Magic Six, Plus Two

George Sheehan recommended a revised set of his "magic six" in several of his columns and in his book "Running To Win, Rodale Press,1991. Follows is a slightly modified version of Dr. Sheehan's Magic Six:

Wall push-up: This is basically the calf stretch described above. My version stretches one leg at a time. Stand with the rear foot approximately two to three feet from the wall. The rear leg should be straight, the front leg is bent and your hands touch the wall. Feet point straight ahead, heels are on the ground. Hold for 10 seconds, switch legs, repeat 10 times.

Hamstring Stretch: Straighten one leg, place it, with the knee locked, on a foot stool. Bend your body and bring your head towards the leg. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Switch sides, repeat 10 times.

Knee Clasp: Lie on a firm surface. A carpeted floor or grass is best. Bring both knees to your chest. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times. This stretches the hamstrings and lower back.

Chest Push-Up: Lie on the floor with your abdomen pressed flat on to the floor. Place your hands flat on the floor, beneath your shoulders. Push your chest up with your arms and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Backward Stretch: While standing straight, place the palms of your hands against the small of your back. Tighten your buttocks and bend backwards. Hold for 10 seconds, relax, repeat 5 times.

Shin Splinter: This is performed to strengthen the shins. Sit on a table with your legs dangling over the side. Place a 3 to 5 pound weight over your toes. Flex your foot at the ankle (bend it up). Hold for 6 seconds, repeat 5 times.

Straight Leg Lifts: This is performed to strengthen the quadriceps. Lying on the floor. Flex one knee to approximately a right angle. Lift the other leg rapidly to between 30 and 60 degrees. Lower and repeat 10 times. Switch legs, repeat 5 times and work up to 10 sets of 10 repetitions.

Bent Leg sit-u: This strengthens the abdominals. Dr. Sheehan recommended that the sit up be a gradual one rather than a rapid thrust forward. It should feel as if you are moving forward one vertebra at a time. Lie on the floor with your knees bend. Come forward to a position 30 degrees from the floor. Lie back and then repeat 20 times.