I see pretty pictures of plum blossom, 81 petals of the 九九消寒图,but I can't really figure out the meaning of 练 in:

‘冬练三九,夏练三伏‘ What does this 练 mean here? Maybe:

Winter has?? 3 very cold periods '九‘, summer has?? 3 very hot periods.

Any tips please?

  • why not consult jukuu: jukuu.com/… train: 1. They "train either in the hottest periods in summer or the coldest periods in winter", and rise to exercise on hearing the cock crows in the morning and get ready for battle. 传统的练功方法很苦,“夏练三伏,冬练三九”,闻鸡起舞,枕戈待旦。
    – user6065
    Nov 6, 2016 at 1:16
  • also note bkrs: 三伏,(1) [the three ten-day periods of the hot season]∶三九 coldest days of winter
    – user6065
    Nov 6, 2016 at 1:27
  • Who should train? What battle? 三九 is either 第三个九, roughly January 8th to 17th or just 三九 which would be 27 days. There are 九九。
    – Gangosa
    Nov 6, 2016 at 2:01
  • for additional info search web, e.g. baike.baidu.com/view/577133.htm who should train: those practising martial arts; practising wushu 练武 (1) [practise martial arts; do combat training; train in combat skills]∶操练武功 (2) [do weapon practice]∶学习或练习军事技术 在数九寒冬之际,练武不仅能增强体质,还能锻炼人们不怕严寒的坚强意志。增强身体对寒冷的适应能力。由于全身剧烈地活动后,呼吸加深,消化能力加强,新陈代谢旺盛,改善了身体条件,健康水平和运动成绩就会随之提高。
    – user6065
    Nov 6, 2016 at 2:12

1 Answer 1




动 根据冬季气候特点进行体育锻炼, 以增强中枢神经系统的体温调节功能, 改善肌体抗寒能力, 增强体质。

Basically: winter exercises/training (based at improving thermal workings of the central nervous system, etc.)

Hanyu Da Cidian



Sanjiu is the coldest part of the year - sanfu is the hottest part of the year. So: no matter how adverse weather conditions are one must persist in painstaking physical exercise.

Here's more examples from Hanyu Da Cidian:

梁斌《烽烟图》 这是练来的!我爸爸曾对我说过,叫我冬练三九,夏练三伏!

新凤霞《童年纪事》 学戏练功吃苦可真不少,冬练三九,夏练三伏。

又《艺海博览》 青年演员要做到拳不离手,曲不离口。冬练三九,夏练三伏。练出来没有用不上的。

Just to clarify the times of year:

A Chinese-English Dictoonary


the third nine-day period after the winter solstice-the coldest days of winter



the three fu-the three hottest periods of the year (i.e. 初伏 chūfú, 中伏 zhōngfú, and 末伏 mòfú; altogether 30 or 40 days)



the first day of the first fu (falling in mid-July)



the first day of the middle or second fu (falling in late July)



the first day of the last or third fu (falling in early or mid August)

  • Thanks, looks like the Chinese, among all the other things, also invented keep-fit!
    – Gangosa
    Nov 6, 2016 at 5:51

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