Tai Chi For the Strength and Confidence That We All Need

Group of people performing tai chi in the park.

Tai Chi will help manage your energy.

The ancient Chinese developed a series of exercises called Tai Chi Chuan. Perfectly executed Tai – Chi Chuan is like a graceful dance. In fact, it began as a dance with which one could succeed in the art of war and prevent disease.

Experts believe that the ancient art of Tai Chi can be successfully used in the following cases:

For preventing bone fractures and strengthening muscle tissue in the elderly.

  • To strengthen all joints.
  • To prevent osteoporosis.
  • To reduce the rehabilitation period after injuries and fractures as a result of a fall.
  • In order for the body to become more flexible and to improve coordination of movements.
  • To maintain a person in a state of “general vigor”.

Tai Chi is as good for self-defense as it is an excellent exercise for physical development. If you are interested in defense technology, please contact the sports sections, which now exist in almost all countries.

But if you want to master excellent exercises, consult a specialist, and after a few lessons you can easily continue training on your own, even every day.

A few rules for practicing Tai Chi

  • Movements should be slow and fluid.
  • Attention should be directed to your own body.
  • You must breathe slowly and freely.

A set of the best Tai Chi exercises

1. Dive into Chi. Stand straight with feet hip-width apart. Body weight should be evenly distributed over both feet. Bend your knees slightly. This is the starting position. Take a deep breath. Raise your arms to shoulder level, your hands are raised. Bend your elbows so that your palms are level with your forehead. Now straighten your arms, stretching them out in front of you. Repeat 4 times.

2. “Hug the moon”. Get into the starting position. Do a deep breath. Bend your arms as if wrapping an imaginary ball. Put the toes of the right foot on the ground, the heel touches the ankle of the left leg. Take the knees of the right leg to the side.

3. Horse Mane. Stand in the pose “Hug the moon”, exhale deeply. Step to the side with your right foot. Legs should be slightly more than shoulder-width apart. At the same time, put your right hand forward, the elbow is slightly bent, the hand is raised up, the palm is directed towards the face. Press the wrist of the left hand, bent at the elbow, to the upper part of the thigh, the wrist extended forward.

4. Jerk. Standing in the horse mane pose, do a deep inhale and lean back. Slowly straighten up. At the same time, bend your left arm at the elbow so that the palm rises to the level of the forehead. Bend your right arm at the elbow, palm down. Take a deep breath. With a sharp movement, throw your left hand forward. The hand is bent, the palm is directed forward.


Tai Chi Chuan – A Dance For Health

Perform exercises 2-3-4 in a row. Do the whole cycle 4-6 times, alternating sides.

This set of Tai Chi Chuan exercises is a dance for health!

Return to Sport4Health.

Callanetics Part 3: Leg Toning Exercises

Legs require special attention. Plentiful food contributes to their fullness. Muscle hypertrophy can also be promoted by improperly selected exercises. Heavy, muscular legs shorten the figure. Using different weight loss methods, you can turn them into thin sticks. Callanetic exercises are designed so that your legs are not threatened by either one or the other. They will become slim and regular in shape.

Exercise 11- Leg Toning

Callanetic Leg Exercises

  • Place your palms in a shoulder width apart position on the back of a chair. Rise as high as possible on your toes. The knees are bent and slightly twisted, the heels are connected. The back is straight, the shoulders are relaxed.
  • Lift your head up. Tighten your buttocks, and push your pelvis as far forward as possible.
  • Hold for a minute and return the pelvis to its original position.
  • On bent legs, keeping your heels together, lower yourself 2 inches.
  • Balance one minute on your toes. Keep your butt in.
  • Repeat the exercise. “Grow” by inches (while pushing the pelvis forward) and return to the starting position. Then, 2 inches down. Do this three times.
  • Cycle: pelvis forward, then back and squat counts as one movement. Remember to keep your shoulders straight.
  • It is difficult to stay upright. Be patient! The difficulties will disappear as soon as you strengthen your legs.

Exercise 12. Slim legs

Callanetic Exercises for the legs

  • An exercise very similar to the previous one. The difference is that this time the tension should be maximum: you should already go down by 4 inches.
  • Notice: You’re not allowed to flop on your heels. Keep straight.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 13. Slim legs

Woman performing Callanetic Exercises for the legs

  • The straightened right leg rests on the back of the chair.
  • Raising your arms up, stretch your entire body so that the abdominal muscles are felt.
  • From this position, tilt towards the foot.
  • If you are unable to touch your foot with your fingertips, don’t worry. Relax with your hands on your legs in a comfortable place.
  • Smoothly move your torso towards the knee and back. Do this 50 times.
  • Do the same on the other side while standing on your right leg.
  • If at first you cannot straighten the raised leg, you can do the same exercise with your knee bent. Don’t worry, after a while your leg will straighten itself.

Exercise 14. Slim legs

Woman demonstrating leg exercises

  • With your right leg bent at the knee, lean on the back of a chair, holding it with both hands.
  • Straighten your right leg as far as you can.
  • Hold your leg straight for a count of 50.
  • Repeat the same with the left leg.
  • Don’t force anything. Do not force the raised leg to straighten.
  • With practice, you’ll be able to stretch the tendons easily.

Return to the main Callanetics page.

Callanetics Part 2: Abdominal Exercises

These abdominal exercises are not nearly as well known as they seem at first glance. It is important that you follow them exactly according to the instructions, then you will feel every movement of the abdominal muscle.

The deeper the working muscles are located under the layer of fat, the less you will be able to do in the beginning. The main thing is not to be discouraged. With time, you’ll be able to do everything with ease.

Exercise 7 – Abdominal Exercise

Callanetic Slimming exercises

  • Lie quietly on the floor with your legs bent at the knees and slightly apart.
  • Press down firmly on your back to the floor. Grasp the inside of your thighs with your palms and push them away from you.
  • Raising your head forward, lift your shoulders off the floor. At the same time, make sure that part of the spine – from the shoulder blades down – is snug against the floor.
  • In this position, move the upper body back 10-15 cm. Movements should be free and slow. The head is directed upwards all the time.
  • Do this three times and rest while lying down.
  • Repeat.

Exercise 8 – Abdominal Exercise

Callatetic stomach exercises

  • Lie on the floor in the same position. Raise both legs 10-15 cm above the floor.
  • Raise your shoulders and head, guiding your straightened leg perpendicular to the ceiling.
  • If you can, keep your leg upright without using your hands.
  • Stretch your arms in front of you, as if you want them to be several centimeters longer.
  • Remember to keep your lower back and buttocks close to the floor.

Exercise 9 – Abdominal Exercise

Callatetics Weight Loss Exercises

  • Again in the same lying position, raise both legs. Grasp them and pull your head and shoulders towards your knees.
  • Now lower your legs, and keeping your arms outstretched as far as possible, gently swing your upper body – 6 inches forward and the same amount back.
  • Perform 100 times.
  • If you have weak legs, you can bend your knees.

Exercise 10 – Abdominal Exercise

Callanetic ab exercises

  • This is a variation of exercise 9 for those who find it difficult to keep their legs up, which happens at first.

Return to the main Callanetics page.

Callanetics For a Beautiful Figure

Women in callanetics class performing exercises.

What is Callanetics?

Callanetics (or calanetics) is a form of fitness gymnastics, named after the author Callan Pinckney. It is a comprehensive system of static exercises aimed at stretching and contracting the muscles.

Callanetics is a highly effective and proven training method, has been recommended by thousands of people who have seen remarkable results in their bodies using a precise sequence of layered movements. This unique system of exercises, causing the activity of deeply located muscle groups, yields amazing results.

The Pulse is the key to Callanetics’ effectiveness – a gentle, precise movement that sculpts and tones the muscles. Callanetics is so effective because of this pulsing action, which is combined with precise positioning and body alignment.

This is the most significant difference between Callanetics and other traditional exercise programs. Callanetics has been praised by thousands of people who have seen transformations in their bodies. Not just the trouble areas women talk about, but all over the body.

Callanetics is a unique set of exercises for all parts of the body: legs, buttocks, hips, arms, shoulders, back and abdominals. It includes exercises from various types of oriental gymnastics, as well as special breathing techniques.

One hour of gymnastic callanetics gives the body a load equal to seven hours of classical shaping, or 24 hours of aerobics.

Callanetics is a a type of gymnastics based on stretching exercises that activate deeply located muscle groups. Each exercise is designed in such a way that all the muscles of the body work simultaneously.

This is the ultimate body re-shaping program. It’s fast and effective!

By using callanetics you can:

1. Restore metabolism.
2. Reduce body weight and reduce its volume.
3. Improve posture.
4. Learn to own your body.
5. Strengthen the muscles.

Who Is Callanetics For?

It is very important to know who should not be involved in callanetics and what restrictions exist.

Unfortunately, there are many restrictions that prescribe a gentle pace, or even prohibit the execution of some complex movements. We will talk about them especially.

But this does not mean that you must put an end to gymnastics. Just make simpler movements, similar to callanetics, but in a simplified form.

For example, if the exercise calls for repeating 20, 30 or more times, try to do it at least 5 times. The effect will not be as fast, however, but reliable and not threatening to your health.

In particular, this applies to those who have various diseases associated with the cardiovascular system.

After any surgery, at least a year must pass before you can deal with callanetics.

Women who have had a cesarean section will even have to slightly increase this period to 1.5 years in order to avoid rupture of stitches.

People with very poor eyesight must first consult a doctor, as the callanetics complex may not be suitable for them.

Classes for those who have asthmatic diseases are prohibited.

For any diseases of the spine, you must first consult your doctor, and if there is no way to immediately do this, avoid sharp turns in one direction or another.

In general, in this case, minimize the number of movements and perform them as smoothly as possible.

With varicose veins, leg strengthening exercises, in particular squats and half-squats, are prohibited. Choose only those that act on the part of the legs from the lower leg to the thigh.

If you have hemorrhoids, squatting in this case is strictly prohibited! After a relatively recent infectious disease, do not rush to take callanetics. Wait out the recovery period, during which be sure to take a course of taking multivitamins and minerals. And only after consulting a doctor, start your studies again.

A few more tips

1. Do only what you can, and do not force your body to what it is not yet ready for. Relax more often at the beginning of classes, and if you feel muscle pain, although you have only done 20 more repetitions, and you need at least 50, do not overstrain.

2. It is advisable to perform exercises in front of the mirror. Then you can observe yourself and better record the movement.

3. The breath should be maintained at a normal rate. Try not to delay it, otherwise the body will not receive the amount of oxygen that it expects.

4. Move in silence, otherwise the pace may go astray.

5. As has already been stated, you will not immediately begin to lose weight; on the contrary, you might even gain it a little. This is because trained muscles weigh more than flabby muscles.

When performing exercises designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles, if they are also quite soft, it will also “grow” a little at the beginning for the same reason. But do not be alarmed: over time, everything will return to normal.

Callanetic Exercises

Part 1 – Warm Ups

  • Exercise 1 – Warm Up
  • Exercise 2 – Warm Up
  • Exercise 3 – Strengthening the shoulder girdle.
  • Exercise 4 – Exercise for the waist.
  • Exercise 5 – Stretching the legs.
  • Exercise 6 – Exercise for the neck.

View warm up exercises page.

Part 2 – Abdominal Exercises

  • Exercise 7 – Abs
  • Exercise 8 – Abs
  • Exercise 9 – Abs
  • Exercise 10 – Abs

View abdominal exercises page.

Part 3 – Toning the Legs

  • Exercise 11 – Toning the legs
  • Exercise 12 – Toning the legs
  • Exercise 13 – Toning the legs
  • Exercise 14 – Toning the legs

View leg-toning exercises page.

Part 4 – Toning the Butt

  • Exercise 15 – Buttocks and Hips
  • Exercise 16 – Buttocks and Hips
  • Exercise 17 – Buttocks and Hips
  • Exercise 18 – Buttocks and Hips
  • Exercise 19 – Buttocks and Hips

Part 5 – Stretching the Muscles.

  • Exercise 20 – Stretching
  • Exercise 21 – Stretching
  • Exercise 22 – Stretching
  • Exercise 23 – Stretching
  • Exercise 24 – Stretching
  • Exercise 25 – Stretching

Part 6 – Belly Dancing

  • Exercise 26 – Belly Dancing
  • Exercise 27 – Belly Dancing
  • Exercise 28 – Belly Dancing

Part 7 – Strengthening the Legs

  • Exercise 29 – Strengthening the legs
  • Exercise 30 – Strengthening the legs

Knowing that most women do not like to do gymnastics, Callan Pinckney recommends performing hourly “sessions” twice a week only in the initial period, when it is necessary to lose weight. When the weight starts to come off, an hour a week will be enough to maintainwhat has been achieved.

As soon as your figure approaches your desired ideal, callanetics can be done for just fifteen minutes, but every day.

Callanetics results can be “measured” and “weighed” after just a few hours of class. But the exercises must be performed very accurately, following the instructions.

Return to Sport4Health home page.

Callanetics Part 1: Warm Up Exercises

Warm-up exercises should not be neglected, since before starting classes it is necessary to warm up the muscles and activate blood circulation. These exercises will help tone the muscles and make the skeletal system more mobile.

Exercise 1 – Warm up

Callanetics Warm Up 1

  • Sit in a chair with armrests or a backrest that you can lean on.
  • Leaning on the armrests or the back of a chair, rise.
  • It is important to keep your back straight and raise your chin higher.
  • Exercise relieves tension in the buttocks.
  • Do 40 times.

Exercise 2 – Warm up

Calanetics Muscle Warming Exercises

  • Straighten and spread your legs, shoulder-width apart.
  • Raise your arms up and hold as high as possible.
  • Draw in your stomach, feel that you have become a few inches higher.
  • Bend your knees and stretch your arms forward, as if you want to reach something.
  • Bend forward and hold this position for a minute.
  • Without changing position, move your arms back and at this time stretch your chin and neck forward strongly.
  • Move your arms forward again, and then back again.
  • Repeat this exercise 5 times.

Exercise 3 – Strengthening the Shoulders

Calanetic Exercises to strengthen the shoulder girdle

  • Straighten, raise your arms to the sides to shoulder level and turn your palms up.
  • The more you turn your palms, the more you will feel the muscles working.
  • Move your arms back without effort, as if wishing to connect the shoulder blades.
  • Move your shoulders gently. Try to touch your back with your fingers.
  • Don’t bend your elbows. Do this exercise 100 times.
  • Correct execution of this exercise straightens the shoulders, raises the bust, and relieves muscle tension between the shoulder blades.

Exercise 4 – Waist Exercise

Calanetic Waist Exercise

  • Legs slightly apart.
  • The right arm is extended upward, the left is on the outside of the left leg (not on the hip!).
  • With as much force as you can, extend the right side of the body and arm up (this first simple phase of the exercise is not shown in the picture).
  • The buttocks are tucked up, the pelvis, like a model, is moved forward.
  • Hold in this position and only after a minute tilt your left shoulder as much as possible to the left side. The back is tense. Perform inclinations 100 times with an amplitude of several centimeters (50 to the left and 50 to the right). Do not balance with your hips, but diligently extend the right side of your body.
  • With this exercise, you will not only reduce your waist, but also get rid of full hips.

Exercise 5 – Leg Stretching

Woman demonstrating leg stretching

  • Don’t be alarmed when looking at the picture. You will do the same, first on bent knees, gradually moving to straight legs.
  • We start the exercise by bending forward (on bent knees) and touching the palms with the floor.
  • With your palms on the floor, pause for a minute, and then gently grab your legs as low as possible.
  • Lower your shoulders and hide your head.
  • Feel your back muscles stretch.
  • In the same position, gently move your entire body a few centimeters towards your legs.
  • After completing about 20 movements, place your left hand on the calves of your right leg above the ankle.
  • Stretch your back and thigh muscles until you count to 20.
  • Now rest, and then, placing your palms on the floor, arch your back like a cat. Repeat the same on the other leg.

Exercise 6 – Neck Exercise

Woman demonstrating neck exercise

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with your shoulders relaxed.
  • The abdomen is pulled in, the buttocks are tense, the pelvis is again, like a model’s forward, the chin is on the chest.
  • From this position, very slowly and gently move your head to the right, while pulling your chin up.
  • Hold on in this position, counting to 5, then smoothly return to the intermediate position and slowly move your head to the left.
  • Repeat 5 times in both directions.
  • This is by no means as easy an exercise as it might seem. It requires a lot of stress.

Return to the main Callanetics page.

The Health Benefits of Playing Sports

Everyone loves an underdog’s victory against the team favored to win. Or the last minute penalty shootout that grasps victory in the final game.

Many people relish success on the field, and are passionate about their favorite teams. But the question begs to be asked: Is it healthy to be obsessed with sports?

Does the physical exercise that comes with playing sports as beneficial to us as we think it is, or is it simply an enjoyable practice that represents fun leisure time? What does the research say in this regard?

For starters, it is agreed that physical exercise is beneficial for both mind and body, And it is absolutely true. Exercise, especially when we are young, has many health benefits, such as improving bone strength, reducing cholesterol levels, and decreasing the risk of conditions like diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Additionally, the brain produces several natural substances during exercise, including a class of hormones called “endorphins”. These naturally-occurring hormones, which control our perception to pleasure and pain in the body’s nervous system, are able to provide a feeling of euphoria, or what is often called “runner’s high”.

High levels of endorphins, and repeated physical exercise in general, can increase your focus and enhance your mood, memory, and overall mental function. But does that mean that we derive the same benefits from working out five times a week as competing on a sports team?

How much do we benefit if we actually join a team and compete, versus simple exercise? Well, this is the interesting part: Studies show that if you participate with a group in a sport that you love, there are many positives to be gained that exceed the physical and mental benefits when exercising alone. The most important benefits are psychological benefits.

Some of those benefits come from the social experience of being on a team, such as learning to trust and rely on others, accepting help, lending a hand, and working together to achieve a common goal. Besides that, committing to a team and participating in something that’s fun can contribute greatly to your motivation to getting regular exercise.

It turns out that participation in school sports reduces the risk of depression for several years.

In the meantime, your sense of esteem and self-confidence could receive a substantial lift as well. This is due to a few factors.

One of them is exercise. Once you practice honing your skills, especially when accompanied by the help of a good coach, you reinforce a mindset that seeks to mature within yourself.

The mindset that says, “Even if I can’t do it today, I can improve myself by training and eventually achieve it.” This frame of mind is useful in all aspects of life.

There is also learning by failure, This is one of the most beneficial and long-lasting benefits of exercising. An attitude that accepts occasional defeat will build resilience and self-awareness necessary to overcome scholastic, social and physical obstacles.

Which means that even if your team doesn’t always win (or not at all), there is are positive takeaways to your experience.

Of course, not everyone is suited for every sport. Maybe a team is overly competitive, or not competitive enough. The search for a sport and a team that matches your strengths can take time, but that’s OK.

If you spend a little time researching, you will find a sport and team that suits your individual needs – and when you do, there will be many benefits.

You will be part of a supportive community. You will build confidence. You will exercise your body. And you will change your mind.

Not to mention all the fun you’ll have.