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12 simple exercises for every day

A set of exercises from the father of American football Walter Camp will take only 8 minutes, help strengthen the body, increase flexibility and maintain health.

During World War I, the US military instructed Walter Camp to develop a set of exercises to keep fit, and he suggested a “daily dozen” – short regular workouts that keep the body healthy and nimble, but not exhausting.

Camp came up with this complex in part because the existing calisthenics seemed to him too complex and boring. Another reason was the already familiar idea that modern technology takes away the health and dexterity that is characteristic of our distant ancestors.

After the war, this set of exercises spread throughout the world. Brochures describing the “daily dozen” diverged in millions of copies, as did audio recordings with instructions. The Camp complex has become known around the world.

What is a daily dozen

This is a simple training, which should be carried out easily and with pleasure. It develops flexibility, improves posture, muscle coordination and a sense of balance .

Camp argued that exercise positively affects the functioning of internal organs, in particular the intestines, and also boosts cognitive functions, improving brain function.

The “Daily Dozen” is suitable for any adult, but is especially useful for middle-aged people who notice some tightness in the body and sit most of the day.

Daily Dozen Exercises

Exercise 1. Hands circles

It develops the muscles of the shoulders, back and chest, improves posture.

  • Stand straight, raise straight arms to the sides to shoulder level, palms looking up.
  • Slowly describe with your hands small circles with a diameter of about 15 centimeters. Mostly the movement comes from the shoulders, tension is felt in their back.
  • Perform five circles forward and five backward.

Exercise 2. Tilting with hands behind your head

Stretches the abdominal muscles, strengthens the back, improves posture.

  • Stand straight with your hands behind your head.
  • With an exhalation, tilt the body forward to 45 degrees, neck in line with your back, direct your eyes to the floor in front of you.
  • With a breath, straighten, raise your head.
  • Bend back slightly to feel the stretching of the abdominal muscles. The gaze is directed to the ceiling.
  • Straighten up. The head remains raised.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 3. Raise your hands

Develops shoulder strength, strengthens the arch of the foot.

  • Stand straight, raise straight arms to the sides to shoulder level, palms pointing down.
  • With an inhale, rise on your toes, hands raise upwards by 45 degrees.
  • With an exhale, stand on the foot whole, lower your hands to parallel with the floor.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 4. Deep tilt to the side

It develops the muscles of the shoulders and waist, stimulates the liver and intestines.

  • Stand straight, raise your hands to the sides to the level of the shoulders, palms down – this is the starting position.
  • Raise your left hand up, lower your right hand down along the body.
  • Begin the slope to the right of the hips, the right hand crawls along the leg to the knee, the left is twisted around the head. At the extreme point, the left palm rests on or near the right ear.
  • Slowly straighten, turning your arms to the starting position.
  • Make a similar tilt to the other side.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 5. Twisting

Raises and expands the chest. Stretches the abdominal muscles.

  • Stand straight, with an inhale bend your elbows, put your fists under your armpits.
  • Continuing inhalation, take your shoulders back, slightly bend in the chest, expanding the chest, raise your head up and look at the ceiling.

  • With an exhale, move your hands forward, then spread them apart.
  • While holding your breath, lean forward to parallel with the floor, hands back.

  • Straighten and move your hands forward, and then spread them apart.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 6. Squat on toes

Strengthens the arch of the foot, muscles of the lower leg and back.

  • Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart, raise your arms to the sides to shoulder level, unfold with your palms down.
  • With a breath, climb on toes.
  • Continuing inhalation, lower yourself into a squat.
  • As you exhale, rise from the squat.
  • Continuing to exhale, lower yourself to a full stop.
  • Repeat five times.

Exercise 7. Shoulder rotation

Strengthens the muscles of the shoulders.

  • Stand straight, inhale your shoulders.
  • Continuing inhalation, keep your shoulders forward.
  • With an exhale lower your shoulders.
  • Continuing to exhale, take your shoulders back.
  • Repeat ten times.

Exercise 8. Spread hands

It develops the muscles of the shoulders and chest.

  • Stand straight, arms crossed in front with palms facing you.
  • Raise your arms in a circle crosswise (the right palm outlines the circle on the left side, the left – on the right), at the top, turn your palms outward.

  • Lower your hands in a circle without crossing them (the right palm draws a circle on the right and the left on the left).

  • Repeat five times.
  • Lower your hands, do not cross them. The palms are next to the hips.
  • In a circle, raise your hands up, turning your palms out.
  • Lower your arms crosswise, turning your palms towards you.
  • Repeat five times.

Exercise 9. Head tilts

Strengthens the muscles of the neck, improves control over them.

  • Stand straight, tilt your head forward.
  • Tilt your head to the left.
  • Tilt your head back.
  • Tilt your head to the right.
  • Repeat five times.

Exercise 10. “Mill”

Develops flexibility of the back muscles.

  • Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart, raise straight arms to the sides to shoulder level.
  • Lean by turning the body to the left and bending the right knee. The right hand touches the floor between the legs, the left is extended up. The head is turned to the ceiling, the gaze is directed to the left hand.
  • Return to starting position and repeat in the other direction.
  • Perform five times in each direction.

Exercise 11. Tilting the body

Strengthens the muscles of the back, opens the chest and stretches the muscles of the abdomen.

  • Stand straight, raise your hands above your head and weave your fingers into the castle, turning your palms to your head. The closer the hands to the head, the more effective the exercise.
  • Gently lean forward. The movement is controlled, without jerking and extreme inclinations.
  • Lean to the right.
  • Lean back.
  • Lean to the left.
  • Make five inclines in each direction.

Exercise 12. “Wings”

Strengthens the muscles of the back and shoulders, develops a diaphragm.

  • Stand straight, legs together, socks slightly turned outward, hands hanging freely along the body.
  • As you inhale, raise your straight arms in front of you.
  • Continuing inhalation, spread your arms to the sides.
  • Finishing a breath, raise your hands above your head, palms looking forward.
  • As you exhale, tilt, put your hands behind your back and raise. The head is raised, the look is directed forward.
  • Return to starting position and repeat the exercise nine more times.

Since the exercises do not cause fatigue and do not require much time, Camp recommended performing them every day at least once, and ideally three times: in the morning, afternoon and evening.

Camp also advised supplementing your workouts with ten hours of outdoor exercise per week (a little less than an hour and a half per day) to maintain health and longevity.

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