No lower-body workout is complete without at least one series of squats. Like your other toning essentials (read: planks, push-ups, and lunges), these butt-sculpting moves come in a multitude of challenging variations. One of the most-fun (and effective) iterations of this functional exercise is the sumo squat—so named for its similarity to the pre-match posturing of Japanese professional wrestlers.
This wide-legged take on a traditional squat will give you all the feels in your inner thighs, glutes, and hamstrings, no weights required. But if you’re looking for even more of a challenge, you can step it up by adding on the pounds. And if you’re wondering how exactly to execute one yourself, Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson, the Aussie personal trainers (and sisters) behind Base Body Babes, have got the, ahem, low down. The duo shared their pro tips on Instagram earlier this week.
Scroll down to see how to execute 3 different versions of a sumo squat like the Base Body Babes.
1. Traditional sumo squat
Bring your feet a step farther than hips-width apart and turn your toes slightly out so that your knees track over your second and third toes. Cross your arms, bringing them parallel to the ground at shoulder height. Squat down, bringing your butt below your knees, while retaining a neutral spine (sitz bones flared and small arch in lower back), core engaged, and energy extending out of your crown. Straighten your legs and come to stand. Complete five sets of 20 reps. If you have trouble keeping your spine and arms stable while squatting deeply, try the next variation.
2. Sumo squats with plates
To start off, place two plates next to each other on the floor—this keeps you stable and able to keep better form. Step your heels onto the plates and assume the same position as a traditional sumo squat. Complete 5 sets of 20 reps.
3. Weighted sumo squat
Grab a 10 to 12-pound dumbbell, holding one end in either hand at shoulder height instead of crossing your arms. Complete 5 sets of 20 reps of traditional sumo squats. Just be prepared to feel the extra burn.
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