SYSTEMATIC PHYSICAL TRAINING 489
then bending downward at the waist, let the body sink toward the floor as far as possible without bending the arms. Continue until tired.
In the development of all the strong men of the world, the lifting of weights has played a prominent part. In fact, at one stage of their development, the weights became the most essential part of their training outfit. They are depended upon to furnish the unusual development of the muscles of. the chest and arms, which are characteristic of the very strong man. If the athlete takes other exercises, it is for the purpose of maintaining the other parts of his body in a healthy condition.
Any gymnasium director will tell you of the risks incurred by any but the most robust, who attempt to work with weights —heavy dumb-bells, etc. The object of the series of exercises given in this lesson is to supply the means for acquiring athletic development without subjecting the pupil to any risk of injury. The exercises will give as much work as could be obtained with bells as heavy as you could possibly lift, and, moreover, so divide the lifting strains that not only the muscles of the arms, shoulders, and back are hardened and strengthened, but every part of the muscular system receives an equal amount of work.
We shall stipulate no specified number of times these movements shall be taken at each exercise. The best guide is to repeat a movement until tired, gradually increasing the number as the endurance increases.
When this lesson is taken up, the pupil will find it advantageous to arrange the number of times the movements learned in preceding lessons are taken, so that they will altogether take ten to twelve minutes in the morning, and twenty to twenty-five minutes at night, and following them, practice the exercises given in this lesson until tired.
Place the toes on the edge of a chair, hands resting firmly on the floor on either side of the body at shoulders, as in