Barbell Sumo Squats

Sumo-style squats are a variation of the squat with a very wide set of feet. There are two views on such things in the methodology of coaching. Some coaches, by all means, try to put any client in the standard sumo for the sake of priority pumping of the lead and gluteal. Others believe that if the client’s hip joints cannot open in this position, then exercise should not be given. From the point of view of physiology and biomechanics, the second approach is more justified. Although in practice the former is often used.


  • 1 Technique
    • 1.1 Starting position
    • 1.2 Movement
  • 2 Analysis of exercises
    • 2.1 What muscles work
    • 2.2 Who will suit
    • 2.3 Contraindications
    • 2.4 Common mistakes
    • 2.5 Bug Fixes
    • 2.6 Recommendations
  • 3 Inclusion in the program
  • 4 Improving Efficiency
  • 5 Interesting fact

Execution technique

Starting position

  • The bar is located on racks at the height of the clavicle or slightly lower;
  • The athlete takes the bar with his hands shoulder width apart,
  • It steps under the weight and places the bar on the back below the fastening of the trapezius muscles;
  • For the "sumo" the most advantageous is the low position of the bar;
  • If it is not feasible due to injury to the wrists or elbows, you can put it at a height normal for a normal squat, that is, on top of the trapeze;
  • Then, the knees are unbent at the same time, the shoulder blades are assembled to the spine, and the bar is removed from the racks;
  • Then the athlete steps back and places the feet so that the heels are slightly wider than the projection of the shoulders on the floor, and the feet are turned to the sides.


  1. Due to flexion in the knee and hip joints, simultaneous lowering into the grafts and easy pelvic abduction take place;
  2. Movement standards suggest that an athlete can lower the pelvis below the top of the kneecaps;
  3. The thigh should be in the plane parallel to the floor at least, and ideally, make an acute angle with the lower leg;
  4. The movement also begins with flexion in the knees, and not with the abduction of the pelvis. If you start with the abduction of the pelvis, it may turn out that the back inclination at the lower point will be too large, and the athlete will not be able to stand up even with a minimum weight.


  • There is an erroneous opinion that it is dangerous to bring knees to the sumo in socks. But people with a good stretch and a long femur simply have no other chance to reach the required amplitude. If we have not a protruding powerlifter in front of us, but a person who is engaged in health fitness and has knees that are problematic, the only adequate solution is to pump the buttocks with another version of the squat, for example, by sitting on a box in parallel, or squatting with a good amplitude, but with less foot placement ;
  • Sometimes they teach not to bring the knees out of the socks under any circumstances, but then the length of the thigh is compensated in movement by tilting the back. This is not useful, especially if the extensors of the back are weak enough so that a person cannot stand up. Many people think that sumo is an option for new women to rock their buttocks, but that’s not the case. The combination of back tilt in the squat and insufficient development of the back muscles is the cause of lower back injuries

Parsing exercise

What muscles work

The wider the squat, the more the hips, biceps of the thigh and buttocks work. But in fact, much depends on the length of the back. The longer the back and the more inclined it is, the more the long back muscles are included in the work.

The quadriceps in the exercise still work, since there is extension of the lower leg. Therefore, to argue that this version of the squat completely eliminates quadriceps from work is completely wrong.

Who will suit

In this version of the squat, the main working joint is the hip, and it is its condition and functionality that determine the admissibility of the squat in sumo. If a person cannot go down in a squat in this style due to joint pain, exercise is not suitable.

Similarly, not everyone is comfortable squatting due to short adductors. This problem is partially smoothed out by stretching, but this does not always work.

It is believed that in sumo you can sit with a more significant weight than in the usual version, but this is only true for those whose pelvis structure allows. As a rule, people with a narrow pelvis and long legs cannot afford this option to squat.

Limiting ankle mobility has not traditionally been considered a problem in sumo, but it is not. It is not a problem only if mobility in the pelvis and knees is not impaired. But when a person struggles with a sedentary hip, he is likely to fail.

It is worth noting that the “heal” squat in the sumo to heel the heel in the classic squat with dosed can only be limited, namely exactly as much as the hip joints and their condition allow.

Sumo definitely does not suit people with a narrow pelvis and enslaved hip joints. And if tallness and a back that is much longer than the thigh are also attached to this set, it is worth thinking about starting the squat training from the front, and only then moving on to the squat with a barbell on the back, choosing an individual setting.

Often, “sumo” is called a female squat, adding unnecessary accents to the movement. Namely - the pull of the pelvis in the rack straight. This leads only to an increase in deflection in the lower back and a strong inclination of the back, but also to a probable undernourishment. The lack of proper depth of gray, contrary to the opinion of some trainers, removes the load from the buttocks, but does not increase it.


Not recommended for exacerbations of hernias and protrusions. In remission, you can squat with minimal weight. You should not squat if the sciatic nerve is pinched, there are injuries to the joints of the lower extremities in the acute stage, or any problems with the wrists.

Sumo is extremely demanding on stretching and ligament work. If, over time, pain begins to occur in the adductors and in the hip joints themselves, you should abandon the sumo squat for a while, and switch to weight lifting squats.

Common mistakes

  • The beginning of the movement with the abduction of the pelvis as in a swing of a weight or Romanian traction, and not with bending at the knees as in a squat;
  • Ambitious weight weights with poor technique and joint mobility;
  • Lowering the head down;
  • Too strong deflection in the lumbar and head tilted up;
  • Lack of rigid fixation of the projectile on the back with hands;
  • Clogged knees inward when standing, legs “X”

Error correction

  • The first mistake is eliminated only by obtaining a competent technical skill, in other words, one should start to squat with the classic comfortable setting of the feet, gradually moving them into the “sumo”, if there is a need for this technique;
  • The technique is developed only with time, until it works, it is necessary to carefully use the weight of weights. Contrary to popular belief, it is impossible to use Smith's simulator for practicing equipment in sumo, because it has a slightly different weight distribution, and not the most profitable biomechanics;
  • Tilting and lowering the head occur in response to a slight mobility of the shoulders. It is necessary to work on the shoulder joints and try to increase their mobility. Also, the problem can be solved by stretching the chest, especially if a person is "enslaved" due to the passion for bench press


  • The sense of squatting in shortened amplitude in sumo is quite small, if the athlete does not seek to pump up huge leads. Buttocks in short amplitude can be included only due to the inclination of the back. And this means only one thing - you do not have to squat, but do inclinations with the barbell so as not to have problems with pumped leads, and the underdeveloped rest of the muscle mass;
  • Exercise is given to those who have good mobility in the joints. If it’s bad, it develops with simple exercises - extension of the legs in the simulators, box squats, cup-style squats, Zercher squats and, finally, weight-lifting exercises. Only after that is sumo;
  • The squat will only improve if you perform not only it, but also leaning with a barbell, several available options for deadlift and hyperextension;
  • A feature is the need for slow lowering with weight at the start. By the time the knees are bent into a corner, the athlete accelerates, gets up - as quickly as possible.

Program Inclusion

Exercise is included first in non-professional athletes programs. A squat will be more effective if you perform it exclusively after a quality workout. It should include rolling the biceps of the hips, buttocks, and calf on a roller, a light cardio for no more than 5 minutes on a stationary bike or an ellipsoid, and then several approaches to light weight, after which work according to plan. Some athletes may require special preparation of the hip joints - “crab penetration” with a shock absorber, as well as pelvic lifts in the gluteal bridge without weight.

Seto-repeat schemes depend on the goals of the workout:

  • Beginners should not train in "denial";
  • Even experienced athletes should always use the help of insurers.

Increase efficiency

  • Weighting weights are given by programs with periodization, when they begin to perform the exercise with small weights and highly repetitive patterns, gradually reducing the number of repetitions and increasing weight;
  • Exercise will be more effective the more the athlete works on joint mobility;
  • If the goal is in power results, you should abandon a large number of "auxiliary" exercises

Interesting fact

The exercise got its name because of the specificity of the athlete's stance. It resembles the position of the feet of athletes in the Japanese sumo wrestling.