My master says when he was training he would have to practice horse stance for at least an hour per day. If they got up they would get hit by their master. They had to stay low. This is the traditional way of training in China. Some masters would even require that their students can stand in a low horse stance for up to 4 hours before they would teach them anything else.
So, 20 minutes doesn’t seem that much now does it? Believe me even 5 minutes of a low horse stance is hard!
This is a very strenuous training. It requires dedication and perseverance to achieve a good horse stance and many people cannot dedicate themselves like this. Today teachers, even in China are not requiring that students perfect their horse stance before moving on to teach them forms. The standards have been lowered but that doesn’t change the fact that standing in a low horse stance you are missing out on the benefits of this practice. Even just a few minutes a day getting into a low stance will help you towards gaining these benefits.
Improve your posture.
When you are in horse stance you distribute your weight evenly between both feet. You don’t lean forwards or backwards and over time this allows the muscles in the upper body to balance out and relax. Your shoulders won’t be as hunched and the body won’t slouch. Remember that when you have better posture you are more attractive to others and better posture won’t use up muscles that are compensating for your poor posture.
Doing horse stance, you develop more strength in your legs which will improve your balance. You will be less likely to love your balance and fall over. As martial artists, this means you won’t be pushed over if you are fighting.
Faster on your feet
When you improve your posture and you improve your balance you will be able to transfer your weight easier and you will be quicker on your feet and you will move with more grace.
Tone your pelvic floor
When you tuck under your pelvis in the horse stance you are placing weight on your pelvic floor contracting the muscles and increasing their tone and strength. This is good for giving you more bladder control and can improve prostate glands in men and this means increased sexual vitality!! Hey guys a good reason to do more horse stances!
Strengthens the abdominal muscles
During a low horse stance in order for the body to remain upright you must contract your abdominal muscles this will give you a flatter stomach. Ladies, sounds like a plan to me!!
A stronger back
When your abdominal muscles are stronger and able to hold in the abdominal organs you have more back support from the front. This relieves the muscles in the lower back. They can relax and you can build them stronger. You will be more upright, and your back will be less prone to injuries. Strengthening your abdominal muscles can also relieve aches and pains the come from poor posture. For martial artists, you will also have faster punches and kicks and for the non-martial artists you will be quicker to run away if there is a threat. Scream for help and run, remember that.
Now that the lower back is relaxed it takes the pressure off the kidneys and allows them to function better which strengthens the whole kidney energy system. The kidneys also have multiple endocrine roles. They help produce Vitamin D so the bones stay strong and play a role in the hormones that control blood pressure. So, doing the horse stance every day in a low posture will improve your bone density and lower your blood pressure. That’s pretty cool!
Stronger Yang Energy
Because it is so strenuous to maintain a low horse stance it will develop your yang energy in your body. You will be more assertive, have more energy and stay warmer.
Finally, you will never get tired on your feet and have to sit down!!