Chen Fake Silk Reeling Power Exercise

In my Chen Zhonghua Workshop Notes Unfiltered Series, I wrote the following:

Chen Fake’s secret method: engage the exercise of stretching the wrists/fingers by motioning the hands over the shape of the elbow. Imagine standing with arms crossed, in this position alternate the stretching of one hand over the shape of the elbow.  The hand/wrist stretches forward and then curves around the shape of the elbow.  This helps in developing silk reeling power.

— Source: Chen Zhonghua Workshop Notes Unfiltered Part 2

I received an inquiry to elaborate on this exercise.  The best way I can think of is to show a video of the exercise. So, without further ado:

When I do this exercise, I try to stretch with my middle finger as the arm twists and spirals. If I pause the action as my hand begins to wrap around my elbow using a spiraling motion, I try to feel a stretch in the wrists. It’s all about stretching 🙂


About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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6 Responses to Chen Fake Silk Reeling Power Exercise

  1. Vale Taiji says:

    Thanks for the video – this exercise looks a bit similar to the ‘small arm’ silk reeling we do as part of the ten silk reeling exercises in our CXW-lineage school. More and more, I’m starting to realize that flexible wrists are an integral part of Taiji.

  2. wujimon says:

    Hi Vale.
    Can you describe the “small arm” exercise? Is it the one where you put both wrists on the sides of your body and do a type of “undulating” kind of motion?

    Note, the exercise above is not meant to only stretch but also engage the wrist muscles. In fact, it’s the connection from the fingers to the wrist to the forearm to the whole body.

  3. Vale Taiji says:

    Actually I think I typed ‘small arm’ without putting too much thought into it – I think it’s more correctly called just ‘small reeling silk.’ Yes you put your wrist(s) on the side(s) of your body and circle/stretch/undulate them around in a circle. It can be done with both wrists simultaneously, or single wrists individually (in which case we also turn the torso slightly in the direction of the wrist that’s turning).

    I’m not affiliated with them in any way whatsoever, but as a quick reference, the chaps at seem to follow a more-or-less identical collection of silk reeling exercises.

    Having tried doing the exercise in your video a few more times now, it’s interesting how different it does feel to the small silk reeling exercise!

  4. wujimon says:

    Hi Vale. Be sure when doing the exercise that the “Chen Tile Hand” is being used. For more on that, check out ( ). Glad you found the video beneficial.

  5. hybr says:

    this reminds me of one of the movements from yilu 2nd section

  6. Pingback: Chen Zhonghua Workshop Notes Unfiltered Part 2 | wujimon taiji blog

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