Qigong For Hips and Shoulders
Qigong for hips and shoulders is an effective practice. Most people don’t realize how important those joints are. The hip joint is the socket that allows free movement for our legs, knees, and feet, at the same time, it also supports a majority of our body weight. The shoulders are used for even more movements of the arms, hands, and fingers. The shoulder complex is important for just about every activity you do; from walking to eating to typing on your computer—everything that you do involves moving your arms, which requires shoulder mobility and coordination. Let’s learn more about qigong and hip and shoulder health in this blog. You can try the FREE video by White Tiger Qigong Instructor, Effie Tsaggarides to feel the benefits of qigong for hips and shoulders by clicking the YouTube video link above.
What is Qigong?
Qigong is an ancient practice that uses movement, breath, and intention. Through qigong, we release any stiffness, blockages, and stagnations in the body that limits the good flow of energy in the body. It helps build strength, increase range of motion, improve flexibility, and many more. Qigong is a very balanced practice, so, unlike other exercises, we can avoid injuries. Because qigong is an overall practice that affects the body, mind, and spirit positively we, therefore, avoid other consequences of some exercises or movement practices like fatigue, imbalanced body development, developing immune problems and heart disease, and many more. Those who practice qigong will attest to its benefits and healing capacities, as well as its ability to improve bone density and overall health.
Benefits of Qigong for Hips and Shoulders
Qigong for the hip and shoulder is the best method to work on your flexibility and strength. It is therapeutic, functional, and very effective. Qigong aims to help people relax, revive and strengthen their bodies. Through exercises that mobilize and slow the breath, you can work towards releasing tension in your muscles, which will improve your overall fitness. Qigong has been part of Chinese medicine for thousands of years – it works at a deep level of the body and can help ease any pain or discomfort.
Qigong for Hips and Shoulders
Here are qigong for hips and shoulders stances and exercises. Using qigong for hips and shoulders has different approaches. Practicing stances help in aligning the body to its proper alignment, improves posture, strengthens the muscles and joints, and improves flexibility. Dynamic qigong exercises help smoothen out any stiffness and tension in the body. Stiffness in the hips and joints is caused by either lack of movement or build-up of fascial adhesion due to wear and tear.
Standing Qigong (Zhan Zhuang)
Zhan Zhuang or Standing Qigong is the most basic and standard form of Qigong. The Zhan Zhuang is usually held for a certain time. It is not just a normal standing posture.
The Zhan Zhuang alignment are as follows:
- Feet are grounded with 10% tension towards the earth
- Feet spread out at shoulder width apart
- Knees are released (slightly bent)
- Knees above the ankles
- Hips are released
- The sacrum connects towards the earth
- The spine is straight connected to heaven
- Chest Relaxed
- Shoulders Relaxed
- The tongue touches the roof of the mouth
- Crown point connects to heaven
Zhan Zhuang is often described as a martial art, however, this isn’t strictly accurate. To understand its goals, think of it more like an art of living. It teaches the mind and body to relax and yield, strengthening flexibility in muscles and joints and opening up energy flow through the body.
Horse Stance (Ma Bu)
Horse stance is an integral part of many martial arts styles and forms. However, many individuals do not know or understand the purpose and mechanics for horse stance. The horse stance strengthens the hip and knees and tones the muscles around them. It also strengthens the ankles, Achilles tendon, and calves. This is good for stamina, knee and ankle strength and overall balance. When in a horse stance, you should feel a pull on your thigh and buttock muscles. It can be hard to maintain this position at first, however, if you hold it long enough, you will be able to do so more easily. If your hips hurt when doing the horse stance, you should back off.
Bow Stance (Gong Bu)
The Bow Stance is a hip-strengthening move that can help to strengthen the legs and back while also improving posture. It’s a simple technique, furthermore, it is one that’s very beneficial for strengthening the body without engaging in any extra “work.”
You should be comfortable in whatever stance you have, and the Bow Stance enhances your ability to move and workout without aggravating your body’s natural responses. The Bow Stance subtly emphasizes the upper body and core, as a result, ultimately creating an overall strong posture as a result of all of the muscles throughout your body working together.
Taming the Tiger Stance (Pu Bu Stance)
The Pu Bu Stance helps improve strength, flexibility, and mobility through a series of exercises and movement transitions, such as in qigong. In qigong, movement intertwines works like acupressure to the body. Qigong also has gentle stretching, furthermore, stances like the Pu Bu will help strengthen your joints by working out the muscles that surround them.
The Pu Bu Stance is a vital stance for helping keep us fit and healthy. However, it’s not something that you need to be doing all the time-the minimum would be a daily stretch. We recommend going through this routine at least three times a week and extending that if you can.
5 Element Qigong
The 5 Element Qigong is a dynamic qigong that uses different stances. The movement in this qigong system shifts from different stances. This helps strengthen the muscles and joints by doing gentle movements. Qigong helps strengthen our bodies. The stronger our body the better it will be able to function. Fascia is an extremely dense connective tissue that acts as a supporting web throughout your entire body. Located under the skin and around muscles (and in between each muscle bundle) are thin bundles of collagen fibers that make up our fascia. The stronger our fascia is, the less wear and tear there will be on muscles and joints. The 5 Element Qigong can help you gain poise, train your body, and improve your overall well-being all at once.
Dragon Qigong for Hips and Shoulders
The Dragon Qigong uses a lot of twists and turns and spiral movements. As it moves, it uses the maximum range of motion of the arms pulling it upwards and twisting sideways. This helps mobilize the shoulders as the movement shifts from one position to the other.
The lower body movement of the Dragon Qigong gently shifts from one stance to the other. As the upper body shifts and twists, the lower body shifts and holds the stances. This helps improve lower body stability as you engage the hips. Through this, the muscle surrounding the hips strengthens which helps in overall hip strength.
Tiger Qigong for Hips and Shoulders
The upper movement of the Tiger Qigong is very healthy and helpful for the shoulder. Throughout the entire Tiger Qigong exercise, the shoulders are mobilized. As the arms stretch forwards and swing backward the movement of the shoulders helps send signals to the joints to produce fluid in that area. This fluid, called synovial fluid, helps lubricate the joints and improve joint health by allowing smoother movement. When there is a healthy amount of synovial fluid there is less friction between the bones and joints, therefore, lessening the wear and tear in those areas.
The lower body movement of the Tiger Qigong is held in a horse stance. Unlike the other exercises in the 5 Element Qigong, the Tiger Qigong is the only exercise that is held in one stance. This may sound like it is easier than the rest, however, holding the horse stance can be challenging. This strengthens the hip muscles and stimulates the production of synovial fluid. Holding the horse stance is an active exercise that balances strength and flexibility as it improves both altogether.
Leopard Qigong for Hips and Shoulders
The upper body movement of the Leopard Qigong has a lot of stretches and expanded movement in the arms. This also stretches the shoulder area as the flowy movement of this exercise helps mobilize the shoulders. The dynamic yet gentle movement and stretch of the Leopard Qigong helps loosen up the joints without over stretching it. This helps reduce injuries caused by too much stretching. Over stretching can cause a lot of injuries if it is not accompanied with proper strength training. When you over stretch you can cause a lot of injuries because you can keep pulling the muscles beyond its limit. Strengthening the muscles is important so that you will avoid injuries caused by stretching. Strength and flexibility training is balanced in qigong. That is why qigong for hips and shoulders is very effective.
Like the Dragon Qigong, the Leopard Qigong has a lot of transition from one stance to the other. The first transition of the Leopard Qigong begins with the Zhan Zhuang and then transitions into Bow stance. You may want to practice with stance training before going straight into practicing this transition as it can be very tricky and difficult, therefore, if you do not have proper stance training. Transition movements may cause some injury if you go straight into it without proper stance training. Overall, the lower body movement of the Leopard Qigong is a deep stance and transition workout for the hips.
Crane Qigong for Hips and Shoulders
Crane Qigong is a gentle movement that helps mobilize the upper body and stretch the joints in the shoulders, back, legs and arms. When we hold our arms sideways, it helps strengthen the shoulders. The arms serve as a natural body weight to help engage the shoulders, loosen stiff muscles and relax tired joints. Crane Qigong is a very gentle and relaxing upper-body workout. It is great for anyone who wants to improve their posture or just relax their joints. It also mobilizes the entire upper body.
Crane Qigong is a very good exercise to release stiffness in the hip. As you use strength to lift your legs around, you strengthen all the muscles around the hips. This is a very good balance of strength and flexibility. Crane Qigong is a very good exercise for the balance of strength and flexibility. This is a very good exercise for hip training as it will help strengthen and help recover any injuries in the hips.
Snake Qigong for Hips and Shoulders
Snake Qigong stretches your shoulders. The upper body movement of the snake qigong helps open up and stretch the shoulders. This qigong exercise is designed to help you stretch, strengthen, and open up your shoulders. By using controlled upper body movement during this exercise, you will work your arms and chest in ways that are just like the natural movement of the snake.
The Snake Qigong is an advanced qigong training for the hips, thighs and pelvic bones. This particular style of snake qigong is beneficial for those who want to strengthen and stabilize their hip joints. Learning the lower body stances and stances of the snake is a great way of stretching and exercising your hips.
Qigong for Hips and Shoulders Movement Exercise and Training
In summary, I believe that qigong for hip and shoulders should prove valuable for people suffering from shoulder issues, regardless of their chronicity. It offers a mix of isolations and integrations, strengthening the muscles to support the joint itself. With consistent practice over time, the muscles surrounding the shoulder will be able to endure more stress. This can help prevent future injuries from occurring.
We hope you’ve gained a better understanding of the ways that qigong can help. And we recommend practicing this exercise every day to keep your body functioning at its best. Ultimately, qigong is much more than just a physical practice; it’s a path toward mindfulness, and awareness of one’s body and thoughts. And when you combine that with regular practice, you’ll find yourself waking up every morning with a sense of calm, purpose, and enthusiasm for the day ahead—and life in general.
Those who practice qigong will attest to its benefits and healing capacities, as well as its ability to improve bone density and overall health. Qigong is also fun, which is an added bonus.
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