The 100 Up Exercise
As described in the book “An Alphabet of Athletics”:
“Preliminary practice for preparing the leg muscles for the more severe strain required of them for the Hundred Up exercise.
Draw two parallel lines on the ground eighteen inches long and eight inches apart.
- Place one foot on the middle of each line. Stand flat footed the feet lying perfectly straight on the lines. The arms should be held naturally loosely and nearly straight with a slight forward inclination the body being upright and straight.
- Now raise one knee to the height of the hip that is precisely in the same way as in walking only the knee action is higher and bring the foot back and down again to its original position touching the line lightly with the ball of the foot repeat the raising and lowering of the leg ten to thirty times and repeat with the other leg.
Practically this amounts to balancing the body on one leg while exercising the other. Care must be taken that the knee comes to the level of the hip every time. This may not be found easy at first but practice will soon bring about the desired result.
Great attention must be paid to keeping the body upright and the legs and feet quite straight while exercising. Practise slowly until the necessary balance is acquired and the exercise accomplished with ease. Otherwise the Hundred Up will be found unsatisfactory.
Having thoroughly mastered the correct form the student may turn his attention to:
The major or Hundred Up exercise
- Prepare lines as for the preliminary practice.
- Stand on them as before except that the body must be balanced on the ball of the foot the heels being clear of the ground the head and body being tilted very slightly forward and the hands down by the sides.
- Now spring from the toe bringing the knee to the level of the hip as in the slower exercise letting the foot fall back to its original position.
- Repeat with the other leg and continue raising and lowering the legs alternately.
This action is exactly that of running except that instead of the legs moving forward the foot drops into the original position on the ground.
The main point to remember is correct action. The knees must be brought at each stride up to the level of the hip while as the knee comes down the foot behind should be carried farther backwards and level with the backs.
When the knee is brought higher than the hip the body is thrown out of its perpendicular backwards when the foot is thrown out behind farther than level with the back the body is correspondingly forced forward. Either is a hindrance to form and pace the two objects striven for by those who train whether for health or competition. All such will undoubtedly derive more benefit from doing their practice correctly than the reverse.
While doing the Hundred Up use the arms as in running ie hold them almost at full length and swing them half way across the chest forward and backward a few inches behind the back as each stride is taken.
A good practice is to stand still on the lines and use the arms as in running putting plenty of force into the work so as to loosen the muscles of the shoulders and make the upper part of the frame active and pliable in order that it may act in perfect union with the legs when the Hundred Up is performed.
Now obviously this is not running but only a start forwards and a correct action for running but it is well that the athlete should acquire this first for it prevents the legs from moving in unnecessary directions It gives a general habit of straightness and directness.
Having acquired it for the straight forward direction you should acquire it for the sideways directions also doing the movements to your right and to your left as well. For in athletics as in life it does not always pay to walk perfectly straight in front without turning to the side occasionally the nearest way is the way back and then the way round and not the way right through.”