The Right Way

The Sumo Squat Works Your Inner Thighs Like No Other—As Long as You Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes

Allie Flinn

Squats are kind of like cauliflower in that they come in many different variations. You've got your air squat, your Kang squat, your weighted front squat... the list goes on. And while proper form is important for any exercise, it's especially important for squats because it can be easy to just go through the motions and miss out on the strength-building benefits the move has to offer.

The squat—which involves stepping your legs out slightly further than a regular squat—works your inner thighs, glutes, and hamstrings. Once you've got the standard version down, you can amp things up with pulses or by adding weights, but it's first important to get your form perfect. In this episode of Well+Good video series The Right Way, trainer Charlee Atkins, founder of Le Sweat TV,  shows you proper sumo squat form. Keep reading to see the biggest mistakes she sees people making with the move.

Common mistakes with proper sumo squat form

1. Toes pointed too far forward

"A lot of people tend to have their toes pointed more forward than I would like," Atkins says. While you want to have a wide stance, your toes should be pointed out at about a 45-degree angle, she explains. "A good way to make sure that your toes are pointed out a good angle: If you stand up straight and you fire up your glutes, you should feel the outer edges of your hips fire up," she says.

2. Leaning forward

The next mistake Atkins sees people make frequently is leaning forward. This turns the movement into more of a hinge than a squat, which keeps it from properly targeting your glutes. To avoid this, be sure to keep your chest up. "If you tend to fall forward that it's a little bit more difficult to get the knees to press out wide," says Atkins. Which leads us to...

3. Knees cave in

You don't want to let your knees collapse in, which is "a major no no," says Atkins. "If your toes are pointed out, you're keeping the chest upright, then you can naturally think about driving the knees out as opposed to letting the knees cave in."

Watch the video to see Atkins' tips in action.

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