Warming-up for Taijiquan, Qigong & Wushu


Our set of exercises is inspired by common Wushu warming-up from the Sha family and warming-up/Jibengong exercises of Liu Yafei. Thank you very much for the inspiration!
Preparing for a Taijiquan, Wushu or Qigong lesson you should follow the principles of:

  • having a passive half of every exercise which means: just stand and be aware of sensations happening inside without any activity.
  • moving easy and fluently
  • repeat quite some time (24 x or more) so that your body and mind can adjust to different stages – from coordination to “getting into it” to increasing “team-work” of the whole body.

The following exercises are more or less a core of our warming-up. You can add exercises depending on what are your plans for your own training or lesson.
This set is also a very helpful “1. Aid”- kit for desk tortured shoulders and backs!
Have fun trying and if you like being part of a group: Welcome at Tai Chi Schule Göttingen!

Moving your big joints (1-4) and Dynamic Tuina/Anmo (5-8)

  1. Hands and feet
    While your hands are giving each other easy impulses to get moving circular, you are standing on one foot and the other foot circles on the ground like circling a hole into the sand.
    Change directions and feet
  2. Knees
    Stance hips or shoulder wide. Bend your legs a little like sitting down on a stool. Both hands on top of your knees without putting any weight on them.
    Turn knees circular. Easy and fluently. Circles as big as your feet are or less.
    Change directions.
    Repeat with your feet and knees together.
  3. Hips
    Stance shoulder or hips wide. Put your hands on your hips and get your center of gravity rolling (easy and fluently) on top of the rims of your feet. Follow your weight on their way.
    Change directions and put your hands on your lower dantian.
    Make sure your shoulders are loose and relaxed – are following the gravity.
  4. Shoulders
    Stance hip/shoulder wide. Your shoulders move forward-upwards and sink down backwards. Start with small circles and start getting bigger after a while if it feels good. Imagine you are pulling your shoulders out of the earth, through your forefoot, while your feet are rooting proportional into the earth. Have the shoulders sink downwards through your heels and into the ground.
    Change directions.
  5. Knees
    Lift your legs alternately, swing your arms and let your hands drop on the lifted knee.
    Repeat and change.
    Change into a wide stance, bend one leg, put your weight and turn towards the not bent knee. Lift your arm and drop it with your hand into the backside of your knee. Hand and arm are loose. It´s: droping down and swinging up again MUCH more than: hitting and lifting…
    Repeat and change.
  6. Hips
    Stance hip/shoulder wide. Bend your knees alternately, move your hip a little away from the bent side, lift both arms and let them drop on to your body´s side. Have your arms swing up again, bend the other knee, shift your hip, arms drop again, ….
  7. Lower belly and back
    Stance hip/shoulder wide. Small impulses from legs and hips make you turn around your vertical axis. Your arms completely passive swing around you according to the intensity of your turning and drop onto your body. One in the front onto your belly, one in the back.
  8. Shoulders
    Stance hip/shoulder wide. Let your arms swing forward and generate the intensity from your legs. `Forward´ is your mainly aimed direction. A little bit like as you want to throw your arms to someone standing on the other side of a river. Let them drop and try again..
    After some repetitions, you close your hands to relaxed fists and make them change directions to drop on to your upper chest. Let them swing back and repeat. Don’t either force or stop your fists dropping on to your upper chest!
    After a while you swing your fists on to your shoulders and after another while you do it alternately: Chest, shoulders, chest, …

Video “Warming-up for Taijiquan, Qigong & Wushu”

More warming up exercises you will find on our Qigong Exercise Youtube Channel and under the tag “Qigong Exercises”.

Author: Angela Menzel, Tai Chi Schule Göttingen – Home of Sha Wushu in Germany

Images: Angela Menzel and Taiji Forum