Sumo Squats are also known as plie squats. They get their names because they mimic the position of a sumo wrestler or plie in dance, and they are a great overall leg exercise and thigh exercise.
What makes the sumo/ plie squat different from the regular squat is the position of the hips and feet. The hips are placed in a wider that normal position and the feet are turned out 45 degrees.
The plie squat position stretches the inner thigh and shortens the glutes, so it changes the emphasis on the inner thigh and glutes when compared with regular squats.
Most people feel a lot more muscle work in the inner thigh muscles during the plie squat.
Here are pictures and instructions for this leg exercise.
Starting Position: Begin by separating your feet to about 1 and a half to 2 times your hip width. Then, turn your feet so that they face outwards about 45 degrees.
Hold a dumbbell in your hands, so that the weight is centered between your legs.
Form: Inhale and you bend your knees and lower to towards the ground. Then, exhale and squeeze with your glutes to rise to the starting position.
Personal Trainer Tips: There are many things to be mindful of during plie squats. You must pay attention to the position of your knees during this exercise. Make sure that your knees move in the same plane as your toes.
For some people, the tendency is for the knees to collapse inwards. So make sure that your knees line up with your feet.
Also, make sure that you keep your back straight during this lift. Do not let your back round and hunch too far forwards.
If your legs are stiff and inflexible, it will limit your ability to perform this exercise with good form. Stretching the inner thigh and hips can help you to keep proper form.
Attempt to squat until the dumbbell touches the floor, but only go as low as you can with good form.
The sumo/ plie squat is a great overall leg exercise. It will work the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and inner thigh muscles.
Standing leg exercises are the best leg exercises because they work on balance, coordination, flexibility, core strength, and all the major leg muscles at once.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT