Kwa Squat Exercises:
How to Improve Core Strength
+ Qi Power (Video)

Kwa Squat Exercise

The kwa is located on both sides of the body, extending from the inguinal ligaments through the inside of the pelvis to the crest of the hip bones. The kwa powers internal movements in qi gong, bagua and tai chi, and is part of the secret behind the effectiveness and qi power in the internal martial arts, including tai chi, bagua and hsing-i.

In this how-to video, you can watch me demonstrate how the kwa squat can make you stronger and more stable in your qi gong, bagua or tai chi practice, whether you train for health and healing benefits, martial power or to reduce stress.

The kwa squat is particularly recommended:

  • As an exercise for the lower back
  • To improve core strength
  • To boost qi development

A Word about Safety

Be sure you maintain proper body alignments throughout the whole exercise, especially focusing on your knees. Your bodyweight should go through the backs of your knees and defintiely not the front of your knees or unevenly loaded to one side or the other.

Learn more about improving posture and maintaining proper body alignments…


9 thoughts on “Kwa Squat Exercises:
How to Improve Core Strength
+ Qi Power (Video)

  1. Thank you for posting this. It is really helpful (especially the three points -shoulder, back of knee,arch of foot – alignments) in understanding proper execution of the kwa squat.

  2. While doing the kwa squat I am having a difficult time knowing if I am folding at the inguinal groove. Please comment.

    • To find an inguinal groove, stand on one leg, raise the other knee and where the leg folds at the hip is the inguinal groove.

      Stand in alingment, place your hands flat over your inguinal grooves and perform the kwa squat. If you feel the inguinal grooves folding, you are doing the exercise correctly. If they are not folding, you’re either bending your knees or bending at the waist. Keep the knees still and don’t bend at the waist.

    • Hi John. Yes, the weight shifts to the heels on the way down. On the way up, the weight shifts all the way to the balls of the feet. To return to neutral, relax, let go and let the weight sink through the centre of the arches.

      • As you progress with learning the kwa squat, is it natural to feel a strength/emptiness in the heels on the open? Something akin to the strength/emptiness of an unweighted leg? I find myself pressing off the heels on the open, even though the weight could be described as on the balls. Am I developing an error, or is this okay?

        • Correct. When you close your kwa, the weight goes back to the heels and, on the opening, you push off the heels. As you come back vertical, the weight transfers forward to the balls of the feet. The strength is the pressure from pushing off the heels and the emptiness is from the weight going to the balls of the feet. This action is what keeps the knees still in space on both the close and the open.

  3. This is excellent. I find when I do the squat, I lean forward way too much. Why is this, generally speaking? Also, when I am doing this kwa squat, do I push my hips/groinal area forward to make my back more flat…cause my hips seem to stick back far..and I think I’m supposed to have a more flat back no?

    • Hi Daniel, If you watch the video again, you’ll notice that the back is basically flat. When you start to descend in the squat, you’re only leaning to maintain balance. If the shoulders go forward of the knees, you’ve stopped the descent and you’re no longer doing a squat. When you can’t go down anymore, you stop going forward. Likewise, when going down, if you stick your rear end and hips back, you’re no longer going down! So relax the lower back muscles, lower spine and the back of the pelvis, and sink those areas into your heels. When you come up, the pelvis goes forwards, the spine rises and the knees remain still. In the beginning, your motion may be quite small, but it’s the accuracy of the motion, not the range of motion, that is most important. Good luck!

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