If you want to get good at Wing Chun, you have to build your Wing Chun body so that it is functional for Wing Chun. But how do you do that without spending years not progressing?
Today I’m going to break down the Wing Chun muscles important in making Wing Chun functional. Then you’ll know exactly which muscles to build for Wing Chun and which muscles to stretch in order to get into Wing Chun positions.
So if you are ready to build your Wing Chun body structure, you first need to know which muscles to strengthen and which muscles to stretch. I call these the Yang and Yin of Wing Chun muscles.
Here are the six muscles that you need to know to be functional with Wing Chun…
Wing Chun Muscles to Build
Yang muscle number one. The first Wing Chun muscle to build is the glutes (gluteus maximus). Now the glutes are what connects the legs to the torso. The glutes engage so that you become less bendable. So in other words, they engage the legs with the body.
Yang muscle number two. The second Wing Chun muscle to build is the lats (latissimus dorsi). Now the lats are the main connection of your torso (your body to your arms). What the lats do is pull the shoulders and connect them. In close quarters fighting, you need to have a very compact structure. The lats, in and of themselves, pull the shoulders down and make them more part of the rest.
Wing Chun Muscles to Stretch
Yin muscle number one. The first Wing Chun muscle to stretch is traps (the trapezius). The trapezius are here. Your shoulders are part of your root. Tight traps are a sign of being unrooted. Lowering your shoulders disengages the traps and roots your structure. Siu Nim Tao chamber position… what this does is helps stretch the trapezius muscles and strengthen the lat muscles. So you’re trying your best to do both at the same time. The traps and the lats are opposites (so the traps are the brakes the lats are the gas) So we want to turn on the gas and lay off the brakes.
Yin muscle number two. The next muscle to stretch is the front delts (anterior deltoid). The front delts are here. This is a pushing away muscle. So as this front delt starts to engage and push, what happens is the energy gets pushed away from us and we just can’t receive it. Receiving force from someone else is crucial for sensitizing and then using energy against them. Pushing their force away makes sensitivity impossible. The moment this happens is the moment you’re coming out of that compactness with your shoulder. One of the things I recommend is to take a rag and put that into your armpit. As you have that rag into your armpit and i want you to learn to fully extend.
Yin muscle number three. The next muscle to stretch is the biceps. As you fully extend, this brings me (extending) this brings me to the next brake or antagonistic muscle… the bicep. This is one of the reason curls are actually not great for Wing Chun because it’s the opposite of what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to extend. We’re not trying to flex. Get out of your biceps and get out of your traps and your front delts and learn to let go of the hand. This is all development. Take this here. Hold this and if you extend too much, you’ll see that the rag goes away. That’ll help you to get out of your front delts, keep your shoulder down and also your biceps.
Yin muscle number four. Another place we want to stretch is the lower back. Now this also happens through just good Siu Nim Tao training. The pelvic tilt practiced in Wing Chun stretches the lower back. This elongates the spine, connecting it with the ground.
Yin muscle number five. The calf muscles are also muscles to stretch. So as we’re doing the calves… as we get lower we’re stretching those calves so that we can become more connected into the ground. And the closer you are to your opponent the more part of the ground you really need to be. So the calves are another another muscle to turn off as much as you can. Okay so these are the gas and the brakes. These are the Wing Chun muscles that we want to engage and disengage. When you start to understand the independence between these muscles, you can be functional with your Wing Chun.