Among the many varieties of dumb-bell movements, the illustration
shows, first the posture of body to be assumed when the right-hand
movements are about to be practiced; second, the posture when
the bells are used, one in each hand, to be raised and lowered
straight down by the sides; third, the posture when a single
bell is to be manipulated first with the right and then with
the left hand; fourth, the posture when the bells, one in each
hand, are raised and lowered, with alternate steps forward with
right and left foot.
Wands and Sticks. -In French
gymnastics, exercises with simple wands and sticks are in great
favor, as imparting grace of carriage and movement in the upper
part of the body. The shoulder joints are especially improved
in suppleness, and their spheres of movement rapidly enlarged.
As in the cut the wand or baton may be firmly grasped in the
right hand, the other being placed on the hip. Elevate the wand
to the full reach of the arm and strive to keep it in a true
horizontal position. Next, grasp the baton in the left hand,
bring it to a vertical position, with one end on the ground,
bend the body and limbs without inclining the rod from its perpendicular.
Pupils exercising in couples may combine their rods and pass
through a series of pleasing and healthful arm movements, as
seen in the cut.
Indian Clubs. -A vast number
of complex movements may be performed with these appliances.
The illustration shows the postures when the clubs, one held
in each hand, are to be extended straight forward the full length
of the arm, alternately. Next, swing the clubs upward and then
backward, letting them fall into position behind the upper part
of the arm. A third exercise is to restore the clubs to the first
position, circle them upward as high as the arms will allow,
then carry them down over the back. The head should be kept well
back and the chest expanded.
Swedish Movement Cure.
-First, the arms are moved slowly upward and outward, till they
attain a vertical position above the head. While raising them,
the arms are gently rotated, so that the palms of the hands shall
face each other and the fingers be extended when the highest
point is reached. Head and chest are to be held erect. The effect
is to cause a stretching of the back and neck, a pulling back
of the shoulders and a bringing of the muscles of spine and neck
-This is a second exercise of the Swedish movement cure. The
stretched arms are slowly moved straight forward, upward and
sideways, then down again in such a manner as to describe a circle
of which the shoulder joint is the centre.
A Third Swedish Movement.
-This is designed to overcome the tendency to stoop-shoulders.
The position of the arms at first is with the clenched hands
just in front of and almost in contact with the shoulders, which
should be well drawn back. From this posture, the arms are to
be suddenly thrust upward to their full reach, and then slowly
returned to the primary position. The process should be repeated
from eight to sixteen times daily, and it's beneficial effects
upon the vigor and beauty of development are often speedily apparent.
exercise of the Swedish movement is known as wing-standing. It
is for invigorating the flat muscles on chest and back. The hands
are placed on the hips, the thumbs forward and fingers backward,
elbows a-kimbo. From this posture, the elbows are moved slowly
backward as far as possible, then allowed to resume their original
position. The movement should be repeated eight or ten times.
Further Swedish Movement Cures.
-Standing, arm bending and stretching movements are particularly
relied upon to increase suppleness of joints and impart strength
For Rheumatism. -They are
recommended as a specific remedy against weakness and rheumatic
pains in the joints concerned in performing these movements.
To individuals whose breathing powers are feeble, as is so apt
to be the case with those who lead a sedentary life, these exercises
are exceedingly valuable, not only on account of their invigorating
the organs of respiration, but also in consequence of their stimulating
effect upon the digestive functions, so useful in all cases of
nervous and general debility, and of impoverishment of the blood.
For Catarrhs, -in cases
of chronic catarrh or bronchitis, these exercises are also useful
for relieving the engorged lungs of blood, which is forced out
of the thorax into the active muscles of the arms. Persons with
weak chests must, however, employ them with due precaution, and
in patients with severe disease of the heart or lungs they should
not be resorted to without the special advice of a physician.
In order to render the exercise more arduous, and its effects
therefore in suitable cases more actively beneficial, the exercise
may be modified by flexing and extending the arms in these directions
alternately instead of together. Under such circumstances, the
respective positions of the arms should be exchanged several
times during the performance.
For Thoracic Troubles.
-A simple but useful movement, valuable for strengthening the
shoulder-joints and muscles of the arms, as well as for relieving
the thoracic organs when engorged with blood, is that called
cross-standing arm-rotation, inward and outward. During this
exercise, the arms, previously stretched out at right angles
to the body, are rotated round their long axes inward in pronation,
and outward in supination.
This rotary movement is executed partly in the shoulder-joint,
and partly by the radius being rotated around the ulna, carrying,
of course, the hand with it.
Walking. -Among the most
evident effects of a brisk walk we notice that generally the
color comes into the cheeks, the temperature of the body is raised,
the breathing is quickened, the pulse beats more frequently,
and the skin grows moist. Subsequently, as a rule, the appetite
is increased, and the digestion improved. Most of the important
muscles of the frame, except those of the arms, are more or less
brought into play whilst walking. The body must be held erect
by the muscles of the trunk, and, of course, those of the lower
extremities are in full activity.
Leaping. -To leap height, take
a position a short distance from the barrier, bring the arms
upward and forward to their full reach above the head, the hands
being closed, and swing them downward again their full extension,
at the same time bending the knee, until they project over and
beyond the toes, raising the heels, and bringing the weight of
the body on the forepart of the feet. Repeat this movement three
times, and after the third depression of the body,spring from
the feet and clear the barrier.
Leaping Width. -To leap
width, take a posture of attention, with the toes at the edge
of the transverse mark. Next, bring the arms slowly upward and
forward to the line of the shoulder, the fists being firmly clinched.
Swing them again downward and backward to their full extension,
at the same time flexing the lower limbs, and repeat these movements
three times. Then
spring from the feet, with the entire force of propulsion of
the lower limbs, and at the same instant throw the arms to the
front, as seen in the illustration. Lastly, descend lightly,
but let the entire soles of both feet meet the ground at the
The Leaping Pole. -To leap
width, take a position one pace from the mark, with the pole
held horizontally across the body, the arms bent, the butt of
the pole directed slanting toward the front. The hands should
grasp the pole about a foot apart, the right one in front, the
palms being upward, the fingers and thumbs meeting, or with the
palm of the right hand downward. Next, step forward with the
right foot to the edge of the mark, advance the butt of the pole
to its utmost reach, and fix it in the ground without displacing
the feet, or changing the grasp of the hands. Then spring from
the feet and pass by the left of the pole, the whole body and
lower limbs being held straight and extended in one line when
crossing it. Descend gently, and as the feet meet the ground,
raise the pole to the horizontal position in which it was held
at the beginning of the evolution.