If you’re looking for a total body workout, the sumo squat is exactly what you need. This squat variation targets your hamstrings and quadriceps more than any other leg exercise. It also activates your glutes and chest as stabilizers. Below we’ll talk about the muscles worked during this movement, as well as how they can be activate to get the most out of this move!
The Sumo Squat Works Your:
- Gluteus Maximus
- Gluteus Medius
- Gluteus Minimus
- Erector Spinae
The Sumo squat is a compound exercise that utilises most of the lower body muscles. While it can be done with weights, it is a great exercise to target specific muscle groups without the aid of a gym. Below are the main muscles worked during this squat variation:
This is your glutes, which is involved in hip extension and stabilisation. It’s activated during the descent of the movement, where the hips move backwards. Your Glutes can be made to work harder by taking a wider stance. This gives them more leverage, and force the hip extensor muscles to work harder.
This is a muscle in your thighs, which helps to stabilise and extend the knee. During the sumo squat, the quads are activated when you push through your heels and extend at the knee. The Quads are used the most during the concentric portion of the movement.
These are another group of muscles in your thighs that help to extend the knee. They are activated during the concentric portion of the movement, where the knees begin to extend and flex. During the descent, you’ll want to keep your knees slightly bent to avoid over-extending your hamstrings.
This is another muscle in your butt that is involved in stabilisation of your lower body. It’s activated at the beginning of the movement when you begin to squat down, and help to control the hip from buckling so that it doesn’t move too far forward. It’s also involved in the anti-extension of your hips, which helps inhibit any forward movement at the hips.
This is the last muscle in your butt that helps stabilize your body while you’re squatting. It’s activated during both phases of the movement, but is especially effective during the descent.
This is a muscle that is opposite to another muscle, or antagonist in this case, and as such is used to prevent something from happening. In the case of squats, your antagonist are your hip flexors. They are a group of muscles in your upper and lower body that allows you to flex at the hips. These muscles are used as stabilisers and prevent your hips from buckling forward
This is a group of muscles on your back that are responsible for controlling your movement, particularly your spine. They are used as a stabiliser throughout the entire movement to prevent you from fully extending your body.
These are the muscles that run along your upper back and allow you to shrug and lift your shoulders. They are activated during the ascent of the movement, and help to propel you upwards.
With all of this information, you now know how to perform the sumo squat properly. Below I’ve provided a step-by-step guide on how to perform it.
Warming up To Prevent Injury
Warming up for the sumo squat is very important if you want to avoid injury. Before you start a workout, or lift any weights, it’s vital that you do some sort of warm up to ensure your muscles are ready to go. Warming up also helps to keep your body more flexible and relaxed, which can prevent injury.
Here are some great warm up exercises for squatting:
First, follow this basic warm up routine to get your muscles ready for the workout.
After a few minutes of light cardio, work out your quads with leg presses. This will warm up your backside, and provide extra stability for your core muscles.
Next, you should perform some glute extensions. Perform situps until you’re really warmed up, then move on to glute-ham raises. Doing this will work out the muscle groups that are most active during the movement.
Finally, you want to perform hamstring curls. This will help to warm up your hamstrings, and teach you how to activate these muscles properly.
As you can see, there are many different ways in which we can warm up for the sumo squat. When warming use light weights with 15-20 reps. The aim of the warm up is not to exhaust your muscles or to tire them out, but merely to get them ready for the workout ahead.
How To Do The Sumo Squat
Step 1: Start by standing with your feet wider than shoulder width apart. As we mentioned earlier, this will allow more leverage for your hips and glutes, which gives you more power to lift. It is also important that you have a solid base. When you squat, you should be standing on a flat surface that does not move.
Step 2: Once you are set up, lower yourself down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Be sure to keep your knees unlocked throughout the movement. The knees should always track over the toes.
Step 3: Now push upwards to return to the standing position. Try to keep your torso upright, and only bend at the hips. Your knees will extend first, followed by your hips and then your back, as if you are trying to touch them together. You should never fully straighten out your back during a squat, and you shouldn’t have that spinal extension in your spine either.
Step 4: Now that you’ve completed one rep, you can now perform the movement again. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect! The more you practice, the easier it will become. If you start to feel strain in your knees, back or ankles, stop and try again later.
Wrapping It Up
The Sumo squat is a great exercise that we can all use to improve our fitness and health. It is also very beneficial for anyone who is involved in sports such as football, rugby and soccer because it builds up your strength, stability and power. It also helps to strengthen your core and prevent injury, which is why it has become so popular lately with athletes.
To get started, you must have an accurate understanding of the muscles involved, their activation and the correct technique. After doing this, then you can be sure that when you’re performing this movement for the first time, you’ll be doing it correctly.