Monday, May 16, 2011

7 Suggestions to Help Prevent Knee Pain in Tai Chi

Many beginners have knee issues when they first start Tai Chi. They may complain of knee pain or express concern that they are not positioning their knees correctly.

I have come up with a few suggestions to address knee issues when practicing Tai Chi:

1. Do Enough Warm-ups

Before practicing Tai Chi, do some warm-ups to relax your body and adjust and stretch your joints so your body and legs are not tight before you get started.

2. Bend Your Knee Slightly, Even When Standing Straight

Even when you have a stance requiring you to stand straight up, bend your knee a tiny bit. This will help loosen your knee joint as you bend your knee, squat down, and raise your knee.

3. Avoid Passing Your Knee Beyond Your Toe or Behind Your Heel

A lot of body weight will rest on your knee if your knee passes your toe while in a bow stance or horse stance. Your knee will also hurt if it is behind your heel while in a bow stance.

4. Avoid Sudden Moves

Do everything slowly as your teacher instructs. Don’t make sudden moves. Sudden stretching, pulling, or pushing can hurt your knee.

5. Keep Your Body Vertical in Every Form

Having a tilted body position can impact your knee. Have your teacher correct your posture while in all of the different stances: standing posture (Wu Chi stance); bow stance (Single Whip or Brush Knee); empty stance (White Crane Spread Its Wings); horse stance (Cloud Hands); and crouching stance (Snake Creeps Down). When you can hold your body vertical in every form, you will be less likely to experience knee pain.

6. Move Your Whole Body Together

When part of your body moves and part of your body does not, it can cause an unbalance that often results in knee pain. This pain is due to the fact that the knees have to maintain your weight to keep your body balanced. Coordinating you whole body and moving together will solve this problem.

7. Don’t Overwork Yourself

If you are older and your knees are not strong enough to go lower, stay higher. That will help you for now. Once your knees get stronger, then you can go little bit lower.

Copyrighted Huan's Tai Chi 2011

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