Barbell training and core stability


First Post
This has me puzzled. Maybe you can help me understand this.

In a youtube video named "Layne Norton's Lifting Instruction from Stuart McGill & Brian Carroll - PART 3" (link) we can at 7 minutes
in see how Layne Norton struggles to perform the simple bird dog bodyweight exercise.

In a youtube video named "Fixing Dave Tate: Lower Body Full Workout" (link) we can at 7 minutes in see how Dave Tate also struggles to perform this excercise.

Given that both Norton and Tate can squat and deadlift more than 3 times their own bodyweight they should have plenty of "core" strength.
So what is going on here?


Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I think it's just learning a new skill, a new specific movement pattern.

They have the strength, yes. So they can be cued and corrected into performing it "correctly." Someone who doesn't have the strength for something can't be cued into doing it right. They don't have the basic capability requirements.

It's not really any different than teaching any elite athlete any new sport or skilled movement that they have never performed. They can be taught to do it right. They will have to concentrate and practice to be able to do it right consistently, but they'll pick it up a lot faster than someone who's not an elite athlete. Learning the new skill or movement pattern may bring them benefits -- either general in nature, or even specific benefits for their main sport. Bird dog is apparently one of these that many coaches and athletes have found to bring those benefits.

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks for posting the link. I had not seen this before.

He has the strength, he just took a laxidasucal approach and needed a reminder. He had bad form that was possibly the result of past accommodation of injury/pain and it greased the groove for a new motor pattern (one with bad form).

I've had the opportunity to go through a similar process with Brian Carroll. I thought I knew how to bird dog, goblet squat, 1 legged deadlift, etc... These are excersises I do on a daily or weekly basis for years. It was very humbling to realize how far I was from ideal.

Also, if a weak person (untrained) and a strong person (athlete, for example) both did a plank or bird dog, or whatever, and really gave it their all with 100% effort... to a bystander, especially one with an unqualified eye, it would appear that they are doing the same thing. But it is possible that the strong person is generating a lot more tension than the weak person. So it is difficult for both of them in their own way.


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