Manual of Calisthenic Exercises
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72 pages

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Herman John Koehler's “Manual of Calisthenic Exercises” is a fantastic guide to exercising and keeping fit using Calisthenics, a form of exercise based on the doing of various gross motor movements such as running, standing, grasping, pushing, etc. These movements are usually performed in a rhythmic fashion and require little to no equipment, making it perfect for those too busy to go to the gym or simple interested in exercising at home and on the move. Contents include: “Order of the Secretary of War”, “Preface”, “Advice to Instructors”, “Commands”, “Exercises”, “Starting Positions”, “Arm”, “Wrist and Fingers”, “Neck”, “Shoulder”, “Trunk”, “Leg”, “Foot and Toes”, “Straddle Position”, etc. Many vintage books such as this are increasingly scarce and expensive. We are republishing this volume now in an affordable, modern, high-quality edition complete with the original text and artwork.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 décembre 2020
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781528767385
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0350€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


WITH AN EXCERPT FROM Calisthenic Dictionary BY J. H. MCCURDY
First published in 1892
Copyright 2019 Macha Press
This edition is published by Macha Press, an imprint of Read Books Ltd.
This book is copyright and may not be reproduced or copied in any way without the express permission of the publisher in writing.
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Washington, D. C., December 4, 1891 .
This Manual of Calisthenic Exercise, prepared by Mr. Herman J. Koehler, master of the sword at the Military Academy, is published for the information of all concerned. Any calisthenic instruction of enlisted men that may be carried on should be in accordance with the provisions of this system.
Secretary of War .
The method of teaching a calisthenic lesson varies with the result desired. If the conditions require a large amount of the hygienic element the method employed by the teacher is imitation, as in this way he can not only more readily teach new work, but exercises which are somewhat familiar may more rapidly follow each other.
If the emphasis is to be placed on the corrective or educational side of the lesson, the word of command is used more extensively. This method allows the teacher to move about among the class correcting their faults. Sometimes a combination of the two is advisable, when, for example, the class is unfamiliar with the work the teacher may employ one of his leaders to set the work while he directs the other members of the leader s corps in correcting the faults of the class. The instructor may stop the class in any position desired, thus giving opportunity for the correction of faults. Many teachers in voluntary gymnasia are forced to employ this method in their corrective work very largely. At the beginning an exercise is more correctly and easily taught by imitation. The eye interprets movements more readily than the ear; this is in part due to the inadequate description of the exercise given in the command, or to the pupil s inaccurate knowledge of the terms employed.
The word of command may be profitably used in elemental movements, for example, corrective exercises where the descriptive commands are explicit and easily understood, or when the teacher wishes to emphasize the educational effect. Teaching by word of command, except in corrective work where the mental concept is easily grasped because of its extreme simplicity, requires greater attention and more neural expenditure than does the same work taught by imitation. If the same pupils meet, for example, five times per week, the word of command may still be used with slow progression, without undue increase of neural expenditure. The conditions in a voluntary class, whose membership is continually changing, preclude any extended use of the word of command. Under these conditions better results are secured by taking advantage of the exhilaration which occurs in the use of hygienic work taught by imitation. Corrective work may be profitably introduced into such a day s calisthenic lesson by imitation, or, as indicated above, by command, with the elementary exercises.
The aim in a day s calisthenic lesson should be to improve the health and bodily education of the pupil. This includes increase in strength, grace, skill, physical judgment, and endurance. Organic vigor should always be prominently before the teacher as his goal.
The arrangement of the day s calisthenic lesson should be as follows:-
1. Attentive Exercises .
These are introductory exercises of a very general character, intended to secure the attention and interest of the pupils. Marching forms an important class in this group.
2. Corrective Exercises .
This group includes those exercises best adapted to straighten the spine, raise the ribs, increase their mobility, and hang the shoulder girdle and arms from the spine rather than on the ribs. Arm flexions, shoulder-blade movements, head and trunk bendings, afford examples of this group.
3. General Exercises: Strength, Skill, Speed, Endurance .
This portion of the calisthenic lesson as a rule contains a large bulk of the day s work. Many of the movements use simultaneously the arms, trunk, and legs. The energy expended is in excess of any other section of a day s order. The amount, of course, varies with the strength of the class. It is proportionately large if the day s lesson contains only calisthenics. If, however, the lesson includes games, athletics, or heavy apparatus exercises, the amount of work in this section is reduced and the character of the exercises arranged to prepare for and supplement the deficiencies of the work which is to follow.
4. Corrective and Respiratory Exercises .
This group gradually decreases the amount of work given in the preceding group, returning to the second group with the addition of slow leg movements. Their purpose is to aid in the gradual return of respiration and circulation to the normal. Abrupt changes in the amount of the work given should be avoided in passing from one group to another.
N OTE . For day s order which include heavy apparatus exercises, athletics and games, see Notes on Physical Department of the Work of the Young Men s Christian Association. by J. H. McCurdy, printed by the International Committee of the Young Men s Christian Association, 3 West Twenty-Ninth street, New York City.
The system of calisthenic exercises contained in this work is substantially the method devised by Mr. Herman J. Koehler, Swordmaster at the United States Military Academy, and used in the instruction of cadets since the introduction of the present system of physical training. Some months since, the Superintendent of the Academy, Col. John M. Wilson, Corps of Engineers, perceiving the wonderful effect upon the carriage and bearing of the younger cadets of the calisthenic exercises as developed by Mr. Koehler, suggested to him the propriety of preparing and publishing his system for the use of the Army and Militia of the United States, and to this end Col. Wilson had photographs taken, showing by figures the positions described in the text. After preparing his manuscript, Mr. Koehler very courteously tendered it to the Adjutant-General of the Army for the use of the troops, and the same having been reviewed by a board of officers, in order that the system might be adapted to the new drill regulations, the honorable the Secretary of War directed that all calisthenic instruction for enlisted men should be in accordance with Mr. Koehler s system.
The system herein prescribed includes merely the fundamental exercises, combinations having been purposely avoided, but they will suggest themselves in infinite variety in cases where time and occasion permit. It is intended to be preliminary to all other forms of gymnastics, and supplementary to the setting up exercises prescribed by the drill regulations of the several arms of the service. They should be thoroughly learned before the squad is advanced to the use of special gymnastic apparatus, as a preparation for such more violent exercises. The plates which illustrate the work were made from photographs taken at West Point, the detailed motions of many of the calisthenic exercises having been illustrated by Lieut. George H. Cameron, Seventh Cavalry. In its work the board of officers was ably assisted by Lieut. Peter E. Traub, First Cavalry.
Advice to instructors
Special training
Starting positions
Wrist and fingers
Lower leg
Foot and toes
Straddle position
Leaning rest
Guard position
Guard-step position
Walking and marching
Double timing
Double-timing exercises
Only those who are masters of this system of calisthenics should undertake to act as instructors.
The drill should be made as attractive as possible, and this can be best accomplished by employing the mind as well as the body. The movements should be as varied as possible, thus offering the men constantly something new to make them keep their minds on their work. A movement many times repeated presents no attraction; and is executed in a purely mechanical manner, which should always be discountenanced.
The exercises should be vigorously executed; and to properly discipline the muscles, which is one of the many valuable features of this method, the greatest accuracy and precision should at all times be insisted on.
Short and frequent drills should be given in preference to long ones, which are liable to exhaust all concerned, and exhaustion means injury. All movements should be carefully explained, and, if necessary, illustrated by the instructor.
The lesson should begin with the less violent exercises, gradually working up to those that are more so, then gradually working back to the simpler ones, so that the men at the close of the drill will be in as nearly a normal condition as possible.
When one portion of the body is being exercised, care should be taken that the other parts remain quiet as far as the conformation of the body will allow. The men must learn to exercise any one portion of the body by itself.
The movements of an exercise are executed by command; the portion of the command corresponding to that movement which is

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