Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Medieval Exercises

If you thought obsession with exercise began in the late 20th century, think again. In the 1300s, Johannes de Mirfeld wrote a treatise, recommending, along with walking and riding, the following routines to strengthen the body:

(1) Keep a “stout rope” hanging in your chamber. Grasp the rope with both hands, raise yourself up , and remain in that position for as long as possible without touching the ground.
(2) Hold a 30 pound stone in your hands and carry it frequently “from one part of [your] dwelling to another.”
(3) Using the same stone, hold it in the air over your head for as long as possible, until your arms begin to tire. Also lift the stone to your shoulders and hold again until you tire.
(4) Hold a staff in your hand and let another fellow try to pull it away from you.
(5) Hold a penny in your hand, and let someone attempt to pry it out of your fingers.

Think these exercises would work today? A rope, a stone, a staff (or broomstick) and a penny would certainly save a lot of money at the gym!


Anonymous said...

wow! I love this!!!! Thank you so much this goes along with Galen too!

Anonymous said...

Real functional & practical training