Think Japanese Sumo Wrestler!
The sumo-squat is a wider variation of the wide-legged squat—ideal for when you’re making quick side-to-side moves or moving laterally over the terrain. I really like these squats, because they’re extremely effective for strengthening the inner and outer thighs as well as the hips and glutes. My clients love them because they’re fun to do.
This exercise couples your upper and lower body, activating the deep muscles of the core. You can do Sumo Squats anywhere—in one spot on flat ground or across a hillside. To reap even greater cardio benefits, travel up a ramp, hill, or stairs.
Works: Glutes, abductors, adductors, quadriceps, hamstrings, deltoids, core, cardio
Props: Flat ground, hills, steps or stairs
Starting Position: From the Athletic Stance, take a wide step out laterally, onto your right foot, distributing your weight evenly between both feet.
Action: Inhale as you lower your hips, pressing your tailbone back, while at the same time, lifting your arms diagonally, “out and away” from your body, palms in a fist, facing up. Lower into a wide squat until your knees create a 45° bend and you feel a lengthening of the inner thigh. Exhale as you return to the starting position by pressing up through the left arch and lowering your arms.
Variation: Full-body Traveling Sumo Squat
Follow the directions for Sumo Squats, only continue to move right for a series of 8-20 squats, pressing firmly through the arch of your left foot. Then turn around for series leading with the left.
Harder: Lower until you create a 90° at the knees.
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• Emphasis is on pressing your tailbone back, and then pushing up through the arch of the working foot to the starting position.
• Lifting your arms is more than a shoulder exercise when you concentrate on impeccable form—lifting your ribs to activate your center of mass, keeping your shoulders in line with your hips. Creating a fist will automatically pull in more muscle fiber in your upper body and remind your physiology to stay strong and in control.
• If there is an incline, always travel up the slope of the hill.