Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back
Target Muscle Group


Quads Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Sumo Squat Instructions

  1. The sumo squat is a variation of the regular squat. You will take an aggressively wide stance and point your feet further out than you would with a regular squat. Set up for the exercise by setting the barbell to just below shoulder height and loading the weight you want to use.
  2. Stand under the bar with your feet at about shoulder width apart.
  3. Position the bar so that it is resting on the muscles on the top of your back, not on the back of your neck. The bar should feel comfortable. If it doesn't, try adding some padding to the bar.
  4. Now take your hands over the back and grip the bar with a wide grip for stability. You should now bend at the knees and straighten your back in preparation to take the weight off the rack.
  5. Keeping your back straight and eyes up, push up through the legs and take the weight off the rack.
  6. Take a small step back and stabilize yourself while positioning your feet wider than shoulder width and pointing them out.
  7. Keeping your eyes facing forward slowly lower your body down. Don't lean forward as you come down. Your buttocks should come out and drop straight down.
  8. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, and then slowly raise your body back up by pushing through your heels.
  9. Do not lock the knees out when you stand up, and then repeat the movement.

Exercise Tips:

  1. It's crucially important that you keep a straight back when you squat! You can ensure your back is straight by keeping your eyes facing forward, chest out, shoulder blades back, and back arched. Keep your core muscles tensed throughout the movement to help hold your back in place.
  2. Don't push from the balls of your feet. This puts unnecessary strain on joints and tendons. Always push up through your heels. Curling up your toes can help you get the technique right.
  3. Don't lean forward. This happens when your hips move up faster than your shoulders. To prevent this keep the rep timing slow and controlled and stick your buttocks out as you go down.
  4. Don't allow your knees to come too far forward. When you squat down, your hips should be dropping straight down, not coming forward. Using a light weight, perfect your form standing side on to a mirror. Your knees should never track out and over your toes.
  5. Using squats to their full potential requires squatting down at least until your thighs are around parallel to the floor.
  6. Never look down! As soon as you look down your back rounds, simple as that.
Posted on: Wed, 06/23/2021 - 22:33

Referencing the video, does the chest need to be that far out or are you supposed to keep a straight back when doing sumo squats?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 06/28/2021 - 09:43

Hey Simon - yes, your chest will come forward as the video shows. This keeps the barbell aligned throughout the whole movement.

Posted on: Tue, 10/13/2020 - 05:58

just want to try the exercises in my everyday routines to stay fit if i have no weight lifters what can i use

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 10/13/2020 - 09:23

Hey Brianna - you can do these bodyweight

Rachel Beirne
Posted on: Fri, 02/17/2017 - 09:29

Can I do this with a dumbbell? If I hold it under my chin next to my kneck..?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 02/17/2017 - 11:22

Hi Rachel,

Yes you can. That is what would be referred to as a "goblet squat". It's an excellent variation of the squat.