Sumo Squat vs Regular Squat: Which is Better?

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Our Summary and Answer:


Sumo and regular squats both have their advantages and disadvantages. With the wide stance of sumo squats, it allows for a deeper stretch than regular squats. Regular squats are suitable for beginners because they’re easier to learn compared to sumo squats. Therefore, there isn’t a clear winner when it comes to which is better. They’re both effective on their own and can be used depending on your needs and goals.


The debate between the regular squat and the sumo squat has been going on for years. What’s your stance? Which type of squat should you be doing?


If you want to know which one is better for you, read this blog post and find out! It’ll help you decide which one will work best depending on your goals.


What Is the Sumo Squat?

The sumo squat is a free-weight exercise in which you stand with your feet wideout, and your toes turned out. The point of the sumo squat is to get a full range of motion by lowering yourself down and going below parallel.


This type of squat is heavily used with sumo-style deadlifts and leads to greater hamstring and glute development. However, it allows a full stretch at the bottom of each rep, which might be a reason to use it.


What Is the Regular Squat?

The regular squat is a standard version where you stand shoulder-width apart and feet pointed straight forward. The regular squat works the quadriceps muscles more than any other muscle in the body. It also strengthens your abs and back muscles.


The regular squat is the most common form of bodyweight squats, and it’s also used with a barbell. However, it’s mainly used for building lower-body strength, endurance, and size.


It is one of the main compound exercises (which means it affects more than one muscle group) and requires a full range of motion.


7 Benefits of Sumo Squats

Now that you know what each squat is let’s look at the benefits of the sumo squat.


#1 - Increased Range of Motion

One reason people perform their squats in this wide stance is that it increases the range of motion. This means that more muscles are worked out during a single rep, leading to more significant strength gains. In addition, it is considered a full-body workout because it uses a lot of muscle groups at once.


#2 - Isolates Hamstrings & Glutes

As mentioned earlier, the wide stance of the sumo squat allows for a deep stretch in your hamstrings and glutes.


These muscles cannot be engaged when doing regular squats unless you’re flexible enough to do so. On the other hand, these two muscles are wholly engaged with sumo squats because it’s easier to go below parallel than regular squats.


#3 - Increased Power Output

Most of the power in your body comes from the hips. Since you can lower yourself down more during sumo squats, it allows for increased power output once you push back up again. Even though there isn’t much difference with regular squats, this is still one benefit of using them.


#4 - Decreased Risks of Injury

Since this exercise focuses more on your glutes and hamstrings, it has been known to lessen the chances of sustaining injuries such as ACL tears. In addition, weightlifters tend to have fewer ACL tears compared to other athletes because they often use sumo squats in their training.


#5 - No Need for Spotter

Since this exercise is in a sumo stance and doesn’t require much weight, you don’t need a spotter. However, when doing the regular squat, it’s essential to have someone watch you if they see you losing your balance or form dropping.


#6 - Good For Core Development

The wide stance creates a good foundation for your core because you’re able to maintain good form throughout the exercise. If your core isn’t strong enough yet, this might be one of the reasons why you should do sumo squats instead.


#7 - Good For Beginners

Aside from the usual squats, this is also a great beginner’s workout because it doesn’t require much skill. In addition, since it’s easier to go below parallel, it can be beneficial for those who are still new to the exercise.


7 Benefits of Regular Squats

Now that we’ve seen the benefits of sumo squats let’s look at the reasons why you should add regular squats to your routine.


#1 - Better For Building Leg Strength

Since regular squats are more focused on your quads, it allows you to build leg strength faster. However, there are variations in this exercise regarding how many reps you do and the type of weight you use. This varies the amount of work each muscle group does, allowing for better gains than sumo squats.


#2 - Better For Building Size

Regular squats have a smaller range of motion than sumo squats, so it’s more effective in targeting the quads. However, it also uses a full range of motion and allows for a better stretch in your hamstring muscles. This makes them suitable for building not only leg strength but size as well.


#3 - Have Better Control

When doing regular squats, it’s important to use control and go down as low as possible. This allows your muscles to work and helps with stabilizing the whole body. However, you don’t want to sacrifice form for a wider stance because that can cause muscle imbalances and injuries later.


#4 - Better For Building Endurance

It’s a lot harder to maintain form when you have a wider stance. Not being able to go as low can affect how well your muscles stretch and burn out. When doing regular squats, it doesn’t matter what stance you’re using because the sole focus is on stretching the quads.


This can help you do every rep faster and gives you better endurance as well.


#5 - More Weight You Can Use

One of the limitations in doing sumo squats is that you can’t add much weight. This doesn’t mean it’s not possible, but it’s hard to maintain your form when you have a wider stance because you might put too much strain on your back or legs. If you’re looking for more challenges when working out, regular squats are the way to go.


#6 - Less Stress on Your Hips

In sumo squats, the hips must endure a lot of pressure due to being in a wider stance. Even if you’re able to go down deeper when doing this exercise, it doesn’t mean that your form is perfect, so you’ll still be putting extra stress on your hips.


#7 - Better For Increasing Flexibility

In regular squats, you must go below parallel, so it forces your muscles to stretch. This helps improve flexibility and can help reduce injuries from being stiff in some parts of the body.


6 Critical Drawbacks of Squats: Regular and Sumo

Although squats are a great exercise to build muscle mass, they come with their problems.


#1 - Higher Chance of Injury

The stress you’re putting on your body can lead to chronic issues such as muscle strains or, even worse, heart problems. It all comes down to how well you maintain proper form and slowly add weight when needed. Even if sumo squats are easier due to having a wider stance, there’s still a risk of injuring yourself, especially in the lower back area.


#2 - Can Lead to Bad Posture

Doing regular squats can affect how you sit or stand because your legs are always in front of you. This forces the muscles to stretch and create imbalances around your body that could lead to poor posture. If you’re planning on doing squats for an extended period, make sure to incorporate other types of exercises as well.


#3 - Can Increase the Risk Of Knee Injury

As mentioned earlier, regular squats put more stress on your knees. If you’re planning on increasing the weight you use without adequately warming up first, it can lead to injuries or even chronic issues in the long run. To help build strength without putting too much strain on your knees, you can do split squats or goblet squats instead.


#4 - Can Damage Your Spine

Going deeper when doing regular squats can put too much pressure on your spine. This can lead to damaging the discs in between each vertebrae and, even worse, herniated discs. While it’s not impossible to fix this issue, it’ll be a lot harder than preventing injury in the first place.


#5 - Can Increase the Risk of Foot Injuries

The wider stance in sumo squats puts more pressure on your feet and can even lead to ankle injuries if you don’t get the form right. Most of the strain is placed on your toes instead of your heels, so it’s essential to stretch out before going through a routine properly.


#6 - Strain Your Shoulders

Having a narrow stance in squats can put too much strain on your shoulders. If you lean forward while keeping the same form, it’ll give you better leverage for when you go back up, but it can also cause injuries to your upper body if not careful.


9 Key Tips When Doing Squats: Regular and Sumo

Now let’s go over a quick list of things that can help you maximize your workout while doing regular and sumo squats.


#1 - View Yourself in A Mirror

Visualization is a great way to stay motivated while working out, especially when it comes to squats. When you look at yourself in the mirror, it’ll be easier for you to make corrections towards your form or even identify areas that can use more work. This will help you pick out the suitable squat variation best suited for your body type and goals.


#2 - Always Warm Up First

This is true for any exercise that you’re about to do. Warming up lets your blood flow throughout the body and helps perform squats without worrying about injuring yourself. You can go through a simple warm-up like jogging in place or even trying some dynamic stretches before squatting.


#3 - Focus On Proper Form

Even if it’s easier to do squats with a wider stance, don’t rely on it so much because you’ll quickly lose balance. Instead, keep your back straight and head up while pushing the hips out instead of bending over or arching the lower back. If you can’t maintain proper form without losing your balance, it’s best to avoid doing squats altogether.


#4 - Take A Break When Needed

Once you’re done with your set, take a break and rest for at least 30-45 seconds before starting another round of squats. It can be easy to keep going when you’re in the zone but don’t forget that it’s more important to recover instead of rushing through the workout correctly. Your muscles need time to rest, too, so don’t go overboard on trying to get everything done in one session, or else you’ll be putting yourself at risk for injuries.


#5 - Add Some Weight Training to Gain Muscle

If your main goal is building more muscle mass, it might be a good idea to do squats along with other types of resistance training. Of course, it’s not the only way to put on more muscle, but it can help you out a lot, especially if you’re finding it challenging to keep up with your cardio sessions. However, always make sure that you take a break from doing too many squats and focus on building other areas of your body.


#6 - Get The Right Shoes

It’s best to wear shoes that fit your feet properly so your joints can be well supported while doing squats. This will help keep the ankles safe and free of injuries since it’ll be way easier to maintain proper form when wearing something comfortable. If you don’t own anything yet, go for cross-trainers instead of sneakers since they’re specifically designed for weightlifting.


#7 - Stop If You Feel Pain

Like with any workout, it’s essential to avoid doing squats if you feel the pain coming from your knees or lower back. It can be a simple tweak but don’t hesitate to stop and take a break, significantly if the pain worsens after doing more reps. There’s nothing wrong with taking some time off for recovery, and you should do the same if it starts to feel better after a few hours.


#8 - Get A Partner to Spot You

This is an essential tip for those just starting and who need some guidance on squats without having too much trouble or getting injured. It can be easy to lose balance when going back up from a squat, so it’s best to ask someone for help if you feel like you’ll need the extra support.


#9 - Wear A Belt When Needed

When starting with squats, it might be a good idea to use a weightlifting belt since it can help you keep your lower back supported. However, once your form gets established and you stop relying on the belt as much, it’s probably best not to use one all the time. This will help strengthen your core and lower back along with your legs, making you less prone to injury.


Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, sumo squats or regular squats?

When it comes to doing squats, both have their advantages since they each provide a different set of benefits. For example, you get better inner thigh development for sumo squats while also building up the outer thighs. In contrast, regular squats will help improve the quadriceps, and you’ll get more emphasis on the hamstrings and glutes when going back up.


Is sumo squat necessary?

It’s not needed to do sumo squats, especially if you’re having difficulty with regular squats. You can benefit from both types of squats but know that it’s possible to stick with only one if you want to.


Final Thoughts

We hope this has been a helpful overview of the differences between regular and sumo squats. which one is best for you? You may have to experiment with both before deciding, but these tips should be able to help no matter what type of squat you choose!



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