Jenny Harding, For TSM

My wife and I recently attended a BBQ at a friends house in Fort Collins. At the party we met the most delightful woman, Helga O'Donovan.  Helga happens to be an artist, a dancer and author who recently created a workout video based on traditions practiced by Sumo wrestlers.

SumoFit™ is a fitness program that uses traditional, centuries-old Sumo conditioning exercises to stretch, strengthen and stabilize your “koshi”, which is the Japanese name for the body’s center consisting of the hips, belly, lower back, bottom, and thighs.

I decided to give one of the exercises a try. Let's just say I probably won't be teaching any classes of my own very soon. Check out this YouTube Video:


Helga O’Donovan is an artist, writer and dancer.  She holds a black belt in karate-jutsu, and instructor certification in FAST Defense from Black BeltMagazine Hall of Famer, Bill Kipp.

Of mixed Japanese descent, Helga spent part of her childhood on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu.  She enjoyed frequent trips to visit her grandparents on the main island of Honshu.

Helga’s approach to fitness is shaped by her interest in anthropology, art, history, and world cultures, as well as by her experiences growing up in a multicultural family.  Her unique cultural background has led to a lifelong interest in traditional Japanese movement, and the ways in which culture influences our health and fitness choices.  Helga believes we should approach fitness naturally, intuitively, purposefully, and, above all, joyfully.