Main Page Main Page Healthiness is good
Welcome to The Natural Health Place
Main Page Healing is an inner thing
Find us on Facebook
Smile, invite wellness Perfect is a natural state Exercise
Click here for The Natural Health Place Main Page

Click here for info about the Clinic

Articles main page

Click here for information about the CEO (Chief Enjoyment Organizer)

Click here for our Health Discussion Forum

The Natural Health Place Newsletter

Click here to contact The Natural Health Place

TNHP Newsletter
There's nothing here
Click below to join...
There's nothing here

Doc Kelley's Compendium
Perpetua Magazine
June, 1993
Do you know what is so great about living in a place like Newport, Oregon? As I was driving home from work one evening, a pickup pulled up next to me at the stoplight near Freddy's. The driver put his window down and said he liked my column in 'Perpetua' and wondered if I would write one about exercise.

That would never have happened in Chicago where I worked with world-class professional and amateur athletes for three years. During that time we helped competitors in just about every sport. Their goals were prevention of injuries, rehabilitation after injuries and, most importantly, improvement of performance.

The gentleman I worked for and with during that time was Mr. Robert Gajda (pronounced Guy-dah). Bob was Mr. U.S.A. 1965, Mr. America 1966, and Mr. Universe 1966. Under his expert tutelage, my study of the anatomy of muscles, bones and joints became a living reality. In addition, the benefits of exercise were proven daily. So much for nostalgia.

Back to the request of the gentleman at the stoplight. The exercises, in which he was most interested, were those that would help him in his favorite water sports. These included surfing and wind surfing. For those of you not interested in those activities, stay with me. You will find that what follows will apply not only to improving performance in sports, but also to just feeling and functioning better on a day-to-day basis.

Because everything we do requires specific movements, muscle imbalances can and do occur. Unless, of course, you are the Rambo type and do everything from comedy to cliff hanging to saving the world with no concern for injuries. It does not matter whether you pilot a jet, drive a race car, input data on a computer, garden, knit or operate heavy construction equipment.

The basic torso strengthening exercises which follow are for everyone and anyone who wishes to function and feel better on a daily basis. Feel free to contact a physician before beginning any exercise program, but these exercises have been used by people, of all ages and, in all conditions, without any problems, for many years, using the following guidelines:

  1. Never hold your breath while exercising - COUNT OUT LOUD (1001, 1002, etc.) while holding each position.
  2. MOVE SLOWLY up to position, HOLD each end position FOR A SLOW 3 TO 5 COUNT, THEN SLOWLY RETURN to your starting position. Relax for a 3 to 5 count.
  3. IF IT HURTS, DO NOT DO IT! The "No Pain, No Gain" mentality went out with the Dark Ages.
  4. Keep all the exercises balanced. If you can comfortably do only 1 or 2 of one of the exercises, do only 1 or 2 of all of them. When you can increase the number of times you can do the hardest one, increase all of them. Begin with once a day, six days a week. Exercises are cumulative. You may do fewer repetitions, more frequently. In other words, instead of doing 10 of each exercise, once a day, you may wish to do 5 of each, twice a day, or any other combination that works best for you.
  5. Your goal is 15 to 20 repetitions of all the exercises. Once you reach your goal of 15 to 20 repetitions of each exercise daily, you may decrease to 3 to 4 times per week, instead of 6 times a week, and still maintain your conditioning.

If you do not have stability and balance, your performance will be less than optimal; you will fatigue easily; and you will likely, sooner or later, develop some physical problems.

Most exercise programs emphasize movements of the arms and legs. This is a mistake. We do everything to the front of us and we use our arms and legs for virtually all our activities. However, as Mr. Gajda liked to describe them, our extremities are like snakes. If a snake is in water, you can stand fairly close. It will be unable to strike very far because it has nothing solid from which to push. If the same snake is in sand, you must have more distance between you, because it can move from a firmer base. If you encounter the same snake on a rock, you need to stand much farther away. It will be able to strike with its maximal strength at its optimal distance. It has a solid base from which to push. Likewise, our arms and legs function only as well as the strength and stability of their base, our torso, allows. No matter whether you are wind surfing, working or crocheting, your legs and arms require strong back, abdomen and neck muscles to best support their movements.

That is why all exercise programs should begin with the torso first. If you did nothing but increase the strength of your abdomen, sides, back and neck, you would feel better, function better and get through each day with more energy and ease as well as a lot less discomfort.

There are three basic phases of physical conditioning - strength, power and endurance. Power and endurance are added to training, after strength is developed, for stability, to prepare for work or for competition. To optimize performance, agility, balance and coordination skills are developed. Anything beyond improving torso strength is well past the scope of this column, but can be responded to on an individual basis. For the gentleman with the question on exercises for surfing and wind surfing, please begin with the exercises which follow. Then, contact me for instructions for, very inexpensively, building some equipment which you will need to use at home The specific exercises required to improve your performance, with your chosen activities, can be covered, in greater detail, at that time.

Basic Torso Exercise (To be done in the following order)

Torso Curl (for the neck and the upper abdomen) (If you have been doing sit-ups, STOP, and replace them with this exercise):

  1. Lie on your back with your knees up and your hands on your abdomen.
  2. Tuck your pelvis backwards (the movement is the same you would do if you had a tail and tucked it between your legs).
  3. Slowly raise your head, then continue slowly raising your shoulders and curling your upper torso as far as you can. Remember, this is NOT a sit-up. This is a slow curl up.
  4. Hold your top curled position for a slow 3 to 5 count.
  5. Slowly curl back down and relax. Repeat steps 1 through 5.

Side Curl (for the neck, the sides and the abdomen) (Remember to do both sides before going to the next exercise):

  1. Lie on your side with your head, shoulders and hips in line. Place your top arm along your side with your hand pointing down the top side of your leg. Place your bottom hand on your top side under your top arm.
  2. Slowly raise your head, bringing your ear up to your top shoulder, then continue raising your shoulders up off the floor. Remember NOT to push up on, or hold yourself up on, your bottom elbow.
  3. Hold your top curled position for a slow 3 to 5 count.
  4. Slowly curl back down and relax. Repeat steps 1 through 4.

Back Curl (for the neck and the upper back):

  1. Lie face down. You may wish to slip your feet under a sofa or bed or have someone help hold them down for you. Place a pillow or cushion under your abdomen and pelvis to help prevent excessively hyperextending your low back.
  2. Lift your arms up and back, like in a swan dive position, with your thumbs pointing toward the ceiling and your palms pointing headward, so your shoulder blades come together.
  3. Tuck your chin and slowly raise your head up and back, then continue curling your upper body up and back as far as you can.
  4. Hold your top curled position for a slow 3 to 5 count.
  5. Slowly curl back down and relax. Repeat steps 1 through 5.

Reverse Back Curl (for the lower back, buttocks and thighs):

  1. Lie face down with your arms straight along your sides, fingers pointing footward, palms down. Place a pillow or cushion under your abdomen and pelvis to help prevent excessively hyperextending your low back.
  2. Bend your knees ninety degrees so the bottoms of your feet are pointing at the ceiling. Lift your legs as far as you can by pushing your feet up toward the ceiling.
  3. Hold the top position for a slow 3 to 5 count.
  4. Slowly lower your legs and relax. Repeat steps 1 through 4.

Reverse Front Curl (for the lower abdomen):

  1. Lie on your back with your knees apart as far as they will go, with the soles of your feet together, and with your feet as close to your bottom as you can get them. Hold a sturdy object, like a bed frame or sofa, above and behind your head.
  2. Slowly curl your legs up from the floor and toward your head until your bottom slowly raises from the floor. Stop when your bottom is off the floor and before your low back starts to come up off the floor.
  3. Hold your top curled position for a slow 3 to 5 count.
  4. Slowly lower your legs until your bottom is flat on the floor again, but not your legs. Repeat steps 1 through 4.

Remember to exercise regularly and do your exercises correctly. Technique counts much more than quantity. Start slowly and build gradually. Even at 15 to 20 reps of each exercise, these five will only take between fifteen and twenty minutes each day. At three days a week, that is only an hour a week to look, feel and function better. Go for it! Stick with it!

Click here to go back to the main Perpetua Magazine Articles page.

Even your bottom can be naturally healthy
Main Page - The Clinic - Articles - Food & Diet - Water & Oxygen - Immune System
Stress & Meditation - Remedies - Previously Published - Search - Forum - The CEO - Newsletter - Contact