ChiDragon

Zhan Zhuang (站樁)

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From what I gathered here in the forum, it seems to me some people are not very clear about the pains in the knees while doing Zhan Zhuang. I would like to hear some of the questions about that. Would you please raise questions about the knees being in pain during Zhan Zhuang or describe your experience of the knees hurting while doing the horse stance. Let's be open-minded about this and save the insults at the end. Thank you very much for your cooperation.... :)

Edited by ChiDragon

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I didn't feel any knee pain but for a while my right leg would get tired before the left one, turns out I was putting more weight on it without my knowing, I just had to look down and notice misalignment

By the way, back then I would feel stress right above the knee, now I switched to 90 degrees. When that low, it's harder for my legs to move out of place and everything is excellent again

 

Practice in front of a mirror or have someone watch you, and be excellent to each other!

 

Bill-and-Ted.jpg

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I didn't feel any knee pain but for a while my right leg would get tired before the left one, turns out I was putting more weight on it without my knowing, I just had to look down and notice misalignment

By the way, back then I would feel stress right above the knee, now I switched to 90 degrees. When that low, it's harder for my legs to move out of place and everything is excellent again

 

Practice in front of a mirror or have someone watch you, and be excellent to each other!

 

 

 

Word. And open the hips. I had an issue with my right knee that was caused by tight hip muscles. Once I opened my hips via yoga, the knee issue improved.

 

I've also noticed that it can help to stand a bit pigeon-toed. That seems to help bypass the knees and send your weight directly into the ankles/feet/ground.

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sinfest...

 

I know your are crazy about horse stance. The highest ZZ attainment, for each leg, is to have the ankle perpendicular to the foot and the knee bent 90 degrees too.

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Huh, sweet!

 

Yes, sweet....!!! How long can you hold in that position....???

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The time when I was nearly standing up at around 45 degree angle I could go for 8 minutes

When I changed to 90 degrees I could go for a minute, now I'm around a minute and 45 seconds

I would stop because of the pain and barely move, I decided to go through even worse pain to increase the time

At 90 degrees the effects are a lot faster and there's more heat created compared to just muscular pain in 45 degrees

Now that it's so hooooooooooooooooot in here, it's a lot harder to do

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Wow!

I want to try that extreme ZZ position! :P

 

During ZZ I experience pain in the arms which I think are affected by some sort of circulation problem. ZZ could fix it for sure, but it is painful.. a lot painful.

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The time when I was nearly standing up at around 45 degree angle I could go for 8 minutes

When I changed to 90 degrees I could go for a minute, now I'm around a minute and 45 seconds

I would stop because of the pain and barely move, I decided to go through even worse pain to increase the time

At 90 degrees the effects are a lot faster and there's more heat created compared to just muscular pain in 45 degrees

Now that it's so hooooooooooooooooot in here, it's a lot harder to do

 

Aha...

 

You had jumped the gun. 1 min and 45 sec at 90 degree which mean you have not reached the highest attainment of Zuan Zhuang.

 

At 45 degree, you should do it until there is no pain for longer than 20 minutes. Then increase to 50 degrees until no pain for longer than 20 minutes' and then 55, 60, 65.....90 degrees. This is the progressive sequence of Zhan Zhuang practice. If you follow this procedure, then you should be able to stand at 90 degrees for a long time.

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Wow!

I want to try that extreme ZZ position! :P

 

During ZZ I experience pain in the arms which I think are affected by some sort of circulation problem. ZZ could fix it for sure, but it is painful.. a lot painful.

 

DAO rain TAO....

 

You do not and cannot jump to the extreme ZZ position with a cold joint in your knees. You must follow the ZZ sequence as I have described above. The purpose of the progressive sequence was to get rid of the pain, in the muscles and knees, slowly at each degree interval. Thus you will have no pain when you have reached the highest ZZ position.

Edited by ChiDragon
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sinfest...

 

I know your are crazy about horse stance. The highest ZZ attainment, for each leg, is to have the ankle perpendicular to the foot and the knee bent 90 degrees too.

 

Did you invent that "perfect" form yourself? It sounds incorrect & possible damaging according to what i've learnt.

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The time when I was nearly standing up at around 45 degree angle I could go for 8 minutes

When I changed to 90 degrees I could go for a minute, now I'm around a minute and 45 seconds

I would stop because of the pain and barely move, I decided to go through even worse pain to increase the time

At 90 degrees the effects are a lot faster and there's more heat created compared to just muscular pain in 45 degrees

Now that it's so hooooooooooooooooot in here, it's a lot harder to do

 

Try it against a wall some time. You should be able to quickly find any misalignment and adjust. I use the progression ChiDragon described against a wall, but rarely do I get that low without support. You've got to be loose and allow the earth to lift you, rather than forcing your leg muscles to hold you in position. That is just going to create tension. My back was somewhat messed up with to begin, though, so your mileage may vary. ;)

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Did you invent that "perfect" form yourself? It sounds incorrect & possible damaging according to what i've learnt.

 

No, I did not invent it. The 90 degree ZZ attainment is not for an ordinary person. It is for someone who can do full time practice like a Buddhist monk or a Taoist priest. For health purposes, 45 degree bend for the knees is sufficed.

 

Here is an good example of the 90 degree ZZ at 3:35.

Ref:

Edited by ChiDragon
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Try it against a wall some time. You should be able to quickly find any misalignment and adjust. I use the progression ChiDragon described against a wall, but rarely do I get that low without support. You've got to be loose and allow the earth to lift you, rather than forcing your leg muscles to hold you in position. That is just going to create tension. My back was somewhat messed up with to begin, though, so your mileage may vary. ;)

 

Green Tiger...

I am sorry, I did not make myself clear. When I say do ZZ with the knees bend at 15 degree, it has to be done for weeks or months before the next increment to 20 degree and so far. That was what I meant by progressive sequence.

 

You see we stand on our feet with the knees in a straight position all the time. They cannot take the stress if we bend our knees all the sudden. In order for the knees to take the stress, we must work them in slowly by standing with the knees bend at the lowest degree without hurting or damaging the tissues of the knees.

 

The purpose of Zhan Zhuang is to strengthen the leg muscles and the knee caps. The knee caps hold all the upper body weight while the lower legs are acting like a tree root to lock them to the ground to hold the body in place. I would like to go into more details about Zhan Zhuang in the following posts. However, I still love to hear more of your interesting ideas and questions to test my basic knowledge about ZZ.

 

PS...

I know you are taken up Tai Ji. Did your teacher tell you to bend your knees all the time while you're do the movements. Actually, when you bend your knees while moving, you were doing dynamic ZZ instead of static ZZ.

Edited by ChiDragon
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Green Tiger...

I am sorry, I did not make myself clear. When I say do ZZ with the knees bend at 15 degree, it has to be done for weeks or months before the next increment to 20 degree and so far. That was what I meant by progressive sequence.

 

You see we stand on our feet with the knee in a straight position all the time. They cannot take the stress if we bend our knees all the sudden. In order for the knees to take the stress, we must work them in slowly by standing with the knees bend at the lowest degree without hurting or damaging the tissues of the knees.

 

The purpose of Zhan Zhuang is to strengthen the legs muscles and the knee caps. The knee caps hold all the upper body weight while the lower legs is acting like a tree root to lock them to the ground to hold the body in place. I would like to go into more details about Zhan Zhuang in the following posts. However, I still love to hear more of your interesting ideas and questions to test my basic knowledge about ZZ.

 

PS...

I know you are taken up Tai Ji. Did your teacher tell you to bend your knees all the time while you're do the movements. Actually, when you bend your knees while moving, you were doing dynamic ZZ instead of static ZZ.

 

ChiDragon,

 

When standing freely and doing the tai chi form, I am still at about the 15 degree mark. And that's after three years of good training! I have been dealing with a back and knee issue that I sustained previously from a car accident, though, so my progress has been somewhat slow.

 

I've found that, in addition to standing freely like a post, it helps me to stand against a wall. I usually try to slowly slide my back down the wall and get into deeper knee bends, then feel for a while--press my back against the wall, and when I feel comfortable at one level I see if I can drop a little lower. I totally agree that you should not rush the progress. Pain and discomfort are signs that something is wrong with the alignment.

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Green Tiger....

 

May I ask you when you slide your back down against the wall and get into deeper knee bends, did you move your feet forward too, so, the lower legs do not bend...??? In other words, are your ankles perpendicular to your feet...???

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Green Tiger....

 

May I ask you when you slide your back down against the wall and get into deeper knee bends, did you move your feet forward too, so, the lower legs do not bend...??? In other words, are your ankles perpendicular to your feet...???

 

Yes, I adjust my feet as I reposition. I try to gauge it by the big toes, but I don't think that's an especially accurate measurement. I also try to FEEL the ankle, looking for comfort and stability.

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It was recommended, in Zhan Zhuang for beginners, not to have the knees pass the toes. It's better to stay in between the toes and the ankle. It is best to have the lower leg perpendicular to the ankle. The reason for that was when the knee bends, only stress was placed on the upper part of the knee cap and less stress on the lower. Therefore, the practitioner will feel less pain. The most painful situation was when the knees were passed the toes mark. Hence, the upper and lower parts of the knees are pulling each other causing a very stressful pain.

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Let's discuss some of the fine details on ZZ from a point of view with a novice. With the body standing straight up vertically, imagining that there is a vertical plane cut through the body from the head to the ankles. Now, let's the upper leg bend 15 degree with the Vertical, what will happen if the knees did not lean forward...??? In the event, the buttock tends to lower to the ground and to body weight was shifting behind the vertical plane and causing the body to be off balance and fall to the ground. It's important to know that by leaning the knees forward, in front of the plane, will counterbalance the weight behind the plane to prevent the body from falling off.

 

Have you ever thought of the weight of the lower legs are much lighter than the total weight of the upper legs and the body....??? The weights of the lower legs are not suffice to counterbalance the weight of the upper body. It was a force exerted by the muscles of the lower leg acting through the feet into the ground to hold the whole body in place. In physics, it was known as taken the movement about a point.

 

Please keep in mind the force exerted by the lower legs. It is the key to understand Zhan Zhuang.

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Let's discuss some of the fine details on ZZ from a point of view with a novice. With the body standing straight up vertically, imagining that there is a vertical plane cut through the body from the head to the ankles. Now, let's the upper leg bend 15 degree with the Vertical, what will happen if the knees did not lean forward...??? In the event, the buttock tends to lower to the ground and to body weight was shifting behind the vertical plane and causing the body to be off balance and fall to the ground. It's important to know that by leaning the knees forward, in front of the plane, will counterbalance the weight behind the plane to prevent the body from falling off.

 

Have you ever thought of the weight of the lower legs are much lighter than the total weight of the upper legs and the body....??? The weights of the lower legs are not suffice to counterbalance the weight of the upper body. It was a force exerted by the muscles of the lower leg acting through the feet into the ground to hold the whole body in place. In physics, it was known as taken the movement about a point.

 

Please keep in mind the force exerted by the lower legs. It is the key to understand Zhan Zhuang.

 

At some point in your practice you should be able to stand facing a wall (feet shoulder width apart - more advanced feet together) with your feet one inch from the wall and squat all the way to the floor and come up

without falling over. :) BTW this is not Zhan Zhuang. So in Zhan Zhuang one should not extend the knees forward or be unbalanced.

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At some point in your practice you should be able to stand facing a wall (feet shoulder width apart - more advanced feet together) with your feet one inch from the wall and squat all the way to the floor and come up

without falling over. :) BTW this is not Zhan Zhuang. So in Zhan Zhuang one should not extend the knees forward or be unbalanced.

 

Just for my curiosity, if the feet are not touching the wall, why bother to stand one inch away from the wall...??? It sounds to me one can stand anywhere to accomplish what you were describing. If you say the toes has to touch the wall, then I can understand the wall has to be there..... ;)

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Just for my curiosity, if the feet are not touching the wall, why bother to stand one inch away from the wall...??? It sounds to me one can stand anywhere to accomplish what you were describing. If you say the toes has to touch the wall, then I can understand the wall has to be there..... ;)

 

Did you try it?

I should have added that your nose touches the wall and stays in contact with it all the way down.

The purpose of the wall is to limit the forward movement of your knees.

You can also do it with a plumb line keeping your nose aligned as you squat and not allowing the plumb line to move forward/

I was making it easy - better to do it with feet touching the wall. :)

Edited by mYTHmAKER
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