Anna M. (Anna Mary) Galbraith.

Personal hygiene and physical training for women online

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(Figs. 47, 48). — First Position. — Stand erect, with the heels
together and the hands resting on the hips. Straighten
out the right arm, and extend it perpendicularly up at
the side of the head, and at the same time carry the left
leg outward and upward as far as possible, according to
the pose assumed in the figure. Then lower the leg and
arm, returning to the original position.

Second Position. — Stand erect, with the heels together
and the hands resting on the hips, as in the first position.
Then take the same movements with the left arm and right


leg as were taken in the first position. The arm and leg
should be raised and lowered simultaneously.

All these exercises increase the vertical diameters of
the chest, and strengthen the muscles of ordinary and
forced respiration.

These movements also relieve the engorged veins of
fatigued legs.

Lateral Trunk and Waist Exercises (Figs. 49, 50). —
First Position. — Stand with the feet nearly together and
the arms extended above the head ; the arms are relaxed
at the wrists and elbows, so that a slightly curved line
is formed, as is shown in the figure. First sway to the
left, bending at the waist line as far as possible, and re-
turn to the original position.

Second Position. — The attitude is the same as in the
first position; sway to the left in the same manner.

These exercises strengthen the muscles on the sides of
the abdomen and the lower part of the back, and are an
excellent means to reduce the size of the waist in case of

Exercises for the Muscles of the Back (Fig. 51). —
These exercises may be taken lying prone on the floor,
with the feet caught under any piece of furniture which is
strong and low enough to act as a cross-bar, as a lounge
or dressing case. No one but an athlete could take this
exercise without having the feet held down.

The feet should be held firmly down, and the hands may
be at the sides or clasped behind the waist; the body is
then slowly raised and carried backward to the half -sitting
posture, then gradually lowered to the original position.
These movements should be taken slowly and not repeated
more than five times in the beginning.

In case of stooping or round shoulders, the hands
should be clasped at the back of the neck instead of at
the waist.

Raise the head and extend the spine, pressing the
elbows backward. This exercise is a severe one on the
extensors of the back and the rotators of the shoulders.

Fig. 51. — Exercises for muscles of back.



Fig. 52. — Exercises for muscles of abdomen.

Fig. 53. — Swimming exercises: for back, thighs, and abdomen. First


Fig. 54. — Swimming exercises : for back, tliighs, and abdomen. Second


Fig. 55. — Rope-pulling exercises: for back, chest, waist, legs, and
arms. First position.

Fig, 56.

-Rope-pulling exercises: for back, chest, waist, legs, and
arms. Second position.

Fig. 57. — Exercises in lateral trunk flexions: for shoulders, chest,
hips, and legs. First position.


Exercises for the Muscles of the Abdomen (Fig.
52). — Lie supine on the floor, with the feet firmly fixed
under a cross bar, or a piece of furniture which will answer
this purpose, and the hands resting on the hips, as shown
in the figure; slowly raise the body to the upright posi-
tion, maintain for a moment, and return to the first

This and the preceding exercise are both excellent for
strengthening the abdominal muscles and reducing an
excessive accumulation of fat in case of obesity of this

Swimming Exercises : for Back, Thighs, and Abdo-
men (Figs. 53, 54). — First Position. — The movements
given here are those for the breast-stroke in swimming.
Stand with the feet about eighteen inches apart, with the
right foot advanced and the right leg straight ; the weight
is thrown on the left leg, and the arms bent at right angles,
ready for the beginning of the stroke, as shown in the pose.

Second Position. — Shoot the arms directly forward,
incline the whole body forward, straighten the left leg, and
throw the weight on the right, which should be bent,
as shown in the second pose. Then sweep the hands and
arms outward in a horizontal plane, until the arms, trunk,
and legs are brought into the original position.

Then take the same exercises, reversing the positions of
the right and left legs.

In taking these exercises the arms, body, and legs must
work simultaneously. Special stress must be placed on
the alternate flexion and extension of the front and rear
leg and the inclination of the body forward with each

While these exercises strengthen the muscles of the arms,
shoulders, and chest, they are especially intended for the
extensor muscles of the back and thighs and muscles of
the abdomen.

Rope-pulling Exercises: for Back, Chest, Waist,
Legs, and Arms (Figs. 55, ^'o).— First Position. — Stand
with the feet about eighteen inches apart, the arms ex-


tended out in front of the body and well out from the sides;
the right foot is advanced, and the weight rests mainly on
the right leg.

Second Position. — Clinch the hands tightly, as though
grasping a rope, and sway to the left side, at the same time
straightening the right leg; bend the left knee, and pull
the hands toward the waist, as though pulling the rope in;
then extend the arms and return to the first position.

Repeat the exercise with the position of the legs re-

The arms must be extended well out from the sides,
bending at the waist-line, so as to increase the reach, and
the swaying back and forth must be done with perfect

This is a good all-around exercise, as it brings into play
and strengthens the adductors of the thighs, calves, and
extensors of the legs, the broad muscles of the back, the
muscles of the chest, waist, and the flexors and extensors
of the arms.

Exercises in Lateral Trunk Flexions : for Shoulders,
Chest, Hips, and Legs (Figs. 57, 58). — First Position. —
Stand with the feet eighteen inches apart, with the right
arm extended upward and the left downward, and the
weight of the body thrown on the right leg, while the left
leg is extended directly to the side.

Second Position. — Change the weight to the left leg,
and bend the left knee while the right leg is extended.
At the same time bring the right arm down and carry the
left up and sway the body at the hips to the right side.
The feet are kept flat on the floor during the entire exer-
cise, and it will be noticed that the arm, which is extended
downward, is on the same side as the extended leg.

These exercises increase the flexibility of the chest,
strengthen the muscles at the sides of the waist, and
cause some massage of the liver.

Exercises in Trunk Flexions : for Muscles of the
Back, Abdomen, and Leg (Figs. 59, 60). — First Position. —
Stand with the feet about six inches apart, the body bent

Fig. 58. — Exercises in lateral trunk flexions: for shoulders, chest,
hips, and legs. Second position.

Fig. 59. — Exercises in trunk flexions; for back, abdomen, and legs,
First position.

Fig. 60. — Exercises in trxink flexions: for back, abdomen, and legs.
Second position.

Fig. 61. — Chest weight exercises tor arms and shoulders. First



well forward at the waist-line, while the legs are rigidly
extended at the knees. Increase the bend gradually at
the waist until the tips of the fingers touch the floor be-
tween the feet, as shown in the pose.

Second Position. — From the first position carry the arms
directly forward, upward, and backward until they reach
the position shown in the second pose, with the knees and
ankles flexed ; bend the trunk as far backward as possible,
while the arms are extended over the head. Maintain
for a moment, and return to the original position.

These movements must all be taken slowly, and in the
beginning do not attempt to go far back of the vertical
line. Nearly all the muscles on the front and back of
the body are involved in these exercises, but the greatest
strain comes on the muscles of the back and abdomen and
the muscles on the back of the thighs. The bending and
rising bring into powerful action the extensors of the back
and neck and the retractors of the shoulders.

After this exercise has been mastered, it can be used to
still further expand the lungs, by forcible inspiration when
the chest is in the most favorable position for expansion;
retain the breath while the trunk is flexed, forcing the air
into the cells of the lungs under pressure. This last fea-
ture of the exercise should not be attempted by any one
with weak lungs.

Boxing and Fencing. — Boxing and fencing are both
excellent exercises for the lungs, for both sides of the body,
for balance, for rapidity, for endurance, variety, prompti-
tude, and sudden adaptation; for originality, up to a
certain point, as well as for self-reliance and fearlessness.
They have the advantage of cheapness, and are best prac-
tised in the open air.

Exercises with Chest Weights : for Chest Expan-
sion, Shoulders, and Arms. — These exercises are excel-
lent for developing the muscles of the upper part of the
chest, and for rounding out the chest, shoulders, and arms.
They are also good flesh-reducing exercises.

The weights should be fairly light at first, beginning


with perhaps two and one-half pounds, and gradually in-
creasing until five pounds are used. The weights should
only be increased with the increase of the strength of
the individual. All the movements should be performed
consecutively from ten to twenty times each; then pro-
ceed to the next movement.

In taking any heavy exercise great care must be used
not to overfatigue the muscles, or more harm than good wUl
be done. As soon as the muscles have become too tired
to perform any exercise vigorously, it should be discon-
tinued, and a rest of a few minutes taken, when the exer-
cise may be resumed. When a point is reached at which
the muscles feel tired at the commencement of the exer-
cise stop at once for the day.

ChestWeight Exercises for Arms and Shoulders (Figs,
61, 62). — First Position. — Face the chest weights, grasp
the handles firmly, and hold the arms straight out in front
of the chest. Stand with the heels nearly together, and
far enough away from the weights to raise them a little
distance from the floor.

Second Position. — Draw the two handles to the chest and
almost under the arm-pits, letting the elbows and shoulders
go well back; then extend the arms. Repeat ten times.

Chest Weight Exercises for Shoulders and Chest
Expansion (Figs. 63, 64). — First Position. — Hold the arms
straight out in front.

Second Position. — Then, still keeping them in a horizon-
tal position, throw them back as far as possible.

Chest Weight Exercise for Extending Depth of
Chest (Figs. 65, 66). — First Position. — Stand with the
back to the chest weights, palms forward, arms straight.

Second Position. — Let the arms go past the sides, back
and up as far as possible; then bring them down and for-
ward and return to first position.

ChestWeight Exercise for Chest Expansion (Figs. 67,
68). — First Position. — Stand with the back to the chest
weights, holding the arms straight out in front.

Second Position. — Then, keeping them straight and in a

Fig. 62. — Chest weight exercises for arms and shoulders. Second


Fig. 63. — Chest weight exercises for slioulders and chest expansion.
First position.

Fig. 64. — Chest weight exercises for shoulders and chest expansion.
Second position.

Fig. 65. — Chest weight exercises for extending depth of chest. First


Fig. 66. — Chest weight exercises for extending depth of chest.
Second position.

Fig. 67. — Clieyt weiglit exercises for cliest expansion. First position.

Fig. 68. — Chest weight exercises for chest expansion. Second


Fig. 69. — Figures of the dance. First position of the hands and feet.


horizontal position, throw them back as far as possible.
With the arms still extended on a straight line with the
shoulders, bring them forward until the hands meet in
front. This is an excellent exercise to expand and develop
the chest.

Classic and Esthetic Dancing: an Essential
Feature in Physical Training. — From earliest antiquity
the dance has been of universal practice among all peoples
of the earth, both savage and civiHzed, and it has been
made to express all the emotions of which the mind is
capable of feeling. Dancing held a prominent position
among the gymnastic exercises of the Greeks.

The teachers of physical training have long felt that
even the combination of gymnastics and athletic sports
left much to be desired in the carriage and movements of
the body, so classic and esthetic dancing, which stands
between the two, more closely allied to gymnastics in its
movements and to games in its spirit, was introduced as
an additional gynmastic exercise, to harmonize the move-
ments of the body, and to produce an ease of manner with
a grace of beauty and of motion.

Society Dancing. — A sharp distinction must be made
between the modern gymnastic dancing and society danc-
ing. In the latter, the waltz and the two-step always
require a partner. The dancing is ordinarily confined to
the ball-room, with its poor ventilation and overheated
air; add to these the constriction of the waist, so that the
free action of the heart and lungs is interfered with, and
under these conditions it may even prove a dangerous
pastime to the young woman with weak heart or lungs.
As a physical exercise, the waxed floor of the ball-room
still further reduces its value.

Gymnasium or Classic and Esthetic Dancing. — For the
gymnasium dancing there must be, first of all, the loose
dress and heelless slippers, and an abundant supply of
fresh air at a proper temperature, while the foot grips
the floor as tenaciously as in boxing or fencing; a smooth
floor renders an artistic execution impossible. The floor


should be rough or covered with canvas, when dancing
becomes as good a developer of the heart and lungs as
running or swimming.

Girls in good physical condition can keep up esthetic
dancing for an hour with very few rests or pauses. The
work done in one hour is about equivalent to a walk of ten

The first steps in the attainment of grace of motion is
to avoid short, angular, jerky movements, and to learn
to do everything, even the most difficult exercises, with
the least expenditure of power and energy. This implies
considerable muscular strength and great muscular en-
durance and control. As soon as the dancer loses her
balance or poise, holds one arm too straight, and bends the
other one at too sharp an angle, or puts too much stress
on this movement and too little on that, or makes too
much effort, the harmony is lost and gracefulness is not

The modern gymnasium dancing conforms more com-
pletely with the requirements of good exercise than ball-
room dancing, because the trunk, arms, and legs are brought
more generally into action. While the exercises of the
feet and calves are not so intense or so concentrated as in
ballet dancing, the range and the extent of the movement
are much greater. Not only are the shoulder, back, and
chest muscles considerably developed by the free use of the
arms, but so many of the muscles of the lower part of the
back, abdomen, and thighs are used that greater respira-
tory power is acquired to sustain the extended action;
hence, the chest-walls are expanded by the effort, and the
abandonment of the corset during dancing gives the utmost
freedom to all respiratory movements.

Statistics show that some of the benefits accruing from
a conscientious study and practice of aesthetic dancing are,
that it raises and develops the chest, lengthens the waist,
and also reduces its circumference; the hips are reduced in
size, the thighs and calves are enlarged, while the ankles
are made smaller and the insteps are raised and given a

Fig. 70. — Figures of the dance. Second position of hands; second
position of right foot.

Fig. 71. — Figures of the dance. Third position of hands; third
position of right foot.

Fig. 72. — Figures of the dance. Third position ("amplified")
of hands; fourth position of right foot, in front. N. B. — When the
arms are not in motion, the palms must be turned down.

Fig. 73. — Figures of the dance. Fourth po.sition of hands; fourth

Fig, 74. — Figures of the dance. Fifth position of hands; fifth
jwsition of right foot.


Fis;. 75. — Fii>:ures of the dance. Forward balance.

Fig. 70. — Figures of the dance. Backward balance.

Fig. 77. — Courtesy.

Fig. 78. — Highland fling.

Fig. 79. — Hornpipe step "on lieels, " pulling down the small ropes.

Fig. 80. — Swedish step from "Kulldansen."

Fig. 81. — Circles ^vith hands, from Spanish dances.

Fig. 82. — Combination of dance steps. First position.

Fig. 83. — Combination of dance steps. Second position.

Fig. 84. — Combination of dance steps. Third position.

Fig. 85.— On the toe tips.


higher arch. Properly applied and directed, dancing ex-
ercises are even a cure for flat-foot.

The improvement noted in thirteen young ladies during
twenty-five days by M. B, Gilbert is as follows: The
average increase in the normal chest measure, from half
an inch to one and a half inches; with the chest inflated,
from half an inch to one and three-fourth inches.

The foundation for this coordinate work, from which
an unlimited variety of the most valuable developing
exercises is formed, consists of the long-estabhshed five
positions of the feet and five positions of the arms, to-
gether with positions of the whole body, known as atti-
tudes, arabesques, poses, elevations, groupings, etc. From
these precepts are established, whereby steps, attitudes,
and motions are systematically arranged, according to the
method, and in strict harmony with time and cadence of

The freedom given by such dancing softens the crude
awkward positions so universal among young people; the
general carriage invariably improves as the head goes up
and the shoulders go back; a more elastic tread and an
easier propelling of the body in walking is gained. Not
only is the chest broadened and deepened, and fat removed
from waists and hips, and weak backs strengthened, but
students gain in quickness of perception, coordination, and
judgment, as well as in agility and power to keep their
feet in correct rhythm.

Esthetic dancing is particularly recommended in all
factories, stores, and schools where there are any large
number of girls and women as a recess exercise, because in
this way they get a great deal of vigorous exercise in a very
short time. It brings all the large muscle groups into
action, causes a rapid circulation of the blood, aerates the
lungs, and it affords the best possible sort of a contrast
to their monotonous and cramped positions; it is most
exhilarating and it is good fun. It is an excellent mental
tonic and physical invigorator; it brightens the day, and
enables the women to do better work.


Outdoor Exercise. — Outdoor exercise must be regarded
as one of the essentials to good health, and as such must
be classed with food, clothing, bathing, and sleep.

In addition to the beneficial effects of exercise on the
muscles, circulation, and all the functions of the body, are
the soothing effects of outdoor life on the nerves. It is
only out-of-doors, in the parks, in the country, or by the
sea that one is soothed into entire oblivion and forgetful-
ness of the cares of life, and to such a degree that the in-
dividual may be said to be hypnotized by the powers of
nature, so that the mind is almost as perfectly at rest as in
a sound sleep.

The time spent out-of-doors should not be less than
two hours daily. Actual experience of busy workers will
prove that not only is this time not lost, but that actually
more and better work can be done in the day, and that the
resulting improvement in the general health will be so
great that much less time will be lost through indisposition
and actual sickness, so that the daily outdoor exercise
will be found to be a great economic gain.

Outdoor exercises, such as walking, running, swimming,
and hill and mountain climbing, possess the very great
advantage that indulging in them demands no expense,
and are, therefore, open to all. All these exercises de-
velop the lungs and chest and strengthen the heart, and
are, therefore, classed under exercises of endurance.

The Effect of Walking on the Heart and Lungs. —
In a slow walk the respiratory action is almost double the
ordinary amount; in walking at an ordinary pace, that is,
about three miles an hour, it is four times as great ; while
in a vigorous or hasty walk, that is, at a rate of from four
to six miles an hour, it is from seven to nine times as

The change of speed from three to five miles an hour
elevates an automatic, listless occupation into a vigorous
exercise, employing many new muscle groups and stimu-
lating the heart, lungs, and skin, while the change from a
smooth, level road to the broken ground of the mountain-


side may be dangerous for many a one who is able to walk
at a moderate speed on level ground.

In walking the clothing must be sufiiciently loose not to
interfere with the more rapid respirations and the increased
action of the heart. When the heart cannot keep pace
with the demanded speed of the circulation, a "stitch"
ensues, and getting one's second wind means that the heart
has succeeded in accommodating itself to the strain. Too
great a "stitch," resulting in absolute breathlessness,
is a warning that must not be disregarded.

This increase in the respiratory action is important,
as compared with the brief and transient increase from
exercise with apparatus, because a quick walk can easily
be kept up for several hours.

The fatigue is small, because, in the first place, of the
abundant supply of oxygen; the will is scarcely used, and
walking is almost automatic, partly because the muscle
areas used are large, and each movement prepares for the
next. Walking is a heart and lung exercise of a very ex-
cellent sort.

The Effect of Walking on the Movements of the Blood in
the Legs. — The circulation of the blood depends on the
pumping of the heart, which is in turn affected by the suc-
tion action of the lungs and the muscular movements of
contraction and relaxation which go on rhythmically.
"''^"J^ile in prolonged standing the veins of the legs become
fuller, and the circulation of blood in them more sluggish,
and by the laws of gravitation the blood is kept down in
them. Hence also in walking slowly with short steps the
legs remain overfull of blood and become heavy. Instead
of being quickened, the circulation is actually hindered,
for the waste-products are not carried away quickly enough.
Hence, slow walking soon causes a feeling of fatigue, while
the vigorous walker, going along with long strides, keeps

Rules for Long Walks. — In walking, not only the dis-
tance should be taken into account, but the character of
the road and the incline of the ascent, A distance that


could be easily covered on a smooth, level highway may
mean double the expenditure of muscle and nerve force if
the ground is sandy or veiy damp. Other hindrances to
be taken into consideration are opposing winds, not only
because of the resistance, but also because of the inhala-
tion of dust and rain.

The walk should be occasionally broken for short periods
of rest. The pauses should be short, about five minutes,
and during this time the body should be erect. Experi-
ence proves that sitting down makes one more tired on
getting up again. A short halt should be made before
climbing a steep ascent, so as to begin with fresh strength
and easy breathing, as this means increased work for the
heart and lungs.

In starting out for a walk, one should begin slowly, and
gradually increase the pace, and in returning the same rule

Online LibraryAnna M. (Anna Mary) GalbraithPersonal hygiene and physical training for women → online text (page 27 of 30)