Because of its amazing ability to make your muscles to be stronger and grow faster in less time than other popular compound movements, the squat has been called ‘the king of all exercises’. This is the reason that it become a part of the training routines of pro athletes and average people. The athletes, from every sport and discipline, include it in various form to tone their abs and legs and improve their overall performance.
Primarily target of squats are legs which are a large muscle group. They are triggering the release of human growth hormone and testosterone. Engaging your legs to handle the weight, the squats target almost every muscle at once, and the core to stabilize entire body.
Numerous research has shown that squats are amazing for building mobility and greater power and in addition prevent injuries in the people of any age.
Which kind of versions you are going to include in your training routine, depends on the specific body part that you wish to strengthen. In the article bellow, we’ll focus on the sumo squat, because, it may be the best exercise for building strength in the inner thighs and glutes.
The main difference of sumo comparing to the regular one is in the positioning of the feet. This position defined the muscle emphasis. The feet in the regular squat are placed hip-width apart with toes facing forward, while for a sumo squat, the feet are in a wide posture with toes turned out. Both versions work the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and hip flexors, however, sumo squats place more stress on the glutes and inner thigh adductors.
Regardless, which squat version you want to do, for optimal results you should perform the entire movement in a slow, controlled manner.
Mastering the Regular Squat
By mastering the proper form and technique of performing squats, you will place the greatest capacity on the right muscles, connect all the benefits of this powerful exercise and prevent knee, back pain and injury.
In a regular squat, follow the next steps:
– Stand up straight and place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees over the ankles and hips stacked over the knees. Rolling the shoulders down, in order to maintain balance, straighten your back and extend the arms to be parallel with the ground.
– Inhale, and at the same time bend your knees, bringing the hips backwards, like you are sitting back into a chair.
– At the bottom, your knees should be directly over your toes. Also, it’s of vital importance to keep your back straight and neutral.
– Exhale, and engaging your core press through the heels to return to a standing position.
Upgrading to the Sumo Squat
After mastering the regular squat, you can upgrade it to the sumo version.
– Start standing with your feet significantly wider than shoulder-width apart. Make sure that your toes are turned out at an angle of 45 degrees.
– Inhale, push your hips back while bending your knees, and keep the abs tight, chest up and back straight.
– Lowering yourself down, in order to maintain balance, extend your hands until they meet under your chin. The weight should be concentrated in the inner thighs and glutes.
– Exhale and push your body back up through the heels, when your thighs are parallel to the floor,
During the performing this move, don’t let your heels lose contact with the floor, keep your whole back perfectly straight and the knees parallel with the toes throughout the entire movement.
If you want to challenge yourself more and build stronger muscles, after you’ve mastered the sumo squat with perfect form, you can add resistance. During the performing exercise, you can hold a barbell across your upper back and shoulders and behind your head.
You can also add resistance by holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of you or you can hold a dumbbell or a kettlebell in the center of your chest. If you use a kettlebell you should have a larger range of motion and activate muscles deeper.