Physical Exercises – Series 2

Exercise I.

(1) Extend the arms straight out in front of you, on the level of the shoulder, with palms of the hand touching each other; (2) swing back the hands until the arms stand out straight, sideways, from the shoulders or even a little further back if they will go there easily without forcing; return briskly to position 1, and repeat several times. The arms should be swung with a rapid movement and with animation and life. Do not go to sleep over the work or rather play. This exercise is most useful in developing the chest, muscles of the shoulders, etc. In swinging the hands backward, it is an improvement if you will rise on your toe during the backward sweep; sinking on your heels as you move the arms forward again. The repeated movements should be rhythmical, backward and forward, like the swinging of a quick pendulum.

Exercise II.

(1) Extend the arms straight in front of you, letting the little fingers of each hand touch each other, the palms being upward; (2) then keeping the little fingers still touching, bring the hands straight up in a curved circular movement, until the tips of the fingers of both hands touch the top of the head back of the forehead, the backs of the fingers touching, the elbows swinging out as the movement is made until (when the fingers touch the head, with thumbs pointing the rear) they point out straight sideways; (3) let the fingers rest on the top of the head a moment, and then with the elbows pressing back (which forces the shoulders back) force the arms backward with an oblique motion until they reach the sides at full length, as in the standing position.

Exercise III.

(1) Extend the arms straight out, sideways, from the shoulders; (2) then, still keeping the upper arms extended in same position, bend the arms at the elbow and bring the forearm upward with a circular movement, until the tips of the extended fingers lightly touch the tops of the shoulders; (3) then with fingers in the last position, force the elbows out to the front until they touch, or nearly go (a little practice will enable you to touch them together); (4) then, keeping the fingers still lightly touching the tops of the shoulders, swinging the elbows as far back as you can get them. (A little practice will enable you to get them much farther back than at the first attempt.) (S) Swing the elbows to the front position and then back to the rear position, several times.

Exercise IV.

(1) Place the hands on the hips, thumbs to the rear, and elbows pressed back; (2) bend the body forward, from the hips as far as you can, keeping the chest protruding and the shoulders pressed back; (3) raise the body to the original standing position (hands still at the hips) and then bend backward. In these movements the knees should not be bent and the motions should be made slowly and gently; (4) then (hands still on the hips) bend gently to the right, keeping the heels firmly on the ground, knees unbent and avoid twisting the body; (5) resume original position, and then bend the body gently to the left, observing the precautions given in the last movement. This exercise is somewhat fatiguing and you should be careful not to overdo it at the start. Proceed gradually; (6) with hands in same position on the hips, swing the upper part of the body around in a circle, from the waist-up, the head describing the largest circle, of course. Do not move the feet or bend the knees.

Exercise V.

(1) Standing erect, with hands on hips, raise yourself on the balls of the feet several times, with sort of a springing motion. Pause a moment after you have raised upon your toes, then let the heels sink to the floor, then repeat, as above suggested. Keep the knees unbent and the heels together. This exercise is specially beneficial in developing the calf of the leg, and will make it sure the first few times it is tried. If you have an undeveloped calf here is the exercises for you; (2) with hands still on hips place your feet about two feet apart, and then cover the body into a “squatting” position, pausing a moment and then resuming original position. Repeat several times, but not too often at the first, as it will make the thighs feel a little sore at the beginning. This exercise will give one well developed thighs. This last movement may be improved upon by sinking down with the weight resting upon the balls of the foot, instead of upon the heel.

Exercise VI.

(1) Stand erect with hands on hips; (2) keeping the knee straight, swing the right leg out about fifteen inches (keeping the toe turned a little out and the sole flat)–then swing back to the rear until the toe points straight to the ground, »keeping the knee stiff all the time«; (3) repeat the swinging backward and forward several times; (4) then do the same with the left leg; (5) with hands still on hips, raise the right leg up, bending the knee, until the upper-leg (thigh) stands straight out from the body (if you can raise it still higher, you may do so); (6) place your foot again on the ground, and go through the same motion with the left leg; (7) repeat several times, first one leg and then the other, moving slowly at first and gradually increasing your speed until you are executing a slow trot without moving from the over spot.

Exercise VII.

(1) Stand erect, with the arms extended straight in front of you, from the shoulders, and of course on a level with the shoulders–the palms must be down, fingers straight out, thumbs folded under and the thumb side of hands touching each other; (2) bend the body forward from the hips, stooping forward as far as possible and at the same time swing the arms forward with a sweeping movement, sending them down, backward and upward at the back, so that when the body has reached the limit of the bending forward movement the arms are extended back and over the body–keep the arms stiff and do not bend the knees; (3) resume standing position and repeat several times.

Exercise VIII.

(1) Extend the arms straight, sideways, from the shoulder and hold them there stiff and rigid with hands open; (2) close the hands forcibly with a quick motion, pressing the fingers well into the palm; (3) open the hands forcibly and quickly, spreading out the fingers and thumbs as widely as possible forming a fan shaped hand; (4) close and open the hands as above stated, several times, as rapidly as possible. Put life into the exercise. This is a splendid exercise for developing the muscles of the hand and for acquiring manual dexterity.

Exercise IX.

(1) Lie upon your stomach, extending your arms above your head and then bowed upward and your legs stretched out full length and raised backward and upward. The correct position may be carried in the mind by imagining a watch–crystal or a saucer resting on the table on its middle, with both ends turning upward; (2) lower and raise the arms and legs, several times; (3) then turn over on your back and lie extended at full length, with arms extended straight out upwards over the head, with back of fingers touching the ground; (4) then raise up both legs from the waist until they stand straight up in the air, like the mast of a ship, your upper-body and arms remaining in the last position named. Lower the legs and raise them several times; (5) resume position 3, lying flat upon the back at full with arms extended straight out upward, over the head, with backs of fingers touching the ground; (6) then gradually raise body to sitting position, with arms projecting straight in front of the shoulders. Then go back gradually to the lying down position, and repeat the raising and lowering several times; (7) then turn over on the face and stomach again and assume the following position:–Keeping the body rigid from head to foot, raise your body until its weight rests upon your palms (the arms being stretched out straight in front of you) at one end, and upon your toes at the other end. Then gradually bend arms at the elbow, allowing your chest to sink to the floor; then raise up your chest and upper-body by straightening out your arms, the entire weight falling upon the arms, with the toes as a pivot–this last is a difficult motion, and should not be overdone at first.

Exercise X.

This exercise is for those troubled with a too large abdomen, which trouble is caused by too much fat gathering there. The abdomen may be materially reduced by a reasonable indulgence in this exercise–but always remember “moderation in all things” and do not overdo matters, or be in too much of a hurry. Here is the exercise: (1) exhale the breath (breathe out all the air in the lungs, without straining yourself too much) and then draw the abdomen in and up as far as you can, then hold for a moment and let it resume its natural position. Repeat a number of times and then take a breath or two and rest a moment. Repeat several times, moving it in and out. It is surprising how much control one may gain over these stubborn muscles with a little practice. This exercise will not only reduce the fatty layers over the abdomen, but will also greatly strengthen the stomach muscles. (2) Give the abdomen a good but not rough kneading and rubbing.

Exercise XI.

The exercise is as follows:–Follow it carefully. (1) stand erect, with heels together, toes slightly pointed outward; (2) raise the arms up by the sides (with a circular movement) until the hands meet over the head, thumbs touching each other; (3) keeping the knees stiff; the body rigid; »the elbows unbent«; (and shoulders bent well back as the movement is made); bring down the hands, slowly, with a sideway circular motion, until they reach the sides of the legs the little finger and the inner-edge (the “chopping-edge”) of the hand alone touching the legs, and palms of the hands facing straight to the front. The shoulder gets the right position by touching the little finger of each hand to the seam of the trousers. (4) Repeat several times, »slowly« remember. With the hands in the last position, having been placed there by the motion stated, it is very difficult for the shoulders to warp forward. The chest is projected a little; the head is erect; neck is straight, the back straight and hollowed a little (the natural position); and the knees are straight. In short, you have a fine, erect carriage–«now keep it«.