Tai Chi For Building Strength


If you are looking to build strength as you age, start by training your legs. Without your legs, you’d be very limited.  You wouldn’t be able to carry your groceries or simply get around as easily. 

When we build strength, we tend to focus on our upper bodies more and ignore the half that really enhances movement.  Build on your foundation instead, and work out your legs.  

Training your legs doesn’t have to be painful. While squats can be good for you, you don’t have to do them – front or back – to get a good workout. You don’t have to do leg curls, or leg presses. You don’t even have to deadlift.

Just do Tai Chi.

Tai Chi gives your legs a really good workout. Tai Chi increases the circulation of your legs. It also increases their flexibility and balance. You increase the strength of your legs by lowering your hips, and bending the knees.

Put your fingers into your hip sockets and drop your hips and your tailbone. In Tai Chi, you’ll get into a position where you are ready to jump. In other words, you are in a slight crouch. Then, you move by shifting your weight back and forth, slowly moving from one leg to the other.

As you shift the weight, your goal is to bring all of your body’s weight to rest on one leg or one foot. Tai Chi challenges you to hold your weight with your leg muscles, and not rely on the skeletal structure to keep you up. 

If I’m standing up straight, my knees are locked and everything is sort of locked into place. My skeletal structure helps me to carry my weight, but if I loosen up my joints, loosen up my hips, bend my knees, then the muscles, ligaments, tendons, tissues, and fascia all get activated.  They work together to hold you up.

Therefore, you increase your balance and increase blood flow throughout your body, while training your legs. Your legs are the most important to overall blood flow.

Upper body workouts do not increase your blood flow in the legs as much as your training of the legs increases blood flow in your upper body.

It’s important to emphasize your leg movements and how you train your legs as a natural weightlifting device. Tai Chi uses a sinking effect on your upper body to gather your into your legs. You can feel more pressure on your legs and feet. Move in slow motion and make one leg continuously support most of your body’s entire weight. The other leg and foot are free to step, kick or sweep. The sinking of your torso happens when you release the hips, bend the knees, loosen your joints and drop your tailbone straight down.

With your tailbone slightly tucked in, use your legs fully resulting in more strength, flexibility, blood flow to the hips, knees, ankles and foot joints.

When you turn your legs and waist in Tai Chi, it increases the blood flow to your pelvis. This helps you not to stiffen up or become brittle. Engage your legs by shifting your weight back and forth for a nice workout.

Let’s do some exercise now.

Follow along with my video as it will show the full-body view.

1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Take your right foot and turn it 45 degrees. Take your left foot, step forward, and then relax and exhale into your back foot.

2. Both feet are going to be flat on the floor for the entire exercise. Sit on your back foot and your foot is at 45 degrees to your front foot.

3. In slow motion, shift your weight completely from the back leg to the front leg. Then, from the front leg all the way to the back leeg. Do this over and over. Be mindful of sinking your torso or progressively lowering your center of gravity by dropping your tailbone about an inch or so.  Do this while you shift the weight back and front. 

4. Then as you shift your weight to the back leg, turn your waist to the right.

5. As you shift the weight to the front leg, turn your waist to the left. Do this a few times slowly and gently and get into a nice rhythm.

6. Shift your weight forward, turn your waist to face where your front toes are pointing. Then, shift the weight back and face where your back toes are pointing.

Do this for about 5 to 10 minutes so that you can get an idea of what a short Tai Chi workout would give your legs. Get into a nice rhythm, being free with the turning of your waist. Don’t forget to lower your hips and buttocks. Drop your tailbone and move back and forth, turning your waist.

What if you no longer have to worry about losing your strength as you age? You don’t have to worry about carrying those bags of groceries.

Now that you’ve worked out your legs, stay tuned to see what natural exercises you can do to work out your upper body. Subscribe to my channel for more tips and workout exercises.

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