grammatically correct :D). This means that each of our sumo squats may look slightly different as far as foot placement goes. Some people may be comfortable slightly wider or narrower. As long as you are keeping your form in mind, your exact foot position can be adjusted slightly to what’s most comfortable for you.
So, there you have it! A sumo squat in words and video tutorials! I hope I was helpful for you! 🙂 Let me know if there are any exercises you’d like done next!
Sweat, Smile, Repeat!