Tai Chi stepping 5/10 – Watch your back

Watch your back

Rule 5 – Watch your back

Watching your back is always important – especially when stepping backwards.

❌ Your back is bent – this tension in your lower back means the vertebrae and the spinal discs (the bone structure of the back) carry a good deal of the pressure that should ideally be held by your muscles. And what is worse: Your healthy body structure is lost as your spine arches in (hollow lower back) – don’t step back this way!

✅ You are “sitting”, i.e. comfortable in the leg that controls the step, your back remains straight throughout the movement. Now your posture is correct: internal and external forces are led through the hips towards your feet and thus to the ground. Well done!

Video “Watch your back”

👍🏼 Take your time practising stepping backwards slowly and carefully. Always control your movement with the leg on the ground. This exercise will also make the mechanism of stepping forwards (see Tai Chi Stepping Rule 4) more clear to you. – Mastering stepping backwards allows you to cash in on the Tai Chi health aspect and to take better care of your spine in all your movements!

👀 Bonus for martial artists: Special power activated! You just laid the base for stepping back and punching / pushing seamlessly without having to readjust your structure beforehand!

Have fun moving around Tai Chi style!

Author: Gabi Kannenberg
Images: Nils Klug and Taiji Forum
German version of this series

Push Hands Autumn 2023

Beside the Push Hands workshop in Crete Nils Klug will be offering seminars in Italy, south of Germany and in his school in Hannover.