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The work in the compulsory course of freshman gymnastics has been put to a strong test during the past months, and the scheme has proved itself a very practicable one. The work has been decidedly progressive, and the results very gratifying to the instructors in charge. The course has been relieved of monotony as far as possible by a change of work every two or three weeks. Each month a new branch of gymnastics is taken up.
In November the work required was very simple. Only the fundamental tactics of gymnastics were taught and the work consisted in the practice of free movements. In the month of December the work was changed and dumb-bell drills were substituted. During the December examinations the course was suspended.
After the Christmas vacation during the month of January the classes were drilled in wand exercises and in February these were replaced by chest-weight drills.
Besides the drills of the class as a body, there is outside work on the bars, rings, horses, etc. All this work is changed every two weeks.
During the present month the second tests of the course will be made in the "dip" and "pull-up" and the advance made during the year in these tests will be noted with interest. The object of these strength tests is to ascertain how much the drills effect the total results. At the beginning of the college year the average "pull-up" for the class was 9.7, the average "push" 5.3, and the average total strength 1,641 pounds, which are considered very creditable figures.
During the present month the work for the most part will consist in club swinging, body building movements, mat work, and heavy gymnastics. In the near future Dr. Anderson will give to each member of the class a short printed list of questions which each man will be required to answer. The data will be valuable in assisting the gymnasium directors in planning the work of physical training for future classes.
One hundred and sixty men reported for the strength tests in November. The work in the gymnastic course for the present college year will close on March 20.
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