Stuart McGill and back stability

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Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby Rochellita » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:42 pm

After reading John Morgan's (ultra_whippet) book on Modern Principles of Core Training and chatting with him I started reading more about Stuart McGill's research on back stability and it's turned my world upside down somewhat, mainly because I do a lot of yoga and so many of the postures conflict with his recommendation not to train spine flexibility.

I'm sure many of you have heard of him or read his research. Here's some more information for the curious from a variety of interviews and articles

from his website


a variety of interviews from t-nation

Mr Spine 1
Mr Spine 2
Back to McGill

So, has anyone modified the way they train based on his recommendation or do you think it's a storm in a teacup and a load of bollocks?
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby hardcore iv » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:22 pm

I've read his book, Low back disorders and would say I am a convert to his ideas. I rarely did situps before that, so I can't say it changed my training all that much, but I do bird-dogs every now and then.

The book has some interesting info about janda situps, made famous by pavel, doing the exact opposite of what they claim to do and activating the hip flexors even more than a regular situp. Just another reason to question every one of Pavel's claims :D
"When you are born, you are set forth to die. The fact that you live or don't live between these two dates depends solely upon your own will, opportunities and desires. The weight exerciser, of course, indicates that he chooses to live." Joseph Curtis Hise
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby ultra_whippet » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:14 pm

hardcore iv wrote:The book has some interesting info about janda situps, made famous by pavel, doing the exact opposite of what they claim to do and activating the hip flexors even more than a regular situp.

Yes that bit was hilarious :D (Although to be fair he has worked with Pavel and does endorse a lot of his other ideas)
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby hardcore iv » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:45 pm

Here's a good video with McGill demonstrating how the main exercises he advocates are done

"When you are born, you are set forth to die. The fact that you live or don't live between these two dates depends solely upon your own will, opportunities and desires. The weight exerciser, of course, indicates that he chooses to live." Joseph Curtis Hise
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby togi » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:51 am

Having just screwed my back up in one of a long line of lower back problems, I'm finding McGill's research and advice really useful. The bird-dog, side planks and the super-safe version of crunches he advocates, along with focus on bracing my core, are really helping me to get properly mobile again.

I'm currently looking to try out his book 'Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance', but I've only been able to find it for sale on his website, which, with postage, would cost me nearly £40.

Does anyone know where I can get hold of this book in the UK for a more reasonable price? Failing that, can anyone who's read it tell me if it's worth the cost? Obviously, having a strong and properly-working back is invaluable, but that's still quite a wad!
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby -ash- » Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:47 am

I read through those articles last night, seems pretty convincing, Left me a tad befuddled when I reached the abs part of my workout at the gym this morning as I realised my usual exercises were KILLING MY BACK!

Also: "I personally have a more favorite morning exercise, it’s what I like to call a "great-morning," but I don’t think my wife would appreciate me talking about it!"

Errr, thanks Stu...
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby XkillerX » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:44 pm

::: spine love :::

all hail the new wave if ab rockers and spine savers!

(this coming from a man who used to do 500 situps/crunches every or other day and completely ruined his back)
Next time, I'll spend the money on drugs instead.
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby soniczip » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:52 pm

so, what would be a good set/list of exercises based on his studies?
are there some other videos you, who read his books, can suggest?
i'm focusing on some kind of stuff
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby Rochellita » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:05 am

McGill's DVDs are very badly produced, they lack structure and the quality of the video and audio is low. This is a great shame as there is a lot of useful information in them if you have the patience to sift through. The Low Back Disorders: Evidence-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation I have is really aimed at clinicians, but I found it useful as a general background to his research. I'm hoping the Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance book is better and I hope to get a copy of it soon.
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby hardcore iv » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:19 am

Here's another video with some good exercises. It came from this elitefts article.

"When you are born, you are set forth to die. The fact that you live or don't live between these two dates depends solely upon your own will, opportunities and desires. The weight exerciser, of course, indicates that he chooses to live." Joseph Curtis Hise
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby soniczip » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:20 pm

excellent. thanx :!:
i'm focusing on some kind of stuff
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:38 pm

ahhh great, now I am even more confused. I started Pilates about 6 weeks ago, mainly for long-term lower back problems. It seems there is some overlap with this, but certainly some conflict....
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby muchluv » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:46 pm

I am a big McGill fan, and was just reading one of his articles when I thought about posting about him, searched and found this.

I stopped crunches and switched to his curl-ups, I also do side planks and sometimes bird-dogs if I can have the patience.

I also emailed Mcgill to ask if ab roll outs were safe and he said that something about an exercise which is walking the hands out from press up position, but the vibe was they were safe anyway.

Funny how I've had physios telling me to activate transverse abdominus when apparently that's pointless or counter productive according to him.
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby moggy » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:23 pm

togi, I seem to be finding 'Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance' for sale for over £90!- where have you found it for £40?
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Re: Stuart McGill and back stability

Postby togi » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:49 pm

Yeah, moggy, I'm not sure why, but people seem to be reselling it for stupid amounts - and that's often the 1st edition, which isn't updated with all sort of goodies...

As for £40-ish, that'd be the price for ordering it direct from Stuart McGill's site in Canada. Choosing the cheapest delivery option, it's about $60 CAD, which Google tells me is worth about £37, but which Paypal say is worth £39 :-(

But still, £40 is less than £90 I guess. I'd just like to see if I can find anyone who's actually bought the book, so I can get a sense of whether it's worth investing in.
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