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Lesson 6
Lesson 06:

TO DEVELOP THE MUSCLES OF THE FORE-ARM

3 Photographs, Nos. 19, 20 & 21.

The photographs show the left hand, but the movements are to be performed first with the left hand then with the right, one hand at a time, not both together.

It will be obvious that the fingers cannot be under perfect control unless the muscles which actuate them are in a clean and healthy condition. As these muscles are situated in the forearm the following exercise is a necessary corollary to any scheme for the development of the fingers, and it is given at this stage in order that the student may have a rest and change from actual finger movements. It is of course just as important as any other exercise in this series, and should be practised with equal diligence.

Take a piece of thick paper, doubling it once or twice so that it will give a good grip, and hold it between the thumb and first finger of the left hand. Place the hand as in photo 19, hand back as far as possible, and retain this position while counting 10 seconds.

Concentrating all the attention, bring the hand slowly to the position indicated in photo 20, fingers almost touching the shoulder, and hold in this position for 10 seconds. Then return to position as in photo 19, holding for 10 seconds, and repeat 6 or 7 times with the one hand, afterwards proceeding exactly in the same manner with the other hand.

Practise this exercise with the arm slightly bent at the elbow as in photo 20, and then with the arm quite straight as in photo 21. When practising with arm straight the fingers will, of course, be some distance from the shoulder.

Alternate with the left and right hand, arm bent and arm straight, for two periods of 10 minutes each, the periods separated by at least 2 hours if possible.

The previous exercise should now be discontinued. The instructions regarding concentrating the mind upon the movements, and care to avoid strain, given in earlier lessons, should be strictly observed.

LESSON 6a.

FOR DEVELOPING THE UPPER-ARM, SHOULDER AND CHEST MUSCLES.

The effect of this exercise is to expand the lungs, and to develop the biceps and triceps, and also the muscles of the chest and those between the shoulders. Incidentally it is a cure for round shoulders because of the last-named effect.

The bedroom, with an open window and before dressing, gives the best conditions. If a cold bath is taken (and this is for the young and vigorous only as a rule) the exercise should follow the bath as it will assist the reaction of the blood to the surface of the skin.

No apparatus is required, just some article by which to hold on; the rail of the bed is perhaps the best, but the back of a chair, the dressing-table, or any substantial article of furniture will suffice so long as it is about three to four feet from the ground and will afford a grip for the hands.

Grasp the bed-rail (or the back of the chair, or the dressing table) with both hands about two feet apart, arms straight. Then bend the arms, going forward with the body with the elbows pointing outwards until the chest almost touches the object you are gripping. Then without stopping in this position straighten the arms, resuming the almost upright position. Inhale through the nose as you go forward, exhale strongly as you straighten up. Keep the feet firmly on the ground, making the ankles the hinge of the movement,

For the first three days do this exercise three or four times, gradually increasing to ten times towards the end of the week. The rate of movement should be about one forward movement per second and one backward movement per second, therefore if you do the movement ten times the exercise occupies less than half-a-minute. It is a good start for the day, especially on cold mornings, and is well worth doing every morning.

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