Bear-Like Strength and Tiger-Like Agility-虎背熊腰 (hǔ bèi xióng yāo)

Sunday, October 22, 2023

"虎背熊腰" (hǔ bèi xióng yāo) is a Chinese idiom that signifies a person's robust and sturdy physique, often symbolizing physical strength and resilience. This idiom originates from a captivating story that carries valuable life lessons.

The Story of "虎背熊腰" (hǔ bèi xióng yāo)

In ancient China, there lived a woodcutter named 李大树 (Lǐ Dàshù), renowned for his incredible strength and resilience. He was affectionately referred to as "虎背熊腰" (hǔ bèi xióng yāo) by his fellow villagers. The story of Lǐ Dàshù's remarkable physical abilities began when, as a young boy, he endured rigorous training to support his family. One winter, a massive tree had fallen across the village's only road, blocking all passage. While others hesitated due to the tree's colossal size, Lǐ Dàshù took it upon himself to remove the obstacle. With "虎背熊腰" (hǔ bèi xióng yāo) strength, he single-handedly carried the tree away, allowing the villagers to resume their daily lives.


The story of "虎背熊腰" (hǔ bèi xióng yāo) inspires us to recognize the importance of physical 力量 (lì liàng) strength, resilience, and determination. It teaches us that dedication to self-improvement and a strong work ethic can help overcome even the most challenging obstacles in life.

力量 (lì liàng), noun, strength


  1. Her strength allowed her to lift the heavy weight.
    Tā de lìliàng shǐ tā nénggòu jǔ qǐ zhòngwù.
  2. Strength is important for athletes to perform at their best.
    Lìliàng duì yùndòngyuán de zuìjiā biǎoxiàn hěn zhòngyào.


"虎背熊腰" (hǔ bèi xióng yāo) literally translates to "tiger's back and bear's waist." This idiom is used to describe someone with immense physical strength and resilience.

Modern Application 

In modern times, "虎背熊腰" (hǔ bèi xióng yāo) can be metaphorically applied to individuals who possess exceptional physical or mental strength. It can also refer to those who have the resilience to endure challenges and emerge 更强壮 (gèng qiáng zhuàng) stronger.

更强壮 (gèng qiáng zhuàng), adj, stronger


  1. He became stronger after months of weightlifting.
    Jīngguò jǐ gè yuè de jǔzhòng xùnliàn, tā biàn dé gèng qiángzhuàngle.
  2. A well-balanced diet and exercise can make you stronger.
    Jūnhéng de yǐnshí hé duànliàn kěyǐ shǐ nǐ gèng qiángzhuàng.

Key Sentences about "虎背熊腰" (hǔ bèi xióng yāo):

  1. He looks somewhat "tiger's back and bear's waist."
    Tā kàn qǐlái yǒuxiē "hǔbèi xióngyāo."
  2. He has "tiger's back and bear's waist”due to years of regular exercise.
    Tā yīnwèi chángnián duànliàn, "hǔbèi xiónyāo."
  3. She has developed a bit of "tiger's back and bear's waist" because she eats too much.
    Tā chī de tài duōle, yǐjīng yǒuxiē "hǔbèi xióngyāo" dele.

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