How Strong Are Sumo Wrestlers?

How Strong Are Sumo Wrestlers

Sumo Wrestling is the national sport of Japan and one of the most intriguing versions of full-contact wrestling that exist in the world.

Sumo wrestlers usually weigh a lot and use this weight as a way of imposing their strength on their opponent during a match. Because of this, you’re probably wondering how strong a sumo wrestler is.

How Strong Are Sumo Wrestlers

Does their training regime make them strong? How does this work? How would a Sumo wrestler fare against a weightlifter? These are common questions to do with Sumo and something that is very interesting to consider.

 If you’re wondering about this then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’re going to give you a comprehensive guide to Sumo Wrestling and strength.

We’ll take a look at their traditions, training regimes, and how they use this to be powerful in their sport. We’ve also included a short FAQ section that will help answer any questions you may have left over at the end. 

Strength In Sumo Wrestling

So the main goal of a Sumo Wrestler is to compete and defeat opponents in Sumo. A general Sumo match involves two competitors clashing in a ring, each trying to push the other out. A match can also be won by one competitor forcing another to place a limb or part of their body on the floor. 

As you can tell by this description, the main tool that a sumo wrestler has to defeat their opponent is through strength. There is much technique around sumo wrestling, but strength is a vital part of the sport and something that all sumo wrestlers use to their advantage. This means that it is a key part of their training.

How Do Sumo Wrestlers Train?

Sumo wrestlers (see also, ‘Are There Female Sumo Wrestlers?‘) go through intense training to become professional competitors (otherwise known as rikishi.) They start off at the lowest rank and increase in skill and competition as they begin to win.

Because of this, there is a strict training regime that all sumo wrestlers undertake. This is to create a specific body type that is most favorable for the conditions of sumo competitions. 

Sumo wrestler training is a holistic experience that is determined by their trainer (also known as the Oyakata). The Oyakata creates a specific training routine as well as the types of techniques that sumo wrestlers learn. 

A key part of training is how they build muscle. The muscle density of a sumo wrestler is much different than that of a weightlifter, and their body types are very different.

Sumo wrestlers go through sometimes daily exercises that are designed to increase muscle density. For example, a lot of sumo wrestler training is based on functional strength, and this is achieved through hand-to-hand combat. 

Some of the main areas of the body that sumos focus on are their arms and legs. The legs of a sumo wrestler are the main area that drives them forward during competition.

Leg training often involves stomping exercises called the Shiko which increases both flexibility and overall strength. Sumo wrestlers get very comfortable in the squatting position, which is the starting position of all sumo matches. 

Weightlifting And Sumo

One thing you’ll probably be wondering – is how can sumo wrestlers build muscle and high strength without lifting weights. Weightlifting is not a big part of sumo wrestling at all, and its use in training is a controversial topic.

The main thing to keep in mind is that sumo wrestlers build strength for a very specific purpose – to defeat their opponents. 

This means that they need strength that is relative to the sport they are involved in. They don’t need to be able to lift huge weights because it isn’t what they’re training to do.

That said, sumo wrestlers are often strong enough to completely overpower and even sometimes lift up their opponents – and some sumo wrestlers weigh well over 300 pounds! 

Functional strength is something that you see more in combat sports, as athletes don’t need to be able to lift over a certain amount. In fact, many current MMA competitors lift weights less than you might assume (despite their impressive physiques.) 

How Strong Are Sumo Wrestlers?

How Strong Are Sumo Wrestlers

So this is the central question of our article and one that is difficult to answer. There haven’t been that many studies or comparisons done that compare sumo wrestlers to other strength-based athletes.

That said, we can say with some certainty that sumo wrestlers are incredibly strong, especially compared to an average person. 

Just by the observation that they can move their opponents who weigh a lot out of a ring should tell you everything you need to know about how strong they are.

However, since sumo wrestlers don’t lift weights in the traditional way, it’s difficult to completely measure their strength, or compare it. 

The safest thing we can say is that sumo wrestlers are extremely strong at moving human opponents – but this is also determined by their technique. You certainly wouldn’t want to go up against one in any kind of wrestling competition. 

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! Sumo wrestlers are an extremely strong type of athlete and they achieve this through extensive conditioning in their legs, arms and core (see also, ‘What do Sumo Wrestlers Eat?’).

Their fast power, combined with their high body mass and understanding of technique allows them to be very effective in their sport. Perhaps in the future, we’ll see more studies or examples of sumo wrestlers (see also ‘Are There Female Sumo Wrestlers?‘) competing against other athletes, but for now, we can certainly say they are impressively strong.

We hope that this article has given you some insight into the strength and conditioning of sumo wrestlers (see also ‘Are Sumo Wrestlers Healthy?‘). It’s an incredible sport that has captivated Japan and the wider world for centuries and will likely do so for years to come.

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