It is unnecessary to describe in detail the parts of the setting-up exercise which tend to develop members which are already pretty thoroughly exercised in the daily routine of work and drill. The average man of the service needs expansion of chest capacity, which adds to his resistive power; a stronger, better-developed back; and suppleness and quickness and mobility of trunk. To develop these qualities we must have exercises which may be continued on board ship or near the front, and which can be carried on without apparatus.
[Illustration: Side-falling. This arm and body work places A handicap on A heavy man]
The ordinary system of setting-up exercises has been growing out of favor for some time. Athletic trainers have come to look with considerable suspicion upon the gymnasium-made candidate with big biceps and large knots of muscles. It was also found that, outside of weight-lifting and inordinate “chinning” and apparent great strength on the parallel bars, these men were not so valuable as the lesser muscled but more supple candidates. To put it briefly, it was found in actual practice that what was under the ribs was of more value than what lay over them.
Even at the risk of repetition, some facts should be driven home.
We are now working under conditions that should especially emphasize the fact of time-saving. We must take ourselves seriously, whether we are in the lines or behind the lines.
In the eight million men in this country between the ages of forty-five and sixty-four are the country’s greatest executives and financiers. We can no longer give these executives and financiers two months in the South in the winter and a long summer vacation. We can no longer let a Plattsburg camp be a strenuous sifting out, a mere survival of the physically fittest. We need every man whom we can make available, and we need him with his vitality fully preserved and his endurance appreciably heightened. Some are stronger, naturally, than others. In football parlance we are no longer trying to pick a team out of a squad of two hundred men; we are trying to get a hundred and seventy-five out of the two hundred that can stand a fair pace and have enough left to fight with when they get there. Any one who has been in touch with affairs in Washington, any one who has been engaged in our munition-plants and in our factories, any one who has worked upon Liberty Bond drives or Red Cross fund-raising, knows that if we are to support our boys on land and sea, these men who are trying to solve the problems of executive management, and who have the task of raising funds in thousandfold increased volume, must be also carefully conserved. For, after all, even though we spell Patriotism with a