Chinese Arm Swing Exercise

Finding a quiet location and allowing for focus and relaxation is part of the Chinese arm swing.
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The Chinese arm swing exercise focuses on “throwing away” negative energy and relaxes tension. You may have heard it in connection with the word qigong. Qigong is a Chinese health and wellness system. The arm swing is one exercise in qigong. While the exercise seems simple, it has many health benefits. A 2008 study published in the journal "Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice" and reported by the American Diabetes Association shows that regular Chinese arm swing exercises improve blood glucose control and may reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Before beginning any new exercise program, consult your physician.

    Step 1

    Find a quiet environment with minimal distractions. Stand barefoot with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slightly curl your toes as if you were trying to hold on to the ground. This creates an arch in the foot believed to draw the “chi,” or good energy, from the earth.

    Step 2

    Place your arms out in front of your body with your palms facing down. Begin swinging both arms backward and forward. Put force into the backward swing and let your arms move forward more on inertia. Keep your arms straight. Focus your gaze ahead of you and clear your mind.

    Step 3

    Perform 100 swings in your first session. Slowly add more until you reach 500 swings in a session. Repeat this twice a day for 1,000 swings total. As you get to the final swings, gradually reduce the swinging motion and make your swings smaller. When you complete your swings, let your arms hang naturally at your sides and relax your feet. You should feel a warmth or tingling sensation.


    • Keep your upper body relaxed and allow your arms to swing in a natural manner. This relaxed movement should flow freely.


    • During the exercise, maintain regular breathing through the nose.


    • Stop this exercise if you feel pain, and seek medical attention.

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