How To

1 Stand up straight with legs wider than shoulder-width apart, feet pointing outward.
2 Lower yourself by bending your knees while extending your rear backward until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
3 Squeeze your glutes to straighten your legs to return to the starting position.

Muscle Worked in A Complete Guide to Sumo Squats

Primary Muscles

Glutes The glutes help you extend your thighs from the hips and drive you forward.
Hamstrings The hamstrings flex your knees and extend and rotate your hips
Quads "Quads" refers to your quadriceps femoris muscles which flex your leg from the hip joint and extend your leg from the knee joint.

Secondary Muscles

Adductors The adductors are the muscles on the insides of your thighs that move your legs toward the midline of your body
Calves The calves are the muscles at the back of the lower part of your legs

Pro Tips

  • Think about rotating your femur bones in your hip sockets when you are learning this move. This will help keep your knees in line with your toes.
  • Turn your toes outward to around a 45-degree angle.
  • Keep your spine neutral to hold your posture in place as you squat.
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  • This exercise can help release tight hips. This can be a way to reduce pain if your hips feel stiff.
  • Sumo squats build flexibility in the hip area and can improve your overall strength.
  • This exercise is a compound move. That means it requires multiple muscle groups to work at once. This can be useful in creating mind-muscle connections and promoting overall athleticism.
  • You can use this exercise as a part of injury prevention for the hips. Learn more here: The Effect of Hip Abductor Exercise on Muscle Strength and Trunk Stability After an Injury.
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Common Mistakes

  • Leaning too far forward is a common error in sumo squats. If your hips aren’t open enough, you may lean your torso forward to compensate. Try to do a hip-opening warm-up before this exercise.
  • Having your knees buckle in is a mistake many people make. Ensure that your knees are tracking in line with your toes.
  • Using a too-narrow squat stance is also a common issue. Don’t be afraid to go wide and challenge the hip adductor muscles.
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Warm Up & Cool Down

Try using banded hip abduction as a warm-up for sumo squats. This will get you to engage your abductor and adductor muscles. Warm Up Before Barbell Squat
1 Grab a resistance band and wrap it around your mid-thighs. Lie on one side, supporting yourself with your arm under your head.
2 Stack your knees and hips, then slowly and with control, draw the top leg up and away from the bottom leg, resisting your band.
3 Hold for a moment, then bring the leg back.
4 Repeat with light weight as needed.
Cool Down After Barbell Squat Use a figure 4 stretch to elongate the glute muscles after sumo squats.
1 Stand on one leg.
2 Bend your other leg at the knee then fold that ankle over the knee of your standing leg, as you drop into a shallow one-legged squat.
3 Hold for 10-30 seconds.
4 Repeat on the other side.


Do sumo squats shrink your thighs?
Sumo squats can strengthen and tone your thigh muscles. This gives them a more attractive appearance, but only losing overall body fat will shrink your thighs.
Do you need to do sumo squats if you do regular back squats?
Sumo squats are worth adding to your squat routine if you want more work in the adductors than a traditional squat offers. You can learn more about adductor activation in sumo stance here: Activation of Gluteal, Thigh, and Lower Back Muscles in Different Squat Variations.
Should I do 100 sumo squats a day?
This depends on your fitness level. That being said, it’s generally best to vary the types of exercises you do. If you want to sumo squat challenge, consider adding resistance rather than increasing your workout to hundreds of reps. How many reps you do depends on your personal preferences and fitness level.