Games for Strength
By Sir Robert Baden-Powell
GAMES FOR STRENGTH.
1. THE STRUGGLE.
Two Scouts face each other about a yard apart, stretch, arms out sideways, lock fingers of both hands, and lean towards each other till their chests touch, push chest to chest, and see who can drive the other back to the wall of the room or on to a goal line. At first a very short struggle is sufficient to set their hearts pumping, but after practice for a few days the heart grows stronger and they can go on a long time.
2. WRIST PUSHING.
This game can be played by one boy alone. Stand with both your arms to the front about level with the waist, cross your wrists so that one hand has knuckles up, the other knuckles down and clench the fists.
Now make, the lower hand press upwards and make the upper hand press downwards.
Press as hard as you can with both wrists gradually, and only after great resistance let the lower push the upper one upwards till opposite your forehead, then let the upper press the lower down, the lower one resisting all the time.
These two exercises, although they sound small and simple, if carried out with all your might, develop most muscles in your body and especially those about the heart. They should not be carried on too long at a time, but should be done at frequent intervals during the day for a minute or so.
"Wrist Pushing" can also be played by two boys halt facing each other, each putting out the wrist nearest to his opponent, at arm's length, pressing it against the other wrist, and trying to turn him round backwards.
Two teams of Scouts form up in line and stand face to face across the middle of the room. The Scouts grasp one another round the waist in order to make each line compact.
When the whistle is blown, the opposing teams lean towards one another, and push steadily with their heads and shoulders until one line is driven back six yards from the starting place. This is done three times, and the winning team is the one which gains two "scrums" out of the three.
4. FEET WRESTLING.
Two boys stand facing each other with their hands behind their backs. They have to stand on one leg, and each tries to push the other over with the leg he is not standing on.
5. STRAIGHT BACK.
One boy has to lie flat on his back on the ground, while another lifts him up by the head he must try to keep perfectly rigid until he is upright. If he can do it, it is a sign that he has a strong back.
The Scouts stand in single file, No. 1. facing his Scouts. No. 2. bends at the hips and puts his arms around the hips of No. 1. Nos. 3, 4 and 5, etc., take the same position as No. 2, forming a straight line of Scouts, bend forward at the hips, and holding the hips of the Scouts in front them.
Team No. 2, then, in a manner similar to "A Foot and a half" takes a long jump and jumps astride the back of one of the Scouts. Other members of No. 2 follow suit until the men are piled up three and four high. The object of the game is to try and upset the Scouts who, are endeavoring to bear the burden.
Each of the bigger boys chooses a small one and gives, him a "pick a back." These mounted knights divide into two companies who challenge one another to combat, either in separate duels or in a general melee.
The "knights" try to pull each other to the ground, and the "horses" may assist by putting their weight into the pull or by charging their opponents. When a rider's' foot touches the ground he may not take any further part in the game. The tournament is finished when all the riders of one company have been unhorsed.
8. KNEEL TO YOUR SUPERIOR.
Two boys stand facing each other, and lock fingers of both hands, and see who can make the other kneel down by pressing his wrists downwards.
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Last modified: October 15, 2016.