Why warm up exercises are so important for your overall development in Tai Chi?
The Tai Chi warm up exercises are an extremely effective way to prepare and condition your body for all the Tai Chi movements. They assist in improving your overall health and fitness and are a vitally important element for all the main Schools or styles of Tai Chi.
These exercises are normally done before the standing post element in most traditional Tai Chi Classes, which will help you to relax and loosen your whole body. This will then thoroughly prepare your body for the standing post or standing Qigong section of your lesson, enabling you to eventually stand for long periods in a relaxed, but alert manner.
The Tai Chi long form has many difficult and complex movements within it, which requires your body to be supple, relaxed and strong. The warm up exercises should prepare your body for this very well. You will discover as you progress in the form that most, if not all of the Tai Chi exercises are included in the form. By the time that you come to the more complex movements and have been training for some time, you will be very well prepared to be able to do these flexible moves with some ease.
Each tai Chi School or style has its own way to warm you up, but it is vital to all good traditional styles of Tai Chi that the exercises prepare your body thoroughly for the lesson ahead. This will help to ensure that you will improve over time and give you maximum benefit from each lesson. In turn this will increase the pleasure that you may have when practicing your tai chi Movements.
What will the Tai Chi warm up exercises do for me
- Improve your overall fitness and body flexibility in a slow but gradual manner, with no jerky or harsh quick movements, which may cause your body to become injured. This will result in stretched muscles, ligaments and tendons, gradually increasing your body’s flexibility.
- Warm your muscles and gradually increase your body temperature.
- Help to prevent your body from becoming injured.
- They will help improve your respiration and aid digestion.
- They speed the healing process and help to rehabilitate your injury and improve many medical conditions, such as Diabetes.
- Improve your concentration and physical wellbeing.
- Relax and loosen your body.
- Increase saliva secretion and body fluids which will gradually massage your organs internally.
- Improve your posture, grace and agility.
- They will work at a capillary level, increasing the elasticity of your blood vessels, which will not place undue stress on your heart.
- All the exercises are gentle, low impact and will not overload your joints, like road running.
- Help to ground you and improve the biomechanics of your body.
As you can see the Tai Chi warm up exercises are a vital way to prepare your body for practising Tai Chi.
It is important that you listen to your teacher and follow his advice to the letter. All the exercises must be done correctly and very slowly as injury could result very easily. Your teacher will check each posture to give you maximum benefit from the exercises. Overtime your range of movement will increase and with dedication you will become extremely flexible and strong.
Good luck and enjoy your training.
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