Training the Back - Part 1: Science, Philosophy and Practicality

by Stuart McGill |  Date Released : 16 Oct 2006

  • Introduction
  • The journey
  • The Inventro Lab
  • Referrals – basket case bad backs and elite performance backs
  • Average bad back vs. tickling the dragon’s tail
  • Philosophical approach – Have a reason for everything they do
  • Evaluate current condition, current pain areas, what can they do pain free?
  • Provocative testing – understanding
  • Pain inhibits muscle contraction
  • Capacity – using capacity up with poor posture throughout the day
  • Flexion intolerant on slouched posture
  • Building training capacity so they can actually train
  • Myths – strengthen back -> improve back PAIN
  • Perturbed motor patterns
  • Back tests and mechanism of injury
  • Greater motion – greater risk of injury
  • Personality and back pain
  • Spine power and spine mobility
  • World class weightlifters and gymnasts
  • Great athletes – motion comes from shoulders and hips – not muscle
  • Rotation in back under load
  • Loading the spine in compression
  • Herniated disc – repeated flexion through spine vs. hips
  • Cumulative trauma injury
  • Training herniated disc clients – keeping them out of seated postures
  • The “ready” position
  • Ligament damage – biomechanically very difficult to do
  • Using them too much
  • How do you build a clientele? Success with ONE person
  • Assess or refer out?
  • There must be a reason for everything you do
  • Time to step up

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Stuart McGill

About the author: Stuart McGill

Dr.Stuart M. McGill is a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON, Canada) and the director of the Spine Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Waterloo, ON, Canada. His advice is often sought by governments, corporations, legal experts, elite athletes and teams from around the world. Difficult back cases are regularly referred to him for consultation.

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