Oct 15, 2013

{Fit and Strong Day 14}: Tough Quadriceps

I'm a couple of posts behind, but still catching up with the 31 Days series.  I went home to the province to survey the devastation brought about by Typhoon Santi (international: Nari).  I have not seen such a devastating aftermath, with big, strong trees uprooted and pylons felled down.  Those trees looked like they were plucked from the ground by a giant, roots and all!

Anyway, speaking of strong and powerful, let's concentrate on the quadruceps this time.  I remember when I used to have regular Tai ji sessions, I think my quads were more toned and defined than they are now.  I still get a good quads workout through running, but I think I'm going to go back to doing regular horse stance.

The Horse Stance is a common stance in martial arts.  At first glance, they all look the same, except when it's a Sumo wrestler taking that stance.  It looks more like a bull ready to charge.  Of course that's just my perception.  So anyway, I could only speak of the horse stance done in Tai ji (or Tai Chi).  
  • Horse Stance - stand with feet apart, shoulder-width apart, or wider if you can.  Make sure that your toes are pointing in front and that your feet are parallel (not diagonally pointing outwards).  Slowly, bend your knees, only up to the point that the knees are in line with the toes.  Do not let the knees protrude beyond your toes.  Now, pay particular attention to your back, from the head down to the tailbone, it should be a straight line.  Imagine you have your head and back resting against a wall.  So tuck in that tailbone.  Your hands, either you put them on your hips or put them in front, shoulder level, as if you're hugging a tree.  Easy right?  Except of course that you have to hold this position for 5 minutes initially.  And as your quads and legs get stronger, you'll find that you can hold this for 10 minutes or longer.  As you go back to the upright position, kick your legs in front to relax the quads and knees.
  • Squats - Much like the horse stance except your feet can be slightly splayed outwards and you do several reps with this instead of holding the position like above.  I love squats as it works out a lot of muscle groups all at once, but as I have mentioned, I have a bad left knee so I have to go easy on the squats.
  • Spartan Bow - I think this is great, although, I have yet to try this one:



And with that, I take a bow.  That's all for now.  Happy exercising!

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