A fresh look at a very old workout

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    A fresh look at a very old workout

    So, I'm the type that never liked sport but never hesitated to do physical effort because I want to keep in shape. My main tool and motivation to do so has been the Boy Scout workout straigth out of Scouting for Boys (been a scout for 15 years after all). I've been doing that workout daily for years now, and I like where it got me, but it's been designed more than a century ago and I'm wondering what you all think about it with modern training eyes. Would you change some exercises? Or maybe take inspiration?

    The full workout in the author's words can be found in the original book now public domain (page 149-153 of linked version). I'll summarize here but if there's any doubt as to what I mean it's better to trust the original reference. This is very probable since I don't know the correct names of most of these exercises.

    The workout is meant to be done in the morning, daily, as slowly as possible. As far as I can tell it focuses on flexibility and breathing more than strength. Every exercise is repeated 12 times, I alternate sides after 6 moves for exercises that privilege a given direction.

    #1: vigorously rub the face, head and neck with your hands and thumbs.
    #2: bend forward, hands joined, breathe out, then have your arms do a large circle above your head and behind you bending back (breathe in) then bend forward again and close the circle.
    #3: arms straight in front of you, turn to the right as far as possible, breathe in, then to the left as far as possible, breathe out.
    #4: bend forward, arms low, hands joined. Breathe out. Bring your hands together to your right for a full circle arround your head, going back as far as possible (breathe in), then closing the circle from the left.
    #5: basically touching your toes and back up as high as possible, but after that touch the back of your head with both hands before going sky and toes again.
    #6: squats with feets joined. Nothing fancy here.

    Here's my experience with it:

    #1: seems useless but the other exercises can actually put quite the strain on the neck so it's worth doing.
    #2: feels like the whole back is working but if done wrong it can cause a painful "click" under the scapula. May just be me. Anyway, I've adjusted my hands since and it's alright.
    #3: nice and simple
    #4: clearly meant to stretch the muscles under the arms and work the stomach. I've always been uneasy with that exercise. It's never been painful but I've never felt good about it.
    #5: my favourite. Of course it works the abdomen but the added motion behind the head works the arms in a nice way.
    #6: no fuss, but I've noticed that everybody does squats with their feet separated now, I wonder why.

    That's it! What do you think about it? Is it still relevant today? How would you adapt it?
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