Five Important Tips of The McGill Big Three – Advice from a New York Chiropractor
Here at the Center for Spine Care and Mobility you will often hear us refer to the “McGill Three.” Dr. Anselmi recently completed McGill Method I: Building the Ultimate Back.
- Sternal Crunch
- Side Bridge or Side Plank
Stuart McGill is a Biomechanics Professor based out of Waterloo, Canada. The research that comes out of his lab truly defines core stability and directs what exercises provide lumbar spine support from rehabilitation to performance. These exercises are the foundation of any program to spare the spine and build muscular fitness while maintaining stability and control.
1. You must practice these exercises daily.
Work to build up endurance with repeated short exercise bouts; this means avoiding engaging in infrequent and/or extended sessions of long duration.
2. Avoid performing these immediately after rising from bed. The optimal time is mid-morning or dinner time.
Inflammation sets in first thing in the morning and a painful back will not tolerate early morning sessions.
3. Choosing the dose of exercise within a single session is supremely important
The most painful backs can only tolerate short session and thus will benefit from several short sessions throughout the day.
4. Bracing the abdominal muscles rather than hollowing or sucking them in, during exercise invokes all of the advantages of achieving a stable core.
Bracing is basically the sternal crunch exercise done in different positions don’t forget to breathe using the diaphragm and fill up the abdominals with air.
5. Try and maintain your spine in the pain free posture.
Create motion about the shoulders and hips, not the spine.
Once you have mastered the “Big 3”, you can progress to more difficult versions of these three exercises.
For great information check out McGill’s book titled, “Back Mechanic.”
If you are still struggling with these three exercises, come see us! If you learned the McGill 3 exercises years ago and are still only doing them, you need an upgrade. Come see us!