When we have a greater muscle mass, our bodies burn calories more efficiently even when resting.
Qi gong and tai chi allow you to build muscle naturally while increasing energy and the health of the internal organs.
How do qi gong and tai chi build muscle mass?
(1) Isometric Movements.
Qi gong and tai chi movements are isometric in nature. This means that qi gong and tai chi movements slowly contract muscles to increase tension, while length of the muscles remain constant.
Unlike working with free weights, isometric movements create flexible muscles.
Of course, the more flexible muscles are, the stronger they are, and the less prone to injury.
Also, researchers have discovered that isometric hand grip exercises lower resting blood pressure in individuals who are medicated for hypertension (Blood Pressure Monitor. 2007 Oct;12(5):307-14).
Many of the warm-ups for the Wu Tai Chi form involve these types of focused contractions of the hands.
A qi gong or tai chi teacher trained in teaching nuances of movements will teach students how to increase the isometric qualities of specific movements to optimize building muscle.
(2) Internal Strength.
Qi gong movements strengthen the organ of the spleen, said to rule the muscles in Chinese medicine.
From an internal organ perspective, qi gong and tai chi empower your body to develop muscles by influencing the energy of the spleen in a way that traditional western isometric or weight training cannot do.
(3) Stronger Core Muscles.
Many qi gong and tai chi movements improve balance by strengthening core muscles.
The beauty is that one does not have to learn complicated or difficult routines to increase muscle mass.
The simple movements of the 8 Pieces Brocade and Taoist Five can be performed with attention to toning the core strength and all major muscles of the body.
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