As with all exercise routines, warming up is essential. It enables your body become loose and flexible and helps open up the internal channels through which your energy flows. The two largest and most important joints involved in standing exercise are the knees and shoulders. Thus by loosening these up first it is more likely you will obtain the rich benefits of the Standing Chi kung exercises. As a beginner, it is important to do the warm up exercises each time prior to starting your Zhang Zhuang Chi kung practice. They are quick and easy and will only take a few minutes to perform. If practiced consistently, they can provide long-term protection against arthritis and other painful ailments that reduce the original flexibility of the body.
Warm up #1 is for your knees. During the exercise, try to remain relaxed from your waist up. Stand with your feet together. Bend your knees and stoop over so that you can just touch them with your fingers. With your hands on your knees, rotate your knees 30 times to the left and 30 times to the right.
Warm up #2 is for your shoulders. Make 30 to 40 complete circles with your arms. You should start very slowly, then speed up slightly, and then slow down again toward the end. Do 60 circles for greater benefit. Breathe in as your arms come up. Breathe out as they come down. If you are short of breath, breathe in and out as your arms come up, and in and out as they come down.
Warm up #3 is for your hips. Make 30 to 40 complete circles with your hips. You should do it very slowly. Do 60 circles for greater benefit. Breathe slowly while doing it.