Tai Chi for  Balance – Empty and Full

The effects of long term Tai Chi for balance training are well known to most students of the art. In the elderly falls are very common problems that sometimes will even lead to fatality. Falls prevention is now a very keen focus for the multidisciplinary team in the care for the elderly. Physiotherapist, Podiatrists and other health care professionals are all too aware of how good patient education in this area can literally save lives.

Tai Chi for balance can effectively after only a few short months cut down the risk of falls in the elderly. All students can benefit from good balance, which is a firm basis for all good martial arts training. Good balance will help to render most attacks useless, protecting the student from throws and trips.

Never be double waited

It is important to never be double waited in Tai Chi as this will cause instability. Movement should be continuous and flowing never static. Obviously, there are brief moments when your weight will be centred, but this should be kept to only a micro second. The usual method is to make your stances 70% – 30% weight distribution. The 70% leg being the fully weighted one and the 30% leg empty.

Tai Chi for Balance
Tai Chi for Balance

Bow Stance from the spot

A fantastic way to work on this is take up the bow stance on either left or right side. Your forward leg should be full and your rear leg empty. Then move your weight onto the back leg, drawing it back slowly, evenly and smoothly. Your rear leg will now be the full one.  Go through this exercise 5 – 10 times on each side focusing your mind on being empty and full. If your weight is on your forward leg, test your stability by lifting your rear foot off the ground.

Moving forwards and backwards

Doing the bow stance exercise slowly forwards and backwards will help to improve your postural balance and stability. Concentrate on not be evenly weighted for too long. This will also encourage a much stronger root to the ground. After you have practiced this for a while try transferring your weight completely by moving forwards 4-5 times in brush knee and twist step, up and back in step back and repulse monkey stance. By fully committing yourself in this way this will aid to improve your balance still further.

Lifting your foot off the floor

When you lift your foot off the ground do it gradually; by lifting your heel first, then your ball of the foot and lastly your toes. Try this instead of rolling your foot to lift, it will give you much better stability and help you to retain balance. When you lift your foot straight up it is easy to wobble and loose stability.

By concentrating on your foot work with tai Chi for balance exercises, you will gain good stability, which will help with falls prevention and make your movements more fluid.If you would like further information on the wonderful benefits of regular Tai Chi Chuan practice or more details of our Podiatry and therapies service, please click on this website link provided:- podiatrystevenage.org 

Our aim is to help you in any way that we can.

Leave a Reply