Korean National Health Exercises: Basic Version
Korean National Health Exercises (or ‘Gymnastics’ to use the actual terminology) is an exercise program developed by the Korean National Sports Promotion Corporation to literally promote the concept of ‘national health.’ As with all of these types of programs, the routine was developed so it could be easily enjoyed anytime, anywhere, and was given a definite update in comparison to older routines to reflect the changes in the lives of modern people. While known as the ‘basic’ routine, that really just means it is the ‘general’ routine, and as with Radio Taiso, there is an easier version (called the ‘Easy’ version and available HERE) and a seated version.
I have used two of the most readily available image sources for reference purposes, but I have prepared completely new text to make it as easy as possible to learn.
Korean National Health Gymnastics has the following characteristics:
- Elements of taekwondo, mask dancing (literally a dance where the dancers wear masks), and gymnastics are applied to retain a strong sense of national identity.
- It combines elements of meditation as well as physical movements. It is not (like so many modern exercise routines) based on mechanical and repetitive movements.
- There is less of a right way and wrong way to this routine, it is more flexible and elastic in terms of how it can be done – inspired by freeform gymnastics.
- As free-flowing as it is, it is still a scientifically built exercise program, with each individual exercise designed to maximise its impact.
- It consists of both strength and flexibility exercises, and through a combination of slow movements and fast movements, muscles are strengthened which in turn helps with posture and general bearing.
A quick rundown of the exercises in Korean National Health Gymnastics*: Basic
- Walking: Forms a correct posture.
- Spreading Wings: Push away negative thoughts.
- Elbow Strike: Increase shoulder flexibility.
- Hand Strike: Strengthen the arms.
- Torso rotation: Makes the waist flexible.
- Back Leg Straightening: Tones the legs.
- Front and Rear Bending: Increases the flexibility of the upper body.
- Whirling: Helps blood circulation.
- Shoulder rotation: Softens the shoulder joint.
- Turning on the body: Lubricates your core.
- Punching: Tones the entire shoulder area.
- Kicking: A stress relief and invigorating movement.
- Twisting and Jumping: More stress relief movements.
- Swinging: An action to stabilize the body and start bringing everything back to the centre.
- Twist: Focuses the mind.
- Breathing: Calms the mind.
*The order matches the eBook, but the names may differ; it’s a translation thing!
More Korean Exercises:
We also stock an earlier (and perhaps easier) Korean national program HERE.
Richie Neville | Director
Internal Force Fitness