Category Archives: Training Basics

Low back pain redux

This week’s post is a follow on to last week’s post with some basic information about low-back pain, covering some slightly different topics and getting into a bit more detail.

The post will primarily address whether and how much we should bend, extend and rotate our backs.

Dr. McGill has lectured and written extensively on why flexion is bad for our backs, and yet what exercise does your physical therapist give you to address your low back pain? Crunches! Somehow in the last 20 years it has become a universal truth that situps are bad but crunches are good. Take a look at these two photos. Continue reading Low back pain redux

Lessons about low back pain (part one)

I had the pleasure of spending two days at a Dr. Stuart McGill seminar about “Building the Ultimate Back”. Dr. McGill is a spine biomechanist at the University of Waterloo, an internationally renowned speaker about low back dysfunction, an equally renowned clinician, and the author of Low back Disorders and Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance.

Because Dr. McGill covered so much amazing information, and because back function is such an important topic, I have split this into three articles. This first article provides what I view as the 4 basic points he addressed.

Continue reading Lessons about low back pain (part one)

3 Tips for people with low back pain

I recently talked to someone who gets recurrent low back pain.  I tried to engage them in a conversation about strength and stability training, but was politely brushed off with a “I know what I need to do – I need to strengthen my abs”.  A while later, I wished I had made one quick suggestion: “stretch your hip flexors”

Why hip flexors for low-back pain?   Continue reading 3 Tips for people with low back pain