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Hands Above the Heart

April 30, 2012

Today’s class was similar to most of my classes. We did standing position shoulder lifts and circles, worked on basic weight shifting, heel lifts, side to side and front to back toe points, leg lifts, rolling step and so on.

As soon as the group tired out from standing exercises, we sat and began to work on the upper body.  The upper body work includes a lot of breathing with chest high and overhead arm movements.

A short list of them includes:

  1. Punch out high side / front / side
  2.  Hands on shoulders side turns
  3. Hands on shoulders side bends
  4. Arms in air side turns
  5.  Arms in air side bends
  6. Reach up to side, up and over

And a whole lot more exercises of a varied mix. We normally spend an hour in class with a good portion of movements done with our arms above the chest whether they are standing or seated.

Today one of the seniors asked “why do you do so much work with our arms held up?”

I explained as I do just about every week that as soon as your arms get above your heart,  the heart muscle needs to pump harder to get the blood going up. It’s a gravity thing.  The higher above your heart the hands go,  your heart works harder pump to the extremities.

So, besides the breathing and increase in oxygen intake, and the gentle stretching and added flexibility from all the “high” work, the seniors, or anyone doing these exercises, get a gentle cardio workout as an added bonus.

  1. cool new book on chi…. Qi Gong Awakens: Always Living in Vibrant Energy by Dr. Paul Hannah. goes along with chi exercises you do.. on Amazon.


  2. Thanks for link and info Nina!


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