Every class in the House of movement begins with specific warm-ups designed to open the main joints in the body. Partly translating an article written in Spanish by Pedro Torrecillas, we are going to explain the aims and benefits of the chen style warm-ups, used by the teachers in the Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei lineage.
In general, warm-ups start from the head down with the aim to activate chi and blood circulation, as well as softly stimulate heart and blood vessels to bring more oxygen and avoid pain and cramps. The movements prevent movement restriction and rheumatoid arthritis. Each movement has benefits in particular areas.
Head: May prevent headaches, migraines, stiff neck as it improves cranial circulation.
Shoulders: May increase respiratory capacity, expression and communication.
Wrists: May prevent rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Waist: May optimize urogenital and intestinal functions.
Knees: Increase hip and feet performance, preventing problems in the posture.
These movements not only prepare the student for the practice of tai chi, but they are also beneficial in themselves, as they stretch and tone the body, improving the muscle condition and stimulating the meridians. It also helps the student to become more aware that when one part of the body moves, the rest of the body moves.
Finally, warms-ups work in the opening of the “nine pearls” or joints: wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles, knees, hips, the zhi yang point at the back, the waist and the dantian.
Every movement counts!
Full original article in Spanish: El calentamiento en el Taijiquan