Edward Hitchcock.

A manual of the gymnastic exercises as practised by the junior class in Amherst college, Amherst, Mass online

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^Accession No.fy- fy- 3 .& / .' Class No.



















THE need of a manual like the present is seen in the
fact that three editions of a similar work have been
issued at Amherst during the past few years. The
recent advances made in this department, and the
increased facilities of our new Pratt Gymnasium, now
ready for occupancy, seem to demand a new manual,
and one which shall more fully meet the practical wants
of teachers and educational institutions everywhere.

The object of this manual is to furnish a series of
exercises, by the use of which a teacher can directly
instruct a class in light gymnastics ; or an ingenious
person may take the leading points in these exercises,
and adapt them to peculiar wants and circumstances,
thus giving a greater variety and pleasure of movement.

There is also given a series of simple military move-
ments that may be made by a class or company of from
twenty to a hundred, male or female, either in a
small out-of-doors area, or in an ordinary hall.


Persons who may wish either to direct themselves or
others to a special use of certain parts of the body, and
to learn what muscles are used in different exercises,
will find a portion of the manual devoted to this use :
it is not claimed, however, that every muscle used in
each of these exercises is clearly stated here. Most
movements of the body are too complex to allow of
perfect specialization in so short a work as this.

Two tables are given, showing certain measurements
of the human body. One is made from several thousand
measurements of twenty-one hundred and six students
of Amherst College, covering an interval of twenty
years, and expressed in the ordinary English system of
measures. The other is made from measurements of
four hundred and sixty-one students, comprising more
than fifty different data, covering a space of three years,
and expressed in the metric S} T stem.

The dumb-bell exercise was devised and first given by
Professor E. Hitchcock, jun., of Cornell University;
but the preparation of it in a written- form, as well as of
the marching movements, has been most carefully made
by Mr. Frank E. Whitman, the captain of '85. The
study of the muscles used in the dumb-bell movements
has been made by Mr. C. H. Nichols of the same class,
and the cuts have been designed by Mr. H. M. Waite
of the class of '85. All the exercises bells and
marching are executed by the present senior class, or
the class of '85.


A schedule for marking the different movements and
exercises in a gymnastic exhibition is given directly after
the tables. In its present form, it supposes at least three
classes in competition for a prize, and the contest to con-
sist of marching movements and a dumb-bell exercise.
It also supposes that the dumb-bell exercise shall receive
one mark, while each one of the several marching move-
ments is to be graded by the maximum as expressed
in the printed number against each movement.


Profesxor of Hygiene and Physical Education,




IN the following instructions for the drills in marching
and light gymnastics as practised in Amherst College, an
attempt has been made to describe the various movements
in the manner best suited for the use of the gymnasium.
It will, on this account, be noticeable to any one versed
in military tactics, that many deviations have been made
from the instructions as laid down in ''Upton's Infantry
Tactics," or as taught in the military schools. In the
main, however, the marching movements here given are
taken, with only slight changes, from " Upton's Infantry
Tactics ; " and man}' of the instructions are given just as
they appear in that book.

1 . The Arrangement of the Gymnasium. In
order that the class may have ample room for the dumb-bell
exercise, and particularly for marching, the apparatus for
heavy gymnastics should be arranged, as far as practicable,
on the sides and at the back of the hall. A platform for
the pianist and captain should be placed in the front of the
hall. For holding the bells when not in use, hooks may
be arranged in a row around the hall, at about five feet


from the floor ; or boxes may be placed at convenient
points, so that the men may take and leave their bells as
they file around the hall.

2. The Dumb-bell. The dumb-bell should be turned
out of well-seasoned, first-quality rock-maple, and meas-
ure ten inches in length ; the balls being three inches in
diameter, and the handle measuring four by one and one-
fourth inches. Such a dumb-bell weighs one and one-
fourth pounds, and may be considered too light ; but
a heavier one has been found to be unwieldy, and too
fatiguing for a briskly performed exercise.

3. The Uniform. It has been found very conven-
ient, in fact almost necessan*, for the classes to have
some kind of uniform for gymnasium practice. The uni-
form that has given most satisfaction in Amherst consists
of a loose-fitting shirt and a pair of trousers, both of dark-
blue Middlesex flannel. The shirts are usually made to
button on the shoulder, so as to leave the breast clear for
a class or college monogram. The trousers are of the
style commonly known as " hip-pants."

4. Arrangement of Classes into Platoons. Classes
numbering more than thirty men should be divided into
platoons, and each of these placed in charge of a "platoon
captain," whose duty it is to see that the class movements
are properly executed, and to give such orders as are indi-
cated in the instructions. A platoon should consist of
not less than three nor more than six fours. It will be
noticed, that in the marching movements, as arranged
for the gymnasium, there is no such thing as "double

5. Music and Time. In theory, the time occupied by
the motions in the dumb-bell exercise is nothing, the body
and bells being at rest all the time ; and in practice, we


must come as near to this as possible, that is, the
motions must be made very rapidly. The time of the
music may vary, and with it will vary also the periods of
rest between the counts ; but the rapidity of the move-
ments should be always the same.

Galop or march music may be used, and hence the term
"count" has been employed instead of " beat."

The phrase " through - - counts " may seem ambigu-
ous in some places. It invariably means, till counts

have been completed.

6. Commands. Commands are of two kinds, the
preparatory command, such as Forward, which indicates
the movement that is to be executed ; the command of
execution, such as MARCH, HALT, which causes the execu-
tion of a command. In the following instructions, the
preparatory commands are distinguished by italics, and
those of execution by SMALL CAPITALS.

The tone of command is animated, distinct, and of a
loudness proportioned to the number of men under in-

Each preparatory command is pronounced in an ascend-
ing tone of voice, and always in such a manner that the
command of execution may be more energetic and ele-

The command of execution is pronounced in a tone firm
and brief.

7. Assembling the Class. At the captain's com-
mand, Fall IN, each platoon takes its proper position in
a column of files ; i.e., in " single file," following the cap-
tain as he marches around the hall. The men must keep
their heads and eyes directly to the front, must cover the
men in front of them, and keep closed to the facing dis-
tance; that is, such a distance, that, in forming into line,


the elbows will just touch. The arms should hang natu-
rally at the sides, without stiffness, but without swinging.
The full step is twenty-eight inches in length, measuring
from heel to heel ; and the cadence for inarching in the
gymnasium should be ninety steps per minute.

8. To bring the Platoons on Line. At the cap-
tain's command, On line MARCH, the platoon captains
take command of their platoons, and, by repeating the
above order, bring their platoons to their respective

9. To arrest the March. The command is, Platoon
HALT. At the word Halt, given the instant either foot
is brought to the ground, the foot in the rear is brought
up, and planted by the side of the other without shock.

10. Facings. The command is, Left (or Eight)
FACE. At the word Face, raise the right foot slightly,
face to the left (or right), turning on the left heel, the
left toe slightly raised ; replace the right heel by the side
of the left, and on the same line. If the proper facing
distance was kept in marching, it will be found that the
elbows just touch. It will be seen that the facings to
the right or left are both made on the left foot.

11. Alignment. The platoon captains place them-
selves at the heads of their respective platoons, facing
down the line, and command, Right DRESS. At the com-
mand Dress, every man turns the head and eyes sharply to
the right, so that he can see the breast of the second man
from him ; then, without inclining the head, he takes very
short steps, either backward or forward, or to the left if
the line is crowded, but never crowd iwj toward the right
until the line is perfected, when the platoon captain com-
mands FRONT, at which word every head turns sharply to
the front.


The class captain then commands, Company Right
Dress FRONT, at which the entire class repeats the

12. The Position. The men should now be occupy-
ing the following position : After effecting an equal
squareness of the body and shoulders to the front, place
the heels well closed on the same line, with the knees
straight, and the feet forming an angle of about sixty

Let the arms hang naturally, slightly turning at the
elbows, with the palms of the hands turned slightly to
the front, and the little fingers touching the seams of the
trousers, the thumb and forefinger closed.

Hold the body erect on the hips, inclining it sufficiently
forward to cause its weight to principally bear upon the
fore-part of the feet.

Hold the head erect, with the eyes straight to the front.

13. The Salute. The command is, Company
SALUTE. At the word Salute, (1) raise the right hand
smartly, pointing in the same direction as the right foot,
the palm of the hand down, the thumb close to the fore-
finger, the arm extended and horizontal ; (2) bring the
hand around till the point of the thumb and side of the
forefinger touch the forehead; (3) bring back the hand
and arm to the position of the first motion ; (4) drop the
arm quickly by the side.

14. To count Fours. The command is, Count
FOURS; at which each platoon, beginning on the right,
counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., through the platoon.

The class is now ready for either the dumb-bell exercise
or the marching movements. If it is desired to take the
former, the captain commands, Offset MARCH. At the
word March, man number one remains where he is ; iiniu-


ber two takes two paces to the front, and stands on the V
in front of him ; number three takes four paces, and
number four takes six paces, occupying their respective
Vs. This will be made clear by a glance at the floor
diagram, Fig. 1.

If, however, it is desired to take the marching move-
ments, the class should be made

15. To form Column of Piles from Column of
Platoons. The command is, By Platoons By the Right
Flank MARCH. At the word March, the platoon which
is in front is commanded by its captain, Right FACE.
This is described in Section 9. At the command, For-
ward MARCH, the platoon, now in a column of files,
marches promptly with the full step. The other platoons
are commanded by their captains, Forward Guide Right
MARCH ; care being taken, however, to wait long enough
to avoid colliding with the platoon next in front. At the
word March, the men step off smartly with the left foot ;
the guide (i.e., the man on the extreme right of each pla-
toon) marching straight to the front. It must be observed,
in marching thus, that the men touch lightly the elbow
toward the side of the guide ; that they open out neither
arm ; that they yield to pressure coming from the side of
the guide, and resist pressure coming from the opposite
direction ; that, shortening or lengthening the step, they
gradually recover the alignment and touch of the elbow,
if lost ; and that they keep the head direct to the front.

When the platoon reaches the front of the hall, the
captain commands, By the Right Flank MARCH. At the
word March, given as the right foot strikes the floor,
advance and plant the left foot, then turn to the right,
and step off in the new direction with the right foot. If
it is desired to flank to the left, give the word March MS






V 6'*" V

V <*



v v v v


FIG. 1.


the left foot strikes the floor, advance and plant the right
foot, turn to the left, and step off in the new direction
with the left foot.

When all the platoons have executed this movement,
the class will be marching around the hall in a column of

The movements from Section 15 to Section 21, inclusive,
are executed at the class captain's command.

16. To form Column of Two from Column of
Files. The command is, Form Twos Left Oblique
MARCH. At the word March, numbers one and three take
the short step, numbers two and four oblique to the left
until they uncover the men in front of them, when they
resume the forward march ; the twos having united, all
resume the full step. It will be observed, that the distance
between the twos remains the same as it was between
numbers one and three. [Fig. 2.]

,/D /D ,'0 /fl /H /D /D /D
W Q-'E D- X fl - i 0/8 0-"1 M CMS

FK;. 2.

17. To form Column of Fours from Column of
Twos. The command is, Form Fours Left Oblique
MARCH. At the word March, the leading two of each four
take the short step ; the rear two oblique to the left until
they uncover the leading two, when they resume the for-
ward march ; the fours having united, all resume the full
step. It will be observed, that the distance between the
fours is twice the distance between the twos ; in fact, the
space between the fours should be a square.

18. To shorten the Step. The command is, Short
Step MARCH. At the word March, the length of the


step is reduced to fourteen inches ; the class resuming the
full step at the command, Forward MARCH.

19. To change Step. The command is. Change
Step MARCH. At the word March, given the instant
the right foot comes to the floor, the left foot is advanced
and planted ; the hollow of the right is then advanced
against the heel of the left, the man again stepping off
with the left.

20. To march to the Rear. The command is. To
the Rear MARCH. At the word March, given as the
right foot strikes the floor, advance and plant the left
foot ; then turn on the balls of both feet toward the right,
and immediately step off with the left foot.

21. To mark Time. The command is, Mark Time

MARCH. At the word March, given the instant one
foot is coming to the ground, continue the cadence, and
make a semblance of marching, without gaining ground,
by alternately advancing each foot about half its length,
and bringing it back on a line with the other.

At the command, HALT, given as either foot comes to
the floor, plant that foot, and bring the other to its side.
The class resumes the march at the command, Forward


22. To march Column of Fours in Retreat.
The command is, Fours Left (or Right) About MARCH.
The fours wheel on a fixed pivot: i.e., the pivot-man,
number four, in Fours Left About, simply marks time in
his place, turning his body as the four turns ; the flank
man, number one, in Fours Left About, takes the full
step, describing a semicircle to the left ; the other men in
the four turning with him, and accommodating their step
to their position in the four. When the fours have com-
pleted a semicircle, all, thus faced directly to the rear,


step off with the full step in the new direction. In exe-
cuting movements similar to this, in order to preserve the
alignment of the fours, the flank-man casts his eyes toward
the pivot-man, and feels lightly the elbow of the next
man toward the pivot, but never pushes him. The other
men touch with the elbow toward the pivot, and resist
pressure from the opposite side.

The movements from Section 22 to 28, inclusive, are
executed at the command of the platoon captains, who
take the command from the class captain.

FIG. 3.

23. To oblique in Column of Fours. The com-
mand is, Left (or Right} Oblique MARCH. At the
command, March, every man faces one-half to the left,
and marches with the full step in that direction, resuming
the forward march at the command, Forward MARCH.
During the oblique, the fours preserve their parallelism ;
the man in each four, on the side toward which the oblique
is made, is the guide of the rank. [Fig. 4.]

24. To form Column of Platoons from Column
of Fours. The command is, (1) Left Front into Line
(2) MARCH; (3) Platoon (4) HALT; (5) Right (G)
DRESS (7) FRONT. At the command, March, the first
four moves straight to the front, dressing to the right ;
the other fours oblique to the left, till opposite their places
in the line, when each marches to the front. At the



command, HALT, the first four halts, and at the sixth com-
mand, given immediately after, dresses to the right ; the
other fours halt, dressing to the right on arriving in line ;
the seventh command is given when the last four com-
pletes its dressing. As each four arrives in line, the men
must be careful not to overstep the line, but to halt
together a few inches in the rear of the line. [Fig 1 . 5.]





PIG. 4.

25. To break into Column of Pours. The com-
mand is Right Forward, Fours Right MARCH. At the
command, March, the right four moves straight to the
front, shortening the first three or four steps ; the other
fours wheel to the right, on a fixed pivot; the second
four, when its wheel is two- thirds completed, wheels to
the left on a movable pivot, and follows the first four ;
the other fours, having wheeled to the right, move for-
ward, and wheel to the left on a movable pivot, on the
same ground as the second. [See Fig. 3.J

The difference between wheeling on a fixed pivot and
wheeling on a movable pivot is, that in the former the
pivot-man simply marks time in his place, turning in con-
formity with the marching flank, and making no headway ;
while, in wheeling on a movable pivot, the pivot-man



takes short steps of nine inches, turning in conformity
with the marching flank, and making slight headway.



FIG. 5.

26. To flank to the Front, from Column of
Fours. The command is, Fours Left (or Right} -
MARCH. At the command, March, the fours wheel to the
left, on a fixed pivot. The platoon captain commands
Guide RIGHT (or LEFT), the instant the fours unite in
line. The instructions for Guide Right, and for marching
in line across the floor, are given in Section 14. When
the platoon reaches the front of the hall, if it is desired
to break into a column of fours, the command is, Right
Forward, Fours Right MARCH. This is described in
Section 24. If it is desired to break into a column of
files, the command is, By the Right Flank MARCH. This
is described in Section 14.

27. To flank to the Front from Column of Files.
Considering that the last command was, By the Right
Flank, and the class thus formed into a column of files,
tlio command for this movement is, By the Left Flank


MARCH. This is described in Section 14. On reaching
the front of the hall, either command suggested in Section
25 may be used.

28. To form Column of Twos from Column of
Files. See Section 15.

This completes the marching-drill as practised at the
exhibition in Amherst College. There may be occasions
when it will be convenient to use a few movements which
are not given in the foregoing instructions for the march-
ing-drill. A few of these movements are thus described :

29. To march to the Side. Being at a halt, the
command is, Side Step to the Right (or Left) MARCH.
At the command, March, carry the right foot six inches to
the right, keeping the knees straight and the shoulders
square to the front; as soon as the right foot is planted,
bring the left foot to the side of it, and continue the move-
ment, observing the cadence, until the command, HALT.

30. To march Backward. Being at a halt, the
command is Backward - Guide Right (or Left) MARCH.
At the command, March, step off smartly, with the left
foot, fourteen inches straight to the rear, measuring from
heel to heel. At the command, HALT, bring back the foot
in front to the side of the one in the rear.

31. To form Column of Twos from Column of
Fours. The command is, Right by Ttvos MARCH. At
the command, March, the two men on the left of the four
(i.e., numbers three and four) mark time for an instant,
till they become disengaged, when they oblique to the right,
and take their positions behind numbers one and two.

32. To form Column of Files from Column of
Twos. This is executed in precisely the same manner
as Section 30 ; the command being, Right by File _MABC_H.__

/ "* OF THE ' ^\




The following schedule will show the relative impor-
tance attached to the different movements, and also the
order usually pursued.







1. To form columns of twos . .
2. To form columns of fours . .
8 Short step


4 Change step


5 To the rear


(}. Mark time, halt


7. To march column of four in


8. To oblique in column of fours
(by platoons)
9. To form platoons (left front into


10. To break into column of fours .
11. To flank to front from column
of fours


12. To break into column of files .
13. To flank to front from column
of files



14. To form column of twos and
leave the hall .


1~ ( Steadiness, )


1 Distances, )

Dumb-bell exercise ....






After the men have taken their positions on Vs, at the
command, Offset MARCH, the captain commands, Belh
READY. At the word " Ready," the bells are brought
instantly and noiselessly to the sides, where thej- are
held horizontal and parallel to each other. At the com-
mand, BEGIN, the class begins the following exercise,
accompanied by the pianist. 1

Movement 1. DIRECTION A. Forcibly twist both
bells inward, and back again to position, on each count,
through six counts ; on seven, carry the bells to the
breast, just in front of the armpits ; on eight, extend
the arms horizontally forward, bells perpendicular, when
the men will be in position for

DIRECTION B. Twist bells as in A, through six
counts; on seven, carry bells to the breast; on eight,
extend arms horizontally at sides, bells perpendicular, the
position for

DIRECTION C. Twist bells as in A, through six
counts ; on seven, carry bells to the shoulders ; on eight,
extend arms perpendicularly, bells horizontal, the position

DIRECTION D. Twist bells as in A, through six
counts : on seven, carry bells to the breast, and rest there
through count eight.

Movement 2. DIRECTION A. Forcibly thrust the

1 For the arrangement of the class for dumb-bell exercise, consult
page 5 et seq.


right bell forward horizontally on count one, and return
to breast on two, continuing thus through eight counts.

1 3

Online LibraryEdward HitchcockA manual of the gymnastic exercises as practised by the junior class in Amherst college, Amherst, Mass → online text (page 1 of 3)