Return Appendix 
Phase II Specific Back and Neck Muscle Conditioning 
Isometric Spine Extensor Exercise: This exercise is usually started after you have been building general stamina for at least a few weeks at your target heart rate for 30 minutes, 5 days per week.  We may start you earlier if you are making good progress on the General Stamina Program.  Do not discontinue the stamina training at this point, but continue 5 days a week for 6 consecutive weeks. Then you may only need 2-3 sessions per week to maintain your stamina. 
Read a book or 
magazine to break 
concentrating on your 
burning back muscles.                             Best done at night before going to bed. 
1.        Start the above position for 1 minute 30 seconds and gradually work up to 4 minutes by increasing by 15 seconds maximum per night. To really condition the muscles you need to feel at least 30-45 seconds of burning each session to advance. 
2.        Each night lie on your stomach (position A.) with your chest off the edge of the bed or pillows (lift your chest up only to a comfortable level (position B.) or about to the position your low back curves when you stand up straight). 
3.        Hold your low back in a neutral position and raise your straight legs slightly (position B.).  If you get a pain in the upper back when doing this exercise you may be raising the neck or the upper part of your body too high.  The idea is to keep your legs up for the entire time with your lower back curve in the neutral position. 
4.        Lower starting point:  If the above is impossible you can first condition in a limited way as follows.  Lie on your back on a firm surface with your knees slightly bent.  Raise your hips and hold for as long as you can.  Then repeat until you have held the position for a total of 5 minutes.  This should condition your muscles enough to do the exercise on your stomach. 
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