Tai Chi and Chi Kung Warm-up

Tai Chi warm up exercises

Please complete this set of warm-up exercises before playing Tai Chi. The description and video of the first few postures can be found on the Tai Chi page.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Keep your feet bare if you are indoors. Walk in place for two minutes. Spend a little time in the Chi Kung posture and get your breath lowered into your diaphragm. Remember to listen to your body and do nothing that hurts.

Chi Kung posture

Feet shoulder-width apart. Knees slightly bent. Hands at your sides but slightly extended from your sides (Imagine a ping pong ball sitting in the pit of your arm.)

Do each of the following exercises until you feel that the joint is warmed up. Be sure to take the rotation to the fullest comfortable extent that you can.

Neck stretches/rolls

Half neck roll (left side to front to right side and back)

Neck stretch to the back (keep back of neck elongated)

Neck side stretch (turn neck to the side and stretch. Pull down with opposite arm)

Shoulder rolls (forward and then backward)

Get a full range of motion as you life your shoulders up, forward down and back. Repeat.

Arm rolls

Roll your arms in the shoulder sockets. Bring them up and then let them drop over to the other side. (Inside to the outside and then outside to the inside)

Elbow rolls

Roll your elbows inside to the outside and then outside to the inside. Keep your elbows still in space. If this is too difficult for now, do the scarecrow elbow roll.

Wrist rolls

Roll your wrists to the inside from the outside and then from the outside to the inside.

Waist warm up

Stand with feet shoulder length apart, knees slightly bent. Place your arms at approximately shoulder height at 10:00 and 2:00. Twist from your waist. Be sure to keep your knees bent

“Time warp” hip roll

Stand with feet shoulder length apart, knees slightly bent. Roll your hips clockwise and then counterclockwise. Concentrate on keeping your knees bent and on keeping your head and shoulders still in space.

Knee bends

Stand with feet together. Place your hands on your kneecaps and bend your knees. Don’t lift your heels of the ground. This is to strengthen your knees and stretch your Achilles tendons. Straighten your knees and massage your kneecaps.

Ankle turns

Turn your ankles clockwise and then counterclockwise.
Created by: Izolda Trakhtenberg