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Balancing

Source: The Book Of Sports
Category: CRICKET.





There are two kinds of balancing to which we shall allude; namely, the
balancing of other bodies, and the balancing of our own.

All feats of balancing depend upon the centre of gravity being uniformly
preserved in one position. The centre of gravity is that point, about
which all the other parts exactly balance each other. If a body be
freely suspended upon this point, it will rest with security, and as
long as this point is supported, it will never fall, while in every
other position it will endeavour to descend to the lowest place at which
it can arrive. If a perpendicular line were drawn from the centre of
gravity of a body to the centre of the earth, such a line would be
termed the line of direction, along which every body supported
endeavours to fall. If this line fall within the base of a body, such a
body will be sure to stand.



When the line of direction is thrown beyond its centre, unless the base
be enlarged to counterbalance it, the person or body will fall. A person
in stooping to look over a deep hole, will bend his trunk forward; the
line of direction being altered, he must extend his base to compensate
for it, which he does by putting his foot a step forward. A porter
stoops forward to prevent his burthen from throwing the line of
direction out of the base behind, and a girl does the same thing in
carrying a pail of water, by stretching out her opposite arm, for the
weight of the pail throws the centre of gravity on one side, and the
stretching out of the opposite arm brings it back again, and thus the
two are balanced. The art of balancing, therefore, simply consists in
dexterously altering the centre of gravity upon every new position of
the body, so as constantly to preserve the line of direction within the
base. Rope-dancers effect this by means of a long pole, held across the
rope; and when the balancing-rail is mounted, it will be found necessary
to hold out both the arms for the same purpose; nay, even when we slip
or stumble with one foot, we in a moment extend the opposite arm, making
the same use of it as the dancer does of his pole.



A balancer finds that a body to be balanced, is the best for his purpose
if it have a loaded head, and a slender or pointed base, for although
the higher the weight is placed above the point of support, the more
readily will the line of direction be thrown beyond the base, yet he can
more easily restore it by the motion of his hand,--narrowly watching
with his eyes its deviations. Now the same watchfulness must be
displayed by the gymnastic balancer: he first uses the balancing
pole,--he then mounts the balancing bar without it. On mounting the bar,
the body should be held erect, and the hands must be extended. He must
then learn to walk firmly and steadily along the bar, so as to be able
to turn round, and then he should practise going backwards. Two
balancers should then endeavour to pass each other on the bar;
afterwards, to carry each other, and bodies of various weights, in
various positions.

Walking on stilts is connected with balancing. A person can walk with
greater security upon high than on low stilts. In some parts of France,
the peasantry, in looking after their sheep, walk generally on stilts,
and it only requires practise to make this as easy as common walking.
Some few years ago, several of these stilt-walkers were to be seen in
London, and they could run, jump, stoop, and walk with ease and
security, their legs seeming quite as natural to them as those of the
Stork.





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Previous: Vaulting



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