T'ai Chi For Dummies
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You can perform T'ai Chi routines to target a specific area, such as flexibility in your trunk, hips, back, and legs. This is helpful if you don’t have enough time available for a complete T'ai Chi practice.

Lunging side to side in T'ai Chi

Lunging side to side is a warm-up movement, depicted below. By taking a wide stance and sliding your hips back and forth, you stretch not only your hips but also your inner thighs and legs.


Kick with Left Heel — Kick with Right Heel in T'ai Chi

For the best stretch, do the Kick with Left Heel — Kick with Right Heel movements slowly, lifting each leg as high as you can while keeping good body position. If you want, you can do this mini-form without the arms and hands so that you can focus on the leg and lower body position. These kicks fine-tune balance and leg strength.

  1. Start in a good T’ai Chi Posture.

    Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees slightly, relax your chest and shoulders, and let your arms hang naturally at your sides.

  2. Step into the first Kick with Heel, choosing one side to start.

    Be sure to inhale before you start and be sure to exhale with the kicks.

  3. After your foot has reached its peak, lower it slowly to the floor and put your weight on it, shifting your body so your opposite foot lifts off the ground and you're in a Centering Step.

  4. From the Centering Step, do the Kick with Heel on the opposite side.

  5. Repeat this sequence.

    You move slightly forward with each kick.


A little bonus to this sequence is the balance and leg strength that the kicks help fine-tune.

About This Article

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Geraldine Woods is the author of more than 40 books, including the popular English Grammar For Dummies. She has taught high school and middle school English for over 25 years.

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