Tai Chi: Snake Creeps Down

Snake Creeps Down is an excellent exercise to strengthen and stretch the legs.  The full expression of the exercise is a very deep side lunge, but can most certainly be modified by staying up higher.  Please note, it is critical to focus on proper technique to prevent injuries.  Take care to keep you back straight up, make sure your knees bend in line with the big toe and try to keep your right heel down to increase stability with the pose.


  • Begin in the single whip position (Figure one), feet are wide apart with the left leg rotated out about 45 degrees and the right leg 70-90 degrees out(the farther, the better).  Make sure your spine is erect.


  • Shift 80%  of your weight  on  the R leg and straighten the L knee. 


  • While maintaining a little bend in the L knee, deeply bend your R knee as tolerated, your knee should not hurt.  At the same time, lower the L arm until the back of your hand touches the inside of the thigh. (Figure 2 and 3)

Hold in this position for 1-30 seconds to build strength and flexibility and then shift your body forward onto the L leg as your R knee straightens.  At the same time, lift the L arm up and slightly rotate the trunk to the left (Figure 4).

With practice, you will be able to comfortably creep down lower and achieve increased flexibility in the hip joints and hip adductor muscles. 



1 Comment (+add yours?)

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    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:09:18

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