Squats. They’re a staple to every workout. You bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair, you stand back up. It’s as easy as that. But is it really? Did you know that with the smallest modifications, it becomes a whole new exercise? Today, we’re taking a look at one of the most common variations of the squat; the sumo squat.
The difference between a traditional squat and a sumo squat is the distance between the feet. Rather than starting with your feet at shoulder width apart, your feet will now stretch out past hips-distance into a wide stance. With this wide stance, the feet will slightly externally rotate to allow the ankles uninhibited range of motion. The squat movement will then remain the same. A solid breath in helps to lower your body down until your knees reach a 90 degree angle, then exhale as you stand up returning to the starting position.
How to Do a Sumo Squat
- Instead of placing your feet shoulder width apart (as in a traditional squat), plant your feet slightly wider than hip width apart.
- Allow your feet and hips to externally rotate slightly, pointing your toes out to the sides at about a 45-degree angle to allow for greater ankle range of motion.
- Flex your hips and knees to lower into a squat position as you inhale. As you lower, be sure to keep your core tight — drawing in at the belly button — keep your back straight, and avoid excessively leaning forward.
- Sit back in the squat and lower slowly until your knees reach a 90-degree angle, with your femurs about parallel to the floor. Be sure that your knees track forward and don't cave inward.
- Exhale while you extend your knees and hips to stand up, returning to the starting position.
As you perform this movement, notice how you are now experiencing a burn through the inner thigh musculature along with your glutes and your quads. Sumo squats are great to help strengthen your adductors along the inner portion of your legs.
On the Spartan course, you will need to master your sumo squats if you ever want to beat Olympus. This movement is essential to maneauver side to side quickly while holding yourself up with the grip handles. Other obstacles that require these adductors include the Tyrolean Traverse, barbed wire crawls, and transitioning over the top of any wall you’re jumping over.
Sumo Squats will better prepare you for the following Spartan obstacles:
- Hill Climbs
- Sled Drags
- Cargo Net
- Atlas Stone Carry
Here are some other similar squats:
- Standard Bodyweight Squat
- Jump Squats
- Split Squat
- Lateral Split Squats
- Bulgarian Split Squat
- Transverse Split Squat