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Most people sit more than they should. The result is that the shoulders give up on their normal function and allow the large muscles along the back and hips to take over. You recognize this as a slouch. In mindfulness martial art practice, it means the root of the arms is not functioning. Without restoring that root, your hands are useless. This exercise works on strengthening the muscles of the upper back and reengaging the shoulder. Arm Circles help to strengthen and improve the shoulder range of motion.
Stand in Wuji Posture with your arms at your sides. Raise your arms with the palms facing the floor and pull your shoulder blades back. Circle your arms toward your thumb, forward in this case, but do not make the circles too large. Your hands should not travel below your ribs, or above your head.
Perform 50 to 100 repetitions in this direction. Try to keep the shoulder blades pulled back through the entire exercise. It helps to look into a mirror so you can see the range of motion of both arms.
After 50 to 100 repetitions forward, turn your hands over, so the palms are facing up, and perform 50 to 100 repetitions in the other direction.