When it comes to building strong legs, many people turn to traditional exercises like squats, lunges, and leg presses. While these exercises are undoubtedly effective, there's another lesser-known workout that can help you achieve powerful, well-defined legs – Shiko, the Sumo leg workout.
This ancient Japanese exercise was recently made famous by Netflix's new hit series Sanctuary. This intense exercise, which is an integral part of Sumo wrestlers' training, offers numerous benefits for average guys looking to strengthen their legs. In this blog post, we'll explore what Shiko is, its benefits, and how you can incorporate it into your fitness routine.
What is Shiko?
Shiko (四股) is a traditional Japanese leg exercise that has been practiced by Sumo wrestlers for centuries to develop their lower body strength, balance, and flexibility. The name "Shiko" translates to "four legs" or "four thighs," which refers to the movement's emphasis on engaging all four leg muscles simultaneously. The exercise involves raising one leg high and then stomping it down forcefully while maintaining proper posture and balance.
Benefits of Shiko for Average Guys
While Shiko may have been designed for Sumo wrestlers, it offers several benefits for average guys looking to build strong legs. Some of these benefits include:
Improved Leg Strength: Shiko targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, making it an excellent full-leg workout. As a result, practicing Shiko regularly can lead to increased leg strength and po
Better Balance and Stability: Since Shiko requires you to maintain balance while lifting and stomping your leg, it helps improve your overall balance and stability, which is essential for various sports and daily activities.
Increased Flexibility: The high leg raise and deep squat involved in Shiko help increase your hip and leg flexibility, reducing the risk of injuries and enhancing your overall mobility.
Enhanced Core Strength: Shiko also engages your core muscles, as they work to stabilize your body throughout the movement. This can lead to a stronger, more stable core and better posture.
Low Impact: Unlike some traditional leg exercises, Shiko is relatively low impact, making it suitable for people with joint issues or those looking to reduce the stress on their knees and hips.
How to Incorporate Shiko into Your Fitness Routine
Incorporating Shiko into your regular workout routine is relatively simple. Follow these steps:
Warm-up: Begin with a light warm-up to prepare your muscles for exercise. This could include jogging, jumping jacks, or dynamic stretching.
Perform the Shiko Movement:
- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointing outward.
- Squat down, keeping your back straight and chest up.
- Raise one leg as high as you can while maintaining balance and control. Your raised foot should be flexed, and your knee should be pointing outward.
- Stomp your raised foot down forcefully, returning to the squat position.
- Repeat the movement with the other leg.
Sets and Repetitions: Start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions per leg. As your strength and endurance improve, you can gradually increase the number of sets and repetitions.
Cool Down: Finish your workout with a cool-down period, consisting of static stretching and deep breathing exercises to help your muscles recover and prevent injury.
Shiko, the Sumo leg workout, offers an effective and unique way for average guys to build strong legs, improve balance and stability, and enhance flexibility. By incorporating this ancient Japanese exercise into your fitness routine, you can experience the benefits enjoyed by Sumo wrestlers for centuries. Give Shiko a try and see the difference it can make in your leg strength and overall fitness.