Tai Chi Workouts for the Whole Body

By Jeffrey Beck

A few weeks ago at Channel 2, Mary and I talked about a low impact, slow moving workout known as Tai Chi. It’s a non-violent form of the martial arts derived from the Chinese. The exercises we did work the upper and lower body, help build muscular strength, increase flexibility balance and are quite relaxing. Tai Chi also has many meditative properties. It’s great for everyone but especially the older population.

Tai-Chi-Exercises-strength-balance

These exercises only take a few minutes, but if you do them every morning, you start to see the results. These exercises may be a bit difficult to visualize just on the description alone, but if you watch the news segment, you’ll get the picture.

For each exercise begin in the horse stance with your legs shoulder width apart, slightly bent at the knee with your arms bent at the elbow at 90 degrees down by your side.

Exercise 1

  1. Bring your arms up in front of you with your forearms parallel to your face
  2. Inhale as move your arms apart toward your back opening up the chest
  3. Exhale as you bring your arms back in
  4. Do 10 reps nice and slow.

Exercise 2

  1. Again start in the horse stance; legs shoulder width apart with your arms just in front like you are holding a ball with one hand on top and other on the bottom
  2. Shift your weight onto your left leg while bringing your right leg up bending at the knee
  3. As you lower your right leg back down, shift your weight back onto both feet while turning your body to the right and stretch your arms out in front of you
  4. Return to your starting position and repeat on the other side
  5. Do 10 reps on each side.

Exercise 3

  1. From your beginning position, bring your left arm up forming a 90 degree angle at the elbow
  2. Bring your right arm out from your side with the elbow straight and a 45 degree angle in the armpit
  3. At the same time you moved your arms into position, bring your right leg up across the body and hold for a second or two
  4. Switch to the other side and hold
  5. Repeat 10 times

Exercise 4

  1. For this last one think of the movie Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel about wax on and wax off, but move your hands counter clockwise
  2. As you rotate your hands, bend to knees and rock your body side to side
  3. Continue the movements for 30 seconds

Like some of the other work outs we have talked about in the past, do these exercises as a circuit, doing one right after the other and repeat the whole series.