How to Perform Concentration Curls for Bigger Biceps

Even if you step into the gym with no intention of cheating on your fitness training you might end up doing as you progress in a tough set of exercises. It’s something that a fitness enthusiast who is into biceps curls, would identify immediately. This exercise is extremely effective when it comes to building momentum and shooting for the bigger biceps. Proper execution of bicep curls will itself eliminate the practice of cheating with the curls as you work for a longer period. Unlike most of the body-building workouts, concentration curls make you work on each arm individually, this can help in working on your weaker side if you have one.

The slow & steady pace of this workout exercise is excellent for inducing tension that helps in squeezing your biceps. This workout primarily puts your biceps to work, & results will follow the topped shape of the sleeve-busting arms.

Building Bigger Biceps:

You have to put more into it, than just doing bicep curls. Workout is just one component of achieving your fitness goals. You have to consider other factors too. Building bigger arms increases the overall muscle mass and makes you stronger.

  • Regulate your diet: A thumb rule for gaining muscles is consuming more calories than burning for gaining weight. Make sure you distribute the healthy calories evenly throughout the day in your breakfast, lunch, dinner & post-workout snacks.
  • Get Stronger: But the Strength not just the size. Also, focus on full-body strengthening, it’s not realistic to strengthen a particular muscle group of your body. Increase the overall muscular mass of your body.
  • Rest: Your body repairs and heals itself when you rest. Taking appropriate rest is essential for your muscle growth. Make sure you give the proper rest and break, follow the proper rest routine.
  • Track Progress: Keep a track of your weight & measure the width of your arms every two weeks. If the arms are not bulking up, then check your training if you are doing it properly or compromising on your diet.

Muscles targeted in Bicep Curls:

Multiple muscle groups of your arm are engaged in concentration curls. The muscle groups that are directly targeted includes:

Brachialis muscles                              Biceps brachii

Flexor digitorum                                  Tricep brachii

Serratus anterior                                 Pectoralis major and minor

Rectus abdominis

Benefits of Dumbbell Concentration

1)   Strength & Size Gains

Concentration curl is the primary bicep-building workout. The arm is placed in the anchored position, the biceps receive greater tension than the standard bicep curl. This workout is highly effective for strengthening your biceps muscle & boosted biceps hypertrophy. Building the biceps muscles is not just for showcasing—  improves the performance at the gym and other workouts.

2)   Better Athletic Performance

The concentration curl offers a major boost to athletic performance. Sports that involve swinging, throwing, rowing & other similar motions primarily depend on how strengthened your biceps are. Doing concentration curls helps a lot with that. Adding them to your training regime will give you an edge over the competitors.

3) Improved Aesthetics

Everyone wants to have bigger arms, biceps popping out of their sleeves, improving their overall aesthetic. Concentration curls are very effective for developing those defined bulky muscles. It’s simple to learn & improve in no time.

Eccentric vs Concentric Moment

Picture yourself doing bicep concentration curls. While you lift the dumbbell in the concentric phase, the bicep curls into a ‘cannonball’ like position, lowering it slowly will make the bicep resist weight while extending – this phase is called eccentric.

Eccentric workouts subject your muscle to greater tension & too for longer time intervals they generate a greater trauma which in turn stimulates more muscle growth. The bottom line regarding mastering the eccentric workouts is the foregoing rookie mistake of rapid lifting & lowering weights for achieving the highest rep count.

Concentration curls

Unarguably concentration curls are one of the most efficient workouts for maximizing bicep growth when done in workout clothes. It completely isolates the muscle group of your bicep. Causing the greatest shock to the biceps, which yields micro-trauma without the inefficiently working of secondary muscles.

How To perform The Concentration Curl

Start this workout by sitting on the bench that is the height of the knees, bend them at an angle of 90° by placing your feet on the ground flat. Then pick up the dumbbell with the right hand & place the back of the upper right arm at the inner section of the right thigh. Make sure your arm is extended as it holds the dumbbell off the ground.

Then slowly start curling weight up, by moving the forearms – putting the upper arm on your thigh will enable you to keep still as you perform the workout.

While you are at the top of this move, pause for a moment & squeeze the biceps, while slowly lowering the weight back. Perform all the reps with one arm, then switch to another.

Common Concentration Curl Mistakes to avoid

1)   Doing Partial Reps

One of the most common mistakes, that’s not just bound to concentration curl but other exercises as well are performing partial reps. Athletes either do short curling while going up to do not return the dumbbell to starting position. This mistake prevents you from getting the best of your concentration curl. It’s better to lift less weight with better form than lifting more weight in poor form.

2)   Utilizing Momentum

Dumbbell concentration is designed in a way that prevents people from using their momentum for lifting the weight. Many lifters make the mistake as they move their legs & upper body to swing the dumbbell. This occurs when you try to lift a lot of weight. It can be fixed by choosing a lighter weight.

3)   Rushing into the Motion

Another mistake that happens during dumbbell concentration curls is when you rush into the motion. People curl the dumbbell upwards in a controlled fashion & then let it fall quickly. It’s not only unsafe but steals potential major gains from eccentric portions of this exercise motion. Rather than rushing into the motion, curl up & down in a calm and controlled fashion. The slow tempo increases the muscle tension period & maximizes the benefits of this exercise.

4)   Overtraining the Arms

Your arms are made up of small muscles that get hit in the exercises as you hold the bar & bending the arms. You can not train them for more than 5 weeks. Muscles need proper rest for growing and healing.

Variations of Dumbbell Concentration Curl  

1. Standing Concentration Curl

Assume that you are in the standing position with the feet opened shoulder-distance apart. Then grab a kettlebell by using your right hand & palm facing away. Then Shift your whole weight at the right side & place the elbow at the inside of the thigh above the knee for supporting yourself. With the stabilized base, complete its standard variation. Complete the reps and switch the arm. 

2. Landmine Concentration Curl

In this workout secure a barbell with the landmine attachment, and stabilize yourself at one side of the bar placed at your front. Then straddle that barbell and stand perpendicular to the bar. Then hinge at your waist & anchor the right elbow inside of the right thigh above the level of your knee. Then grab that barbell with the right hand & both palms facing upwards. Complete the rep and switch the arms in the next one.

3) Body Weight Concentration Curl

This variation of concentration curl involves no equipment. It can be done without using any additional weights. Begin with this exercise by sitting on the chair. With the right foot placed firmly at the front on the floor, then grab the back of the left leg by using the right hand.

Then with the right elbow plant yourself securely at the inside of the right thigh, use the leg as resistance & contract the right bicep for lifting the left leg. Complete the rep and switch the leg. 

6 Productive Reasons to Show MMA Training Is Not Just A Workout

When you join the MMA training class, most of you have similar aims like becoming stronger, getting fitter, shedding kilograms of fat, etc. Surprisingly, MMA training is going to offer you many other advantages even beyond the physical benefits that we are mostly interested in. Don’t consider an MMA class just as an activity to become physically strong, as it is not just a workout. I’ve come up with 7 exciting reasons to show that MMA training is not just a workout.

Decrease Your Stress Level

You must already know that working out releases stress in you because the body reduces adrenaline and cortisol which are stress hormones. However, this phenomenon goes quite far when we talk about MMA. MMA gives you a chance to release your aggression through intense training. It is best to pent-up all your aggression on a bag and become calm. This is the reason; every day you take your stress out and feel much calmer after MMA class. Furthermore, it tends to bring positivity in your life and in your precious relationships due to your reduced stress. Other aspects associated with reducing stress through MMA include socialization, wearing comfortable workout clothes, achievement of fitness goals, and enhanced self-confidence.

Makes You Disciplined

MMA is mostly about intense physical training which requires great dedication and efforts. From time management for finding time for training to eating healthy food timely, MMA teaches you discipline. This way, your life becomes more organized as you train MMA. Preparing your MMA gear for the class and wearing workout clothes, cleaning them, and learning all tips and tricks to become more efficient teaches you discipline. Similarly, the hard work you do to maintain such a lifestyle to become more efficient in MMA training prepares you well for the other aspects of life as well. You will notice that with time, your life will become more disciplined which will enhance productivity in all the aspects of life. Along with improved fitness, becoming disciplined is a bonus that MMA offers.


When you join an MMA class, you might not know anybody but within a few weeks, you would definitely be a friend of everybody. The reason behind this fact is the type of training MMA offers. The MMA training requires pairing up with different mates to learn how to fight and hence with time you get to know everybody. Once you become friends with other mates, your MMA training becomes a fun part of the day. This way, it reduces your stress level, allowing you to have a fun time while forgetting the tough realities of life.

MMA class helps you to socialize and spend time with likeminded people having the same goals. Imagine, how good it would be when you won’t have to fight for not having junk food with your friends. Your mates will have the same eating preferences when you go out and that’s the reason you will feel great. Furthermore, you can talk about what is best for your training such as food, sleeping time, what to wear, etc. So, this time you don’t have to be worried about dressing upright for the winter workouts.

Enhances the Confidence Level

Undoubtedly, when you know you’re strong enough to save yourself from dangers, you feel confident. MMA class teaches you skills and techniques that can be applied to have self-defense and hence it gives you self-confidence. Furthermore, as you train a lot, you become physically fit and attractive. Anyone who looks at you will praise you for your fit physique and such an appreciation brings confidence in you.

Makes You Aware of Other Cultures

As people from different backgrounds join the same MMA class, you get to learn a lot about their cultures. When you socialize and spend time with your mates, it would give you exposure to other cultures as well. Moreover, you learn different forms of martial arts in your class such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai and learning their cultural history will make you aware of different cultures and their origins. You can say that MMA class is not just a physical activity but it enhances your knowledge as well.

Can Be Made A Family Time

If you’re spending a lot of time at work and then at MMA class, it does not mean that you have to neglect your family. In fact, it is even more productive if your family members join the MMA class with you. This way, the MMA class can become a family time where you can enjoy as well while having other MMA benefits. This will lead to having more consistency, as your family members will have the same goal as you.

Never Forget to Do These Things Before Going to Bed If You Are A Runner

Do you hassle up in the morning when you do not find a workout shirt to wear for jogging and then you waste your precious time? Has it ever happened to you that you’re just on the track and the song stops and then you find that the battery of your mobile phone has run out? Then what do you do in such situations? Of course, you feel bad and get frustrated. Well, if I’m not being harsh, let me tell you very straightforwardly that it is your own fault. Don’t be worried, as most of you encounter the same problems every day in the morning when you’re going to running. Therefore, to take you out of these terrible situations, I’ve come up with a list of things that you should never miss to do before bed. Check out these!

Check Weather Forecast

Always check the weather forecast for the next day and if it’s going to be rain, try to adjust your jogging timings before or after that. If it’s going to be raining for a long time then you should know so that you can at least sleep well or do some other chores. It’s extremely hard to go out for jogging in winters when the temperature goes to negative degrees. In that case, read great ways to stay fit and active this winter season.

Take Out Your Running Clothes

Once you have checked the weather forecast, take out your workout clothes accordingly. If it’s going to be a very low-temperature next day, prefer wearing a workout hoodie. You should be well prepared so that you don’t hassle to find appropriate clothes and end up going to the park wearing a t-shirt at low temperature and then end up falling ill.

Charge Your Devices

Any devices that you use to aid your running such as GPS watch to count steps, iPod for songs, or mobile phone for both of these, always charge them before you sleep. If I tell you about me, I can’t imagine running without music, so those days when I don’t have access to songs for whatsoever reason, my productivity declines to a minimum. This is what happens to most of us, perhaps. Similarly, if you’re making extra sprints someday and you don’t count how many calories you burnt that day, it demotivates you. So, avoid all such problems that lead to have lower productivity on the track by charging your devices before going to bed.

Fill Up Bottles

Water intake during running in small amounts is something everyone needs and without which you simply cannot do long runs on the track. If you’re leaving home without having a water bottle then it is damn sure that you’re not going to make more than 2 to 3 runs on the track. So, whatsoever the reason is. whether your water bottle is in the dishwasher or has been misplaced, it must be an unproductive day for you in terms of running. Therefore, I would strictly recommend to find the water bottle and fill it up before you sleep. This way, all you have to do is to pick up the water bottle rather than finding it and filling it up in the morning which only wastes the time.

Don’t Use Screens

It is now a commonly known fact that using laptops, mobile phone, or tablets before going to bed activate your brain cells that later make it tough to fall asleep. As the brain becomes more active and you face trouble in falling asleep, you ended up having a shorter sleep in the night. As a consequence, you will be tired and you will not be able to run properly. So, stop using screens at least an hour before going to bed.

Contact Your Running Partner

If you’re lucky to have a best friend with whom you run regularly, consider it a miracle. Anything done with a best friend is not a hectic work anymore. So, running is no exception and you can have a lot of fun with the best friend on track while having the same fitness goal. However, don’t make this strength as your weakness. Never miss your running session if your friend is unwell or can’t come that day. In such a case, always ask your friend before going to bed and confirm the next day’s plan. If you’re going on his car and he is not coming, you should arrange your own one for the next day. This can only be done if you already know that he is not coming tomorrow.

Running is one of the best cardio forms of exercise due to its utmost benefits especially when it is done outdoor. In order to make it even more beneficial, do implement these tips and you will see that you’re feeling even better every day. Always prepare all the things that are required for running the next day before you go to bed and keep them together in one place. So, the next day, simply get up and pick the things and go to the park on time.

Is CBD Oil Legal in all 50 states?

Thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp is legal in all fifty states. However, the legality of CBD is still confusing for many. We dug into the laws of each state and even hired a group of lawyers to help us understand the legal landscape.

Here’s what you need to know.

The legality depends on the source of the CBD.

While hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states, ‘marijuana’-derived CBD is not legal federally.

Both marijuana and hemp are members of the cannabis family making them similar in many ways. The government classifies hemp as any plant of the cannabis family that contains less than 0.3% THC. It classifies “marijuana” as any plant of the cannabis family that contains greater than 0.3% THC.

cbd vaping juice “Marijuana” cannabis plants have a low percentage of CBD than hemp plants. That’s why most CBD products use CBD from hemp not marijuana. Because marijuana has higher concentration of THC, it’s not an ideal choice for producing CBD products. Using marijuana plants would require extracting some of the THC to make CBD within the legal limits.

Hemp cannabis plant have a high amount of CBD and low THC, making them the most efficient plant for CBD processing.

So the bottom line here is, if your CBD comes from hemp, it is legal.1 CBD made from “marijuana” with high levels of THC, is only legal if your state legalized marijuana.

Where is CBD illegal?

Thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, zero THC CBD is not illegal in any state in the USA. That’s right; according to federal law, it is legal in all 50 states. That said, since the change in law is relatively new, some states might not fully embrace CBD. This should change with the new bill, however, it may take time. Below we outline four different jurisdictional categories based on pre-2018 Farm Bill practices.

States can be grouped into four jurisdictional categories.

Friendliest States.

These jurisdictions have explicit laws allowing retailers to sell industrial hemp-derived products.

These jurisdictions include: Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Friendly States.

In these jurisdictions industrial hemp grown in a Farm Bill-compliant agricultural pilot program is explicitly exempted from the definition of marijuana.

These jurisdictions include: the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Oklahoma.

Gray Area States.

In these jurisdictions explicit prohibitions against the retail sale of industrial hemp-derived CBD products but that have exemptions in the law for the argument that hemp-derived CBD products are legal.

These jurisdictions include: Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

States with Concern.

These jurisdictions have no explicit prohibitions against the sale of industrial hemp-derived CBD products. However, recent law enforcement actions or pronouncements raise the risk of the retail sale of industrial hemp-derived CBD products.

These jurisdictions include Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

What are the specific rules in your state?

Concluding Thoughts: Is CBD Legal in 2019?

Yes, it is legal to purchase and consume hemp-derived-CBD in all 50 states.

Marijuana derived CBD is not legal federally.

The government classifies hemp as any plant of the cannabis family that contains less than 0.3% THC.

It classifies “marijuana” as any plant of the cannabis family that contains greater than 0.3% THC.

You need to check your specific state for any restrictions

Federal law permissions for activities involving industrial hemp are clear. However, the Farm Bill, and other federal laws on industrial hemp, do not pre-empt state law.

Just as there are hundreds of municipalities in the United States that prohibit alcohol sales nearly a century after Prohibition’s repeal, local and state laws may still restrict the sale of industrial hemp products even where federal law is clearly permissive.

Some states continue to view CBD that comes from marijuana as being no different than marijuana itself. The government classifies any plant of the cannabis family that contains more than 0.3% THC to be marijuana.

Bottom line, it is legal to purchase and consume hemp-derived-CBD in all 50 states.

Keep checking back in this space for updates as there is currently a bill going through Congress right now that could change the way the government views both hemp and marijuana.

The 2018 Farm Bill holds the promise to clear up many of the misconceptions and confusing elements surrounding CBD. If you’re interested in learning more about how we came to have these regulations of hemp read Chapter 2 of our CBD textbook on The History of CBD. We found a nice summary of this book at for anyone who wants to save time!

Want to keep your brain in shape? Get physical!

I’m no longer the spring chicken I was. I’m approaching 40, and I want to maintain a healthy brain as well as healthy body. Turns out according to this article in Psychology Today that I’m on the right path, because Physical Activity is the No.1 way to keep your brain young. This article explains the link between aerobic fitness and cognitive function. Christopher Bergland the author of the article goes further stating that maintenance of close knit social bonds are second only to exercise in terms of maintaining longevity and psychological well-being.

Great news for martial artists

This is great news for martial artists practicing in quality clubs and gyms. Not only are they getting the benefits of exercise on cognition but also the psychological well-being of close knit bonds with their martial arts classmates. Provided of course you’re training at the right kind of club or gym.

The benefits of finding the right club

This highlights the benefits of finding the right club where not only you receive great instruction but also the support, help guidance and camaraderie of your classmates. I’ve been lucky throughout my martial arts journey and when creating my company StudyMartialArts.Org to meet and learn from the right kind of people. At present I’m based in Beijing and loving the training and the community at Big King BJJ and Muay Thai (insert shameless plug).

So what about the science?

Well according to Richard A. Friedman’s article in New York Times.

“Intriguingly, exercise in humans and animals increases the level of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, in the blood and brain. BDNF promotes the growth and formation of new neurons, and it may be responsible, in part, for a remarkable effect of exercise on the brain: an increase in size of the hippocampus that is linked with improved memory.

Conversely, adverse experiences like major depression can lower BDNF levels and are associated with hippocampal shrinkage, a phenomenon that helps explain some of the cognitive impairments that are a hallmark of depression. Aside from making people feel better, antidepressants can block the depression-induced drop in BDNF, so these drugs are, in a sense, neuroprotective.”

This helps to explain the double whammy benefits of physical training with the right kind of people. Whether your martial arts training involves BJJ, Kung Fu, Karate, Boxing, or MMA etc a large part of that will be focused on individual students physically learning a new skills, as well as ways to move, or being tasked with problem solving, through martial arts puzzles of the body, distance, technique or timing. I.e. Controlled sparing or combat sports competition. All that being said this article doesn’t even touch on the other psychological benefits of martial arts that cover increased self confidence and general mental health.

If you’d like to read more about training your mind and body check out Christopher Bergland’s book The Athlete’s Way: Training Your Mind and Body to Experience the Joy of Exercise.

How to practice Liu Zi Jue – The six healing sounds

Practice Tips

Liu Zi Jue is a set of Qigong exercises for health and fitness. During the exercise breath work, pronunciation and movement are combined. The following provides beginners and advanced practitioners with tips for perfecting the exercise.

Adjusting the mouth forms and feeling the air flow

Mouth forms should be done correctly with particular attention given to pronunciation and air flow. Beginners should find the right mouth form and then exhale with gently making the sound.

Combining the mind with breathing and movements


Dumai meridian
Dumai meridian

During practice the mind should be relaxed and in tune with the movements and the accompanying prolonged breathing and pronunciation. Excessive effort in the mind and body should be avoided. Focus should be on the breath work in a way that it is combined with physical movements that assists and compliment and enhance the practice.

It helps to relax the body and calm the mind, and dredge such meridians as Renmai (or conception vessel extending along the anterior midline of the body) to improve the circulation of the blood and vital energy.

Breathing with slight control

Liu Zi Jue should be done naturally using regress breathing.

Regress breathing occurs when inhalation is done through the nose and the chest is expanded while pulling in the abdomen. On the out breath this should be reversed through the mouth, increasing upward and downward movements diaphragm. This process both massages the organs and improves the circulation of blood and vital energy. Excessive efforts should be avoided.

Coordinating breathing with slow, realised and gentle movements

During practice even, prolonged and relaxed breathing and pronunciation will achieve the best results.

Step by step for consistency

Find a quiet place to practice in peace, be consistent in your practice. An environment that relaxes and allows the mind to be at peace is essential as is confidence in the exercises health benefits.

This article is based on studies and guidance compiled by the Chinese Health Qigong Association. 

Learn Liu Zi Jue, the Six Healing Sounds


Liu Zi Jue is a traditional Chinese health practice. Liu Zi Jue or Six Healing Sounds is an exercise that regulates and controls the rise and fall of Qi inside the body and related in halation and exhalation through different mouth forms.

The six healing sounds are “XU, HE, HU,SI, CHUI and XI” and their aim is the strengthening of the liver, heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys and sanjiao (the three portions of the body cavities housing the internal organs). The exercises are designed to be completed slowly, gently, with extended and graceful movements.

Practitioners of these exercises report not only that they have experienced a general improvement in their quality of life but also that they have experienced an improvement in their social relationships. With decreased family frictions ranking among the top benefits of this practice. This is likely due to the calmness brought about by the gentile breathing movements. Other medical tests have shown positive improvements and curing of hypertension, hyperlipidemia and high blood sugar.

This article is based on the work of the Chinese Health Qigong Association.

Origins and Development of Liu Zi Jue

The term Liu Zi Jue first appears in ‘Caring for the Health of the Mind and Prolonging the Life Span’, – Tao Hongjing of the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589).

According to Tao Hongjing a leading figure from the Maoshan School of Taoism. “One has only one way for inhalation, but six for exhalation – CHUI, HU, XI, HE, XU and SI. CHUI gets rid of heat; HU sweeps away wind; XI eliminates worries; HE promotes the circulation of energy; XU drives away cold; and SI reduces stress. Those with heart disease should practice CHUI and HU, to drive away cold and heat. Those with lung disease should practice XU, to relieve swelling. Those who have spleen trouble should practice XI, to eliminate stress. As for those who suffer from liver disease, HE will help to cure it.”

Zou Pu’an of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) in his book ‘The Supreme Knack for Health Preservations’ recommends.

“Don’t listen to anything when pronouncing the sounds. Close your mouth, lower your head after finishing, breath in fresh air from the universe slowly through the nose. Don’t listen to anything when inhaling.”

In terms of the practice it was not until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that body movements where introduced.

“Open the eyes wide when doing the XU Exercise for the liver. Raise the arms when doing the SI Exercise for the lungs. Stick head up and cross the hands when doing the HE Exercise for the heart. Keep the knees level when doing the CHUI Exercise for the kidneys. Thrust and round the lips when doing the HU Exercise for the spleen, and lie down when doing the XI Exercise to drive heat from Sanjiao”

There are a number of exercises which use elements of Liu Zi Jue. These include Yi Jin Jing (Tendon-Muscle Strengthening Exercises), Emei Zhuang (Emei Stake Exercises), Xing Yi Quan (12-Animal Shadow Boxing), Bagua Zhang (Eight-Diagram Palm), and Da Yan Gong (Wild Goose Exercises). For these exercises the sounds are used to aid these dynamic physical exercises.


The theoretical basis of the Liu Zi Jue is Traditional Chinese Medicine‘s (TCM) Five Elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth), and Five Solid Viscera (heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys).


Mouth forms required for pronunciation

Liu Zi Jue features six special mouth forms and methods of pronunciation to regulate and control the rise and fall of qi in the body and related to inhalation and exhalation.

Combining breathing and movements with cultivation of energy

Through combined use of breath work, pronunciation, and physical movement practitioners can benefit from “proper internal circulation of energy vital for the health, and those who know the ways to apply strength and the ways to relax can expect a long life’ – Ge Hong of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420).

Dynamics infused in calmness and flowing grace

During practice pronunciation should be even and extended and the movements relaxed and slow. Regulated breathing should be even during the postures cultivating a calm and dynamic state.

Simple, reliable and effective

The six sounds are pronounced during exhalations and accompany nice movements as well as the preparatory and concluding postures. The exercise is easy to learn and practice making it practical.

Tips for practicing Yi Jin Jing

Integration of mind and body with a relaxed spirit

Yi Jin Jing is a qigong set and like most other qigong sets it should be practiced with a relaxed spirit and peaceful mind. The mind should thus follow the movements and should be coordinated with the circulation of qi with the body’s movements. Meanwhile concentration is required to accompany individual movements.

For Example:

  • The mind should concentrate on the palms during the Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 3 routine
  • The mind should be focused on the Mingmen point at the back of the waist while fixing the eyes on the upper palm during the routine 4 of Plucking a Star and Exchanging a Star Cluster.
  • The mind should be focused on the palms during the Black Dragon Displaying Its Claws routine.

Other movements require imagination, not consciousness to accompany them. Among them are:

  • Three Plates Falling on the Floor
  • Displaying Paw Style Palms like a White Crane Spreading Its Wings
  • Pulling Nine Cows by Their Tails
  • Bowing Down in Salutation

Natural Breathing

  • Breathing throughout the exercise should be relaxed and easy. This is particularly important when:
  • lifting the hands during the Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 3 routine
  • when expanding the arms and chest during the Pulling Nine Cows by Their Tails routine,
  • and when expanding the arms and chest and relaxing the shoulders during the Nine Ghosts Drawing Swords routine.

This is because the chest cavity expands and contracts during these movements, and should be allowed to do so freely and to the full.

Free and unrestrained inhalation is particularly required when:

  • lifting the hands during the Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 3 routine,
  • and when expanding the arms and chest during the Nine Ghosts Drawing the Swords routine,
  • while natural exhalation is required when relaxing the shoulders in this routine,
  • when withdrawing the arms in Pulling Nine Cows by Their Tails routine,
  • and when pushing out the palms in Displaying Paw-style Palms like a White Crane Spreading Its Wings routine

The reason for this is because the chest cavity expands and contracts during these movements, and should be allowed to do so freely and to the full.


Softness in toughness with the interplay of the substantial and insubstantial

“The softness and toughness of the exercise movements interchange throughout the practice. When stretched or relaxed, they display a dialectical relationship of a unity of opposites, in the same way as the reactions of Yin and Yang, the two opposing and interactive aspects of the body according to traditional Chinese medicine. Various movements require the practitioners to relax for a while after strength is applied, and suitable force is required after softness or relaxation. In this way, the movements will not be stiff and restrained or slack and fatigued.” – Chinese Health Qigong Association

Movements should be appropriately firm and gentile instead of going to extremes. Whether with too much force or with too much slackness.

Flexibility in performance and articulation of “HAI”

The range of movements and extension of postures in Yi Jin Jing are adaptable for all ages working from easier to more difficult.

When squatting and pressing the hands down during the Three Plates Falling on the Floor routine, the sound “HAI” is made. By doing this the practitioner helps move the breath and vital energy to the Dantian. It also has the advantage of avoiding restraint of the lower limbs caused by the squatting motion and upward flow of air back to the head. It also helps to strengthen the Dantian and the kidneys. The sound should be produced from the throat and concentrated at the Yinjiao point of the upper gum.

Full video teaching the Yi Jin Jing from the Chinese Health Qigong Association.

This article has been based on the information provided from the Chinese Health Qigong Association. If you would like to learn Yi Jin Jing there are a number of special qigong retreats where this is possible.

Learn the Yi Jin Jing


Yi Jin Jing is an exercise from ancient China. The features of this classical traditional Chinese health practice include extended, soft and even movements that flex the spine invigorate the limbs and internal organs. As an exercise it should be performed in a way that integrates the mind, body and spirit, during the practice practitioners must remain relaxed. If you would like to learn Yi Jin Jing there are a number of special qigong retreats where this is possible.

This article details guidance from the Chinese Health Qigong Association on how to best perform the exercise.

The origins

According to some historians the Yi Jin Jing has its origins in primitive shamanistic rituals. Prototypes of these basic movements where found in a 2000 year old text called Illustration of Qi Conduction. Others however, credit Bodhidharma the Indian Buddhist monk and originator of Shaolin Kung Fu with the creation of the Yi Jin Jing. Whether this is true or not it is undisputed that the monks of the Shaolin Temple played a significant role in the evolution of the Yi Jin Jing exercises.

Learn Yi Jin Jing
Learn Yi Jin Jing

“The earliest account of the modern 12 movement exercises is included in the Illustrations of Internal Exercise compiled by Pan Wei in 1858 in the Qing Dynasty. As traditional Yi Jin Jing relies heavily on traditional Chinese medicine theory of the Five Elements – metal, wood, water, fire and earth – different schools of the exercise have sprung up emphasising this aspect in many works.” – Chinese Qigong Association.


Smooth and extended movements to stretch the bones and tendons

A full range of motion is required related to the bones and joints. Bones are flexed and muscle groups along with tendons and ligaments are stretched. The result leads to improved blood circulation and nutrition supersession in the soft tissues. Thus enhancing mobility and strength in all directions.

Soft and even movements for coordinated grace

The modern version of the Yi Jin Jing links the 12 movements making the exercise both easier to understand as well as graceful. Limbs are flexed in curved natural range with the joints axis. When strength is required it is applied gradually combined with a tenderness of movement.

Focus on spine turning and flexing

The Yi Jin Jing movements focus on the spines, vertebrae, ligaments and the spinal cord through twisting and stretching movements. The movements must be done with a relaxed body and mind in order to gain the most health benefits. These benefits include improved fitness, prevention of disease, longevity and improved intellect.

Practice tips for performing Ba Duan Jin Correctly

Practice Tips

Be Relaxed, Calm and Natural

A relaxed state of mind better eliminates psychological and physiological stresses. A relaxed body better tones muscles joints and organs. Calmness without distraction is the key. The correct mood and environment play a big part in effective practice.

Be Accurate but Flexible

Follow the set practice, the body positions and stances. Using a mirror will be very helpful in the beginning to ensure the directions and angles of the movements are adhered too.

Combine Practice and Conservation

The rigor of the postures and movements, and the application of strength used should be adjusted in accordance with the physical conditions of the practitioner so correct performance is achieved gradually. This will also apply to the adjustment of the breath. Maintaining balance in practice is the key. Balance of mind, body and spirit.

Graduated Progress

Beginners should take it step by step, adjusting practice gradually. Begin with natural breathing and work gradually up to deep breathing through constant and consistent practice.

This article has been based on the detailed works provided by the Chinese Health Qigong Association. Step by step descriptions of the routines can be ordered for free. The only cost will be in the ordering and delivery. Each book ordered includes a DVD allowing proper practice in real time.

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