The sumo box squats are effective lower body strengthening exercises, which are known to activate the muscle groups throughout the body. Box squats are effective for both beginners and advanced athletes.
HOW TO DO THE SUMO BOX SQUATS
Equipment needed; dumbbell, kettlebell, or mill
In a standing position, with your feet wide apart, and your toes pointing at a 45⁰ angle, wider than shoulder-width apart, around a foot(30cm)beyond your shoulder on each side
Squat, bending at the hips and knees sitting back. Keep your chest up and knees out.
Continue lowering until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
Stand back up to the starting position. Do not lift your feet off the ground or round out your lower back as you perform the sumo box squat.
BENEFITS OF SUMO BOX SQUAT
The difference between the sumo box squat and the normal squats is that the bottom or lowest point of the squat is that the bottom or lowest point of your squat is dictated by the height of the box. The following are some of the benefits realized in sumo box squats;
WORKS YOUR WHOLE LOWER BODY
Sumo box squats are also referred to as ‘killer compound exercises’ since they hammer your hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves and core.
In case you are holding a weight in front or behind you, you will be working your upper body. Box squats build stronger bodies. This improves your metabolism and enables you to burn more calories at rest.
BUILD STRONG HAMSTRINGS
To most people, squats tend to take over and do more of the work in leg workouts. Sumo box squats help you tap into the strength of the muscles in your posterior chain.
This is the back side of your body which includes your glutes and hamstrings. During sumo box squats, the glutes, hips and hamstrings are more active.
BUILD AWARENESS OF YOUR SQUAT DEPTH
Most beginner lifters do not know how far down they should go during box squats
These squats are a superb way to help you as a new athlete to learn what various depths feel like and get a response on how low they should go. Therefore box squats help improve your box form.
IMPROVED STRENGTH AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SQUAT
Box squats have a further benefit of helping experienced lifters get stronger and also help them bust through strength plateaus.
Basically, what prevents people from hitting a squat PR is the transition from the concentric (down)to the eccentrics(up)part of the squat.
During the box squats, the box will force you to come to a full stop, which in turn compels you to engage all your squat muscles and use pure strength to return to standing.
WHAT MUSCLES DO SUMO BOX SQUATS WORK?
Sumo box squats can be performed without any added weight or just use a dumbbell or kettlebell for extra benefits. The muscles worked include:
The gluteal muscles are the most superficial group of the posterior hip and thigh muscles.
This group of muscles consists of the gluteus maximus, gluteus mediums,gluteus minimums and tensorfasciae late. These four muscles fill the gluteal(buttock)region and provide it with shape and form.
The hamstrings are a group of muscles in the upper leg.
These muscles are located on the back side of the upper leg and are made up of three muscles namely: biceps, femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus.
The half muscles are located on the back side of the lower leg and are made up of two muscles; the gastrochemius and soleius
The hamstring muscles serve a variety of functions. These include bending the knee joint, extending the hip joint and rotating the hip joint.
INNER THIGH MUSCLES
The inner thigh muscles are on the inside of the thigh, starting at the pelvis and extending to the femur. The muscles, also known as adductors include five muscles, namely: gracious, obturator extends, abductor brevis, abductor longus and adductor Magnus.
The main function is to squeeze the thighs together, as well as rotation and flexion of the thigh.
HIP FLEXOR THIGH MUSCLES
The hip flexors are a group of muscles toward the front of the hip. They aid you in moving or flexing your leg and knee towards your body
ALTERNATIVES TO SUMO BOX SQUATS
While the squats are excellent exercises for enhancing both athletic performance and aesthetic appearance, there are other exercises that may deliver equally impressive results if done correctly. Other variations to sumo box squats include:
Glute bridge is performed on either a floor or a bench. They use the hip extensor muscles in such a way that is safe for both the back and knees.
To make it more challenging, you need to place a weight across the bony part of the hips.
Focus on pushing your heels into the floor and lifting your hips up to the ceiling while keeping your lower back stable. Do 2 — 3 sets of 13 to 15 reps or until you feel fatigued.
The hip hinge is also known as a Romanian Deadlift. It is a safe way of exercising the lower body as it focuses on the glutes, hamstrings, and adductors.
This makes it great not only for your rear end but also your upper and inner thighs. In the course of this exercise, your lumbar spine (low back) should remain stable and stiff and movement should come directly from your hips. This is how to do it:
- Place your hand on your low back as a reminder not to let it bend.
- Start by maintaining a stable spine and knees slightly bent
- Lean forward by pushing your rear end toward the wall behind you until you feel tightness in the back of your leg.
- Return to the starting position by pushing your feet into the floor and your hips forward.
THE ANDERSON SQUAT
The Anderson squat is a squat that starts from the dead stop.
It is meant to train the concentric or upward portion of the squat
It allows lifters to address the specific angles or depths of their sticking points setting squat height at or just below the sticking point.
COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID DURING SUMO BOX SQUAT
As a fitness fan,there are certain mistakes you must strive to avoid in order to get the most out of your squats.
NOT GOING TOO SLOW
Some guys still squat above parallel. This limits your range of motion as it reduces the strength and size you aim at building in your legs.
It also hurts your knees since the force of the barbell won’t shift onto your hips until you reach parallel. Instead, brace your core as you squat and make sure your thighs are parallel to the ground (or even lower)at the bottom.
If you find it difficult to go low then you really need to improve your mobility or use an easier squat variation like the goblet squat to keep your torso upright and let you squat lower.
COLLAPSING YOUR KNEES
You should never let your knees collapse inward as you squat. This may stress your knees and worse still damage your ligaments. Instead, always try to point your knees in the same direction as your toes. If you find your knees still drifting together, then place a mini-band around your knees to force your legs to fight against the resistance and make the targeted muscles active to keep your knees properly aligned.
LIFTING YOUR HEELS
People often lift their heels as they descend. This makes the weight shift forward, increases the intensity, and stresses your knees. Instead, drive through your heels.
Curl your toes upward when squatting to compel you to use your heels. In addition, infuse ankle mobility exercises into your warm-up since raising heels could mean the ankles are tight.
Now that you are well equipped with enough knowledge and skills to help you as you engage in sumo box squats, all the muscles in lower body will be activated and strengthened for sports and aesthetic benefits.