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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet


in this video I’m gonna show you how to
perform the mcgill big 3 exercises that will help you and not only reduce your
back pain but will also help you to prevent back pain in the future and the
big three exercises are number one the modified curl up number two the side
plank and number three the bird dog but before I begin make sure to stick around
till the end because I have some additional tips for you in terms of how
many sets and reps you should do with each exercise and also how you can deal
with your own back pain and in case you don’t know dr. Stuart Mcgill is one of
the leading experts when it comes to spine health and in fact I for I was
first introduced to him because he’s worked with a lot of the top strength
athletes including a lot of power lifters including Chris Duffin Brian
Caroll Layne Norton now I’ve personally never had any major back issues but I’ve
had some minor aches and pains around there so I decided to go ahead and
purchase Stuart McGill’s book called the back mechanic and chapter 9 of this book
explains these big three exercises and the goal with these three exercises is to
help you build your core strength and core endurance now a lot of people when
they think of the core they automatically think of the ABS which is
also known as the rectus abdominis muscle while it is true that your abs
are part of the core any muscle that helps support your spine can be
considered as a core muscle and typically in addition to your abs you
have your internal and external obliques and you also have muscles in your back
such as your spinal erectors and a lot of the other smaller muscles that help
support your posture and your spine in place so the next time you think of core
training think of it as a 360 degree view while you’re training you’re not
only your abs but also your sides your obliques and you’re also strengthening a
lot of your supporting back muscles these three exercises teach you how to
maintain that core stiffness that is needed so that you can prevent any
unnecessary movements in your spine and this is especially true through lifting
weights you definitely don’t want any any movement in your spine while you’re
lifting weights all right so the first exercise that
we’re gonna look at is the modified curl up the first thing you want to do is
that you want to lie on the floor while maintaining a neutral spine position and
if you look at the image of the spine right here you can see that a neutral
spine does not mean that your spine is completely flat in fact your spine
naturally has a curve to it and in order to maintain this neutral
spine position what you’re gonna see here is that I’m placing my hands
underneath the lumbar region or the lower back and this will prevent my
spine from flattening against the floor then the next thing you wanna do is bend
one leg at about ninety degrees and place your foot completely flat on the
floor and your foot that is flat on the floor is going to be right next to the
knee of the leg that is extended now the leg that you decide to bend is
completely personal preference in fact you can even alternate between legs
between each set but if you have pain on one side then bend the leg on which you
have pain the next step is very crucial make sure your elbows are off the floor
so even if your hands are underneath your lumbar region and supporting your
back you want to make sure not to push into the floor using your elbows once
you have this position you’re actually ready to do the curl up slowly raise
your head and shoulders until they’re slightly off the floor make sure all the
movement is in your head and shoulder region and make sure to avoid any sort
of movement in your back now to an outsider it may seem like you’re not
doing much work because people are used to seeing people doing crunches and
sit-ups and exercise like that but trust me if this is the first time you’re ever
doing this exercise and if you do this correctly this can be quite challenging
but most importantly you wanna do an exercise that does not load your spine
and this book has a great way of explaining this it tells you to imagine
as if your head is resting up on a weight scale and then your goal is to
simply raise your head enough so that the weight on the scale shows zero
weight by it’s neffie not to do a crunch also
while doing this make sure to keep your spine and your neck as neutral as
possible hold this position for about 10 seconds and then rest about 20 seconds
between each rep and as I said this is not a crunch and it’s not a leg raise
it’s a very subtle but effective way of training your core without stressing
your spine the second exercise out of the Megillah big three is the side
bridge or the side plank and this exercise trains the muscles on your side
including your obliques and your lats if you’re a complete beginner you can start
with doing planks on your knees start by lying on the side and bend your knees
are about 90 degrees your elbow and your forearm should be on the floor and your
forearm should be at about perpendicular or 90 degrees from the floor your knees
should ideally be in line with your shoulders and the next thing you wanna
do is raise your hips off the floor by using these oblique muscles there should
not be any movement in the spine well you body do this fully use the hip
muscles to hinge but not the actual spine in this position your upper arms
should be perpendicular to the floor and if you’re strong enough and don’t
experience any pain you can actually do a full plank where instead of your knees
on the floor you can place your feet on the floor again your arm is going to be
perpendicular to the floor but one thing to keep in mind while doing a full plank
is that your top leg will always be in front of your bottom leg and this will
not only help you stay more balanced but it’s also I’m gonna help you engage the
right muscles in your obliques and your core and while doing this exercise try
to keep your spine as neutral as possible and one way to look at this is
to look at your shoulders your hips and your knees and ideally they should be in
a straight line and if you find that you aren’t able to maintain this posture
then what you want to do is that you want to stop that set right there
because they’re you know focus more on the quality than the
actual quantity especially if you’re dealing with back injuries and one tip
that I have for you is that you can use a mirror to see if your spine is neutral
or not or you can actually film yourself like I’m live over here just to get a
form check on yourself you can hold this position for about 10 seconds and then
you can rest about 20 seconds and then repeat and you can do about 3 or 4 sets
before moving on to the other side if you’re a little bit more advanced you
can even try something called the rolling plank where you you switch from
one side to the other while rolling but the one thing to keep in mind here is
that you beyond value roll there should not be any movement in the spine for
some reason if you get shoulder pain while doing this exercise then you can
do a different variation of the exercise where instead of raising your torso off
the floor you can actually raise your legs off the floor so your shoulders and
upper body will stay rested on the floor and you simply raise both your legs off
the floor again you can hold this position for about 10 seconds and then
rest about 20 seconds between each set if you’re a complete beginner or if you
have some severe injuries and you can’t even perform this exercise on your knees
then you can actually start off by doing this exercise against the wall now to an
outsider it may seem like you’re just leaning against the wall but make sure
that you’re still engaging the right muscles and you’re keeping your spine
neutral while doing this exercise and just like the side plank on the floor
the foot that is away from the wall will be in front of your body now moving on
to the third and final exercise of the McGill big-three which is called the
bird dog this exercise teaches you to keep your
core braced and tight while allowing movement in the hips and the shoulders
the first thing you want to do is start with your hands and knees on the floor
and about shoulder width apart the two main challenges that beginners face with
this exercise is that number one they have a hard time balancing and number
two is that they have a hard time preventing any twisting in the spine and
truly keeping the spine neutral so it’s best to start off really slowly
and perfect the movement first the first thing you wanna do is start by slowly
raising one hand and the opposite leg off the floor and you gonna raise both
of them until your hands are about shoulder height and your feet are about
hip height the best position that you should be aiming for is when your arms
and your legs are about parallel to the floor when you raise your legs make sure
to point your heels out and away from your body and when you raise your arms
close in your fist may also help you engage your upper body muscles better
and again I want to point out that you have to learn how to keep your spine
locked in position because all the movement that you do should be from your
shoulders and your hips right over this position for about ten seconds and then
you can switch to the other arm and other leg and if you’re a complete
beginner or if you have any severe back injuries then you can start off this
exercise by either only raising your hand or only raising your leg in the air
and then see how that feels and over time you can progress to a full board
dog another variation that you can also try is that instead of doing the board
dog off the floor you can do it by leaning against a wall or an immovable
object so hold each rep for about ten seconds
and then switch to the other side and then keep repeating until your desired
number of reps and sets are done now in order to get the best results possible
you need to do these exercises regularly and this book recommends that you do
them every day now in terms of the sets and reps you want to start off by doing
holds of ten seconds each and you know one hold of Tenth Circuit would count as
one rep this book also recommends that you do a Russian descending pyramid
where you start off by doing six reps then you rest a little bit then you do
four reps then you rest a little bit and then you do two more reps so your rep
your rep scheme will be six four and two and each rep will be ten seconds
followed by an about twenty seconds rest now if you don’t have to do this right
away especially if you’re starting out you can start off very easily do a few
reps see how it feels and slowly over time you can build your way up there now
we’ll doing these three exercises regularly help you get rid of back pain
completely and the answer is probably not
because back pain can be a complex issue and everyone’s situation is slightly
different because what’s causing back pain for you might be different than
what’s causing back pain for me the most important thing that I personally
learned from this book was that dealing with back pain has to be a more of a
lifestyle modification and this means that you have to pay attention to your
posture whether you’re sitting standing driving working out you have to be
conscious about your posture and you want to avoid movements that cause back
pain in the first place so I had you recommend that you pick up a copy of
this book called the back mechanic by stuart mcgill because first of all it’s
a very easy book to read it’s not technical at all and it’s also called
off lot of really good illustrations that will help you understand a lot of
the back pain concepts very easily don’t forget to hit the subscribe button down
below and leave a comment down below if you’re interested in more videos on this
topic i hope this book gives you a better idea of how to perform the mcgill
big 3 and i want you to try it out and let me know what you think thank you so
much for watching I’ll see you next time

8 thoughts on “The McGill Big 3 – Best Exercises to Reduce/Prevent Back Pain

  1. good info ty. Very interested in this topic sometimes I feel very tight in the place betwen glute and back is a muscle there in the lateral. for example betwen right glute and right dorsal when I raise from a chair, any idea what causes it, I always stay no more then 30 minutes on a chair like Dr. Stuard says. I do this exercises 2 times weekly.

  2. Hi, great video. For the first exercise, where should we feel the strenthening? In the lower back or the front abs? Thank you

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