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Wide-Stance Squat Or Sumo Squat – Do The Exercise With Perfect Technique!

Sumo squats are designed to work the inner thighs. The quadriceps have the main load in the classic parallel squat. In addition, the lower back is actively involved due to the forward tilt of the body. The Sumo technique allows you to redistribute the load from the back muscles to the legs. It’s especially important for girls, whose lower back, as a rule, is weaker than for men. You may work out with a barbell, dumbbells, and other weights.

What muscles do wide-stance squat work?

The wide sumo squats distribute the load on the lower body muscle groups in a different way than the classic squat.

Sumo squats are most useful for girls as they work the inner thigh

The following muscles are involved in the exercise:

  • Adductors are the muscles of the inner thigh

  • The quads are the muscles in the front of the thigh

  • The gluteus maximus is the muscles responsible for the shape and size of the buttocks

  • Hamstring muscles (back surface) are included in the workout

  • The calf muscles, back, and abs help stabilize the position

As already mentioned, exercise is recommended primarily for girls. It helps to correct the problem area (inner thighs), tighten the muscles of the buttocks, make the legs slim and attractive.

Pros and cons

Sumo squats with a barbell or dumbbells intensely affect the muscles of the lower body. The exercise affects those areas, which remain unused when performing the classic version.

In general, trainers distinguish the following benefits of wide-stance squats:

  • Comprehensive use of the muscles of the legs, thighs, and glutes. Strengthening the traditional female problem area – the inner thigh

  • Development of flexibility of the hip joints. Improving their mobility

  • Improving blood circulation in the lower body. It affects the condition of the skin and the health of the pelvic organs

  • No inventory requirements. You can do wide stance squats with a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebell, bag, and more. These are great for home leg workouts

The exercise has some disadvantages:

  • The exercise technique is more difficult than classic squats. A person must have the basic physical fitness to do a wide-stance squat without bringing the knees inward

  • Load on the knee and hip joints, which are not in their most usual position. We don’t squat with wide apart legs in ordinary life

Choose an exercise’s weight is slightly lighter than for the classic squat. It’s better to work out the technique without weight or with an empty barbell.

Exercise technique

Stand up straight, maintaining a natural arch in the lower back. Spread your legs to the sides and turn your feet out. There are recommendations for the specific wide stance of the legs and the angle of rotation of the feet. The flexibility is different for everyone. Therefore, these parameters are selected empirically. Put your feet wider than your shoulders, and turn your feet outward 45 degrees. Try to squat several times without weight. If you bring your hips to parallel with the floor and didn’t feel any discomfort in your knees, then you can use that position.

Wide-stance squat technique:

1So, you put your feet wide and turned your feet to the sides. If you are doing a barbell exercise, the barbell should rest on your back muscles below your neck. When using dumbbells, you can lower them with outstretched arms in front of the body. Thus, the weight will be between the legs. Or grab one dumbbell by the disc and lower it in front of the body. The second option is more convenient

2Try to lean forward as little as possible while inhaling. Do the squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. At the same time, the knees are strictly in the same plane as the feet and don’t move inward. This moment is important. Pull your pelvis back as far as possible with your flexibility

3Slowly rise from the bottom point while exhaling

Perform this exercise 10-15 reps in 3-4 sets.

The glute muscles are more involved if you squat below parallel with the floor. But the load on the knees will increase significantly. Therefore, it’s not recommended. Sumo squat is aimed at strengthening the inner thigh. Fitness trainers also recommend the gluteal bridge, wide lunges, Bulgarian lunges, lifting the bent legs for girls who want to work the buttocks.


It’s also worth mentioning the place of the exercise in training the legs and glutes. If you are doing classic squats, you can alternate them with sumo squats, for example, week by week. If you avoid regular squats so as not to overdo your quads, use wide-stance squats as your main basic lower body exercise. The use of exercise depends on your goals and objectives. Despite the exotic name, it’s a type of squat with a barbell. I mean that it’s a rather difficult exercise, in which an array of muscles involves. Therefore, do sumo squats at the beginning of the training.

What to pay special attention to?

Let’s take a look at a few recommendations. They’ll make wide stance squats as effective and safe as possible:

  • The body weight is on the heels during the movement. When you push from the bottom of the squat, you do it with your heels on the floor

  • Watch the position of your legs. Your shins are parallel to your feet. Otherwise, knee injury is very likely

  • Keep your back straight, bending at the lower back. Try not to bend your body forward more than 45 degrees

  • Do warm-up and stretching before the exercise. Pay special attention to stretching your inner thigh

  • Use less weight for exercise with barbells or dumbbells than classic squats. I recommend starting with no weight or with an empty barbell for girls

  • The glance is directed forward during the movement. Don’t lower your head

Following these simple rules will help you do the exercise properly. The ideal technique will allow you to carefully work out the inner thighs, strengthen the muscles of the legs and buttocks. You’ll achieve maximum results by doing sumo squats with a barbell or one/two dumbbells.

I'm a professional fitness instructor and nutritionist, runner, husband and father. I do my best in providing the right guidance when it comes to the grounds of sexual health, nutrition and common fitness.

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