Stretch the upper limbs: 3 easy exercises

Stretching for intermediate practitioners

After seeing the basic exercises for stretching the whole body and the correct modalities of execution, let’s go to the next step with our tendons transformation path: the intermediate level exercises for flexibility.

In this discussion we talk about the upper limbs, it is however fundamental to repeat that it is dangerous and incorrect to proceed in reading without having followed the right path:

A stretching exercise for wrist flexibility

A wrist torsion:

  • Let’s lean our left hand (with the fingers pointing upwards) in the middle of our chest
  • Let’s point the palm outwards, to our left
  • With the right hand let’s grab the base of the thumb of the left hand
  • Doing this let’s be sure that the right thumb presses against the ring finger of the left hand
  • With the right hand we must rotate (gently) the palm of the left hand to the right (as if we wanted to force the left thumb to touch the thorax)
  • At the same time (during the rotation) we have to (again, gently) pull down the left hand
  • Reached the feeling of elongation (not pain), let’s maintain the tension
  • Let’s repeat symmetrically with the right side

A stretching exercise for elbow flexibility

A rotation of the elbow:

  • Let’s lean the back of the left hand (or better the wrist) on our left hip
  • Let’s grab the left elbow with the right hand (above the elbow to be precise)
  • Let’s pull (gently) the left elbow to the right (maintaining the contact with the hip)
  • Reached the feeling of elongation (not pain), let’s maintain the tension
  • Let’s repeat symmetrically with the right side

A stretching exercise for shoulders flexibility

An elongation of the shoulder:

  • Let’s rotate our head to the left
  • Let’s pull the left elbow towards the right shoulder
  • The left arm must be straight and relaxed
  • At a basic level we can do it simply pressing with our right hand the left arm (above the elbow)
  • At an intermediate level we can try to grab our left shoulder with our right hand (maintaining the tension)
  • At an advanced level we can try to grab our neck (but only if we can do it without causing unwanted rigidity)
  • Reached the feeling of elongation (not pain), let’s maintain the tension
  • Let’s repeat symmetrically with the right side

Notes

A few tips and notations:

  • These exercises are useful to increment our resistance to a lot of Chin Na techniques (read Chin Na)
  • At the same time, some of these stretchings contain basic principles of Chin Na techniques
  • The exercises we have seen, if not specified differently, can be performed both standing, both sitting on the floor
  • It is important to stress that when we do stretching we always work with more than one group of body elements
  • We have not repeated the details of execution already specified in the guides linked at the start of this article (times, etc.)
  • If you do not understand something feel free to ask in the comments

In the next article we will see lower limbs intermediate level stretching exercises.

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Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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