SumoFit is a unique fitness program that improves strength, flexibility and balance

asianave February 2, 2014 Comments Off on SumoFit is a unique fitness program that improves strength, flexibility and balance

SumoFit DVDFirst-of-its-kind fitness DVD
SumoFit: Suppleness + Strength + Stability
Buy at for $19.99!
Yes, that’s Sumo—as in wrestling, and it’s a workout program based on traditional Sumo conditioning exercises!

Nearly a decade ago, while recovering from a martial arts training injury, Helga O’Donovan started experimenting with various karate and jiu-jitsu movements, trying to find the best ones to help her regain strength, flexibility and balance. One day she stumbled upon Sumo conditioning exercises and has been practicing them everyday since.

These exercises are the same ones sumo wrestlers have performed for centuries to stretch, strengthen and stabilize their hips, legs and backs. The exercises constitute one-third of a wrestler’s training regimen, the others being actual wrestling practice and eating.
“I’m a martial artist and professional dancer, and I’ve tried both yoga and Pilates,” O’Donovan said. “In my experience, sumo exercises produce better results faster and more safely than either of those two. And yet the fitness industry is quite unaware of them.”


The Creative Director of SumoFit Helga O’Donovan, who lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, poses in the exercise known as shinkyaku, or sumo stretch.

As a martial artist of mixed-Japanese ancestry, it was easy for her to get past the Western perception of Sumo as just two glaring “fat guys in diapers”, slapping and pushing each other. In reality, Sumo is an ancient sport with roots in the Shinto religion. It was originally performed as a ritual to appease the harvest gods; and later became a beloved sport at the imperial court, before being adopted by the samurai class as a military training system. Sumo gave the world jiu-jitsu, judo, and aikido.

“I have taught sumo exercises in jiu-jitsu and karate classes, as well as in a stretching class for distance runners,” O’Donovan said. The runners experienced improved flexibility and balance, and one runner, who had tried everything from yoga to acupuncture to get rid of nagging hip pain, told O’Donovan the Sumo exercises had “fixed” her hips. SumoFit has potential to help anyone—not just martial artists and runners—develop stronger, more flexible hips, and better balance.

O’Donovan’s SumoFit DVD officially released on January 1, 2014. The 90-minute DVD teaches basic SumoFit exercises and exercise sequences. O’Donovan also writes a blog that focuses on culture-influenced health and fitness around the world.

For more information, visit or contact Helga O’Donovan at 970-412-8922 or .


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