The use of equipment, as explained in the last chapter of the Fundamental Exercises of Georges Hébert’s Practical Guide to Physical Education, can be used to make an exercise harder, or easier.
In the video clip is a way to used fixed equipment and resting the body against it, broken down into 3 “moves”: a backwards extension with hands at head, same with both arms overhead, then just a chest stretch.At the back of my legs are two horizontal rungs (between the vertical posts of the monkey bars) against which my body is resting. As I am performing a back extension with my hands at my head and elbows out, I can focus on getting more back extension without having to:
- Bend my knees to compensate and thus get less hip extension.
- Worry about losing my balance backwards.
For the chest stretch, I returned my arms to the hands at head position and push myself forward, elbows resting against the vertical posts of the monkey bars. Rather than using a forceful effort to produce a greater stretch, I instead use gravity to my advantage by simply moving my body forward, the resistance of the posts keeping my elbows back, as I get a greater stretch in the pectorals and move the trunk forward.
In this example, the fixed apparatus acted as a spotting device, allowing me a greater range of motion with a reduced effort and served as part of my warm-up for the session that followed.