Tai Chi for Beginners: Toadies

Toadies are the core exercise for building leg strength in Tai Chi. They also train your body to use a more healthy technique when lifting heavy items so you avoid injuring your lower back. In a typical Tai Chi class, we would do three sets of Toadies over the course of an hour. 

Here's a slow motion demonstration of the proper way to do a Toadie:

As with some of the other positions we have studied, you begin by raising your left knee while bending your right knee. Step your left leg out so that your legs are slightly wider than shoulder length apart. Raise your arms so that they are extended straight out in front of you. 

The core move itself models the movement of a frog jumping but in slow motion. Inhale while slowly bending your knees and dropping into a squat-like position, keeping your back upright. Once you get close to the ground, turn your hands so they are facing upwards. Begin lifting your body directly upwards as well, like an elevator, as you exhale. The feet stay flat on the ground the entire time. 

Here's another video demonstration without the onscreen instructions and simply with the repetition count.

Lastly, here's a third version of the video without any onscreen dialogue or counting at all. 

In case you missed them, here are a couple of related articles that you might find useful in practicing your Tai Chi moves:

We also released a handy video introduction to the key concepts in Tai Chi. Check it out here