Shiko: Sumo Wrestling Life Hack for Strong Healthy Legs


Shiko is a traditional exercise used by rikishi (sumo wrestlers) to develop strength, balance and flexibility in their lower extremities. Shiko is performed by slowly raising one leg up, holding for one second at the highest point, and then slowly letting the leg down and into a deep squat.

Rikishi (who often weigh between 300-400lb) do at least 200 shiko every day.

While shiko has its origins in the rigorous training of sumo wrestlers, its benefits extend beyond the realm of professional athletes. Regular individuals can incorporate this exercise into their fitness routine with modifications based on individual fitness levels and abilities. Let’s go over the benefits of this dynamic movement.

1. Improved lower body strength: In Japanese, shiko translates to “4 legs”, referring to its use of all four quadriceps muscles. Shiko also targets the hip muscles, including the hamstrings and glutes.
2. Improved balance: Because shiko is performed in a slow controlled manner, it helps develop balance and stability in the hips, knees and ankles.
3. Improved flexibility: Raising one leg up and stretching at the highest point develops flexibility in the hip and groin.
4. Mental benefits: Shiko requires mental focus to perform correctly and can be seen as a form of meditation.
5. No equipment required: This exercise can be done anywhere at any time!

In conclusion, shiko can be a valuable work out option for regular people looking to improve their strength, balance, flexibility and overall fitness levels. By making proper modifications and focusing on form and alignment, anyone can benefit from the physical and mental advantages of this dynamic movement!

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