Loose Chest, Straight Back, Shoulders and Elbows Sunk含胸拔背，沉肩墜肘
In his book, Chen Xin陳鑫 says, “Loose chest, straight back, sink the shoulders and elbows” this is correct for any posture, not just in Taijiquan. However in the form this describes the beginning posture, before we start to move. We should stand with our back straight, our chest loose and our shoulders and elbows should sink down. Basically this means we should stand straight and relax every part muscle in our body particularly our chest, shoulders and elbows. All of our weight should be on our legs and this is the correct standing position.
Once we start to move we should keep our postures maintain these characteristics as every movement comes from inside the body so our chest and shoulders should move internally as well, opening and closing, turning in and out, also breathing in and out. As we move there will be more effort required in parts of our body, but it is not stiff as we need to maintain the relaxation. We need effort to create certain strength, as in Peng Jing掤勁 where we hold that position, but the external muscles should be relaxed. We maintain relaxation all the time except when we Fajing發勁. So relax and maintain the body’s postures are all very important throughout the form.