Combination Lung And Muscle Exercises
( Originally Published 1938 )
The exercises which we have just described are de-signed for the purpose of exercising the lungs only, although to be sure some of them also exercise external or skeletal muscles other than those of the chest and diaphragm which are exercised in any type of lung exercise. In addition to these, there are many exercises which combine lung and muscle exercise. Such exercises are of utmost importance as you would undoubtedly discover for yourself if you haven't been in the habit of exercising. Most beginners find it exceedingly difficult to concentrate upon or get pleasure out of exercise whether it is walking, playing golf or doing setting up exercises, if they have to remember their breathing. By practicing combination exercises, in a short time you should be able to breath correctly and easily without giving it any more thought than the fork that is conveying a morsel of meat to your mouth.
Here are a few such exercises. But before you read them, we should like to say that after you have understood and mastered the principle and the object of any group of exercises, you can vary them as much as you like. Indeed, you're sure to find it interesting to originate amusing and intricate performances which you can pass on to your friends and members of your family.
1. First rotate the right arm in a circle, , downward in front of you a few times. Then reverse the movement. Next, thrust the shoulder back as far as it will go and rotate the arm in the same manner. Follow with the left arm in the same manner, then both alternately. Be sure to relax the arms completely, allowing them to become perfectly limp. At the same time inhale and exhale to the fullest capacity of your lungs.
2. Lie flat on the floor, face downward, with the elbows bent and the palms of the hands flat on the floor by the sides, body fully extended. Then, keeping the body perfectly rigid, raise it up by the muscles of the arms alone, until it only rests on the arms and toes. Then lower the body gradually until the chest touches the floor, at the same time exercising the lungs to their fullest extent.
This exercise may be practiced on a bed or couch in the beginning and should be taken slowly at first, until it can be done half a dozen times without discomfort.
3. Stand erect with your hands on your hips. Fill the lungs completely and force the air down into the lower part of the lungs just as we described in Exercise 3 of the Lung Exercises. Then, keeping the lower limbs perfectly stiff, with the muscles tense, bend the body forward from the middle of the trunk, and while doing this, exhale quickly. Then straighten up again, at the same time filling the lungs again. This should be repeated from 6 to 12 times.
Now repeat the operation, but this time bending backward instead of forward, paying careful attention to the emptying and filling of the lungs. Then, with the lungs full and breath retained, moved the body backward and forward quickly several times.
4. Retaining the same position as in the last exercise, move the upper part of the body to the right a few times, then a few times to the left, after each movement returning to the upright position. Then move in the same manner from right to left, alternately. You will readily understand the nature of these movements, which not only benefit the lungs, but impart grace and suppleness to the body. 5. Still retaining the attitude, press the arms and elbows forward as far as possible, at the same time expelling the breath. Then press them backward as far as it is possible to force them,at the same time inflating the lungs to their fullest extent.