Shifting your Weight

There are two variations on the initial two standing positions that will help strengthen the muscles of your legs. They involve shifting your weight forward and backward. By leaning slightly forward you strengthen your calf muscles. By leaning backward you develop the muscles in your thighs. Increasing the power of both muscle groups is important for your future progress in the Zhan Zhuang system.

A variant is to shift your weight from one side to the other so that you stand with 90 per cent of your weight on one leg.

1. Stand in any ofthe Zhan Zhuang positions you wish. The second position -Holding the Balloon — is most commonly chosen. Distribute your weight equally over both your feet.

Yong Nian Zhan Zhuang

2. As you stand, shift your weight forward on to the balls of your feet. Your heels should rise slightly, so that you could just slide apiece ofpaper under them. Stand with your full weight in that position.

1. Weight overthe middle of yourfeet.

3- After a minute or two, slowly rock backward. Let all your weight flow down into your heels. Lean backward almost to the point oflosing your balance and use your toes to grip the floor or i?isoles of your shoes to keep you from falling. Now sit down on an imaginary beach ball behind you. Drop down as far as possible, as ifsittmg down in a chair. Keep your knees directly above the tips ofyour toes (seep. 93).

2. Weight on the balls ofyour feet.

3- Weight on your heels.

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