McGill's Big 3

Phil12

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I heard about this on Scott Iardella's podcast for the first time and would like to know more about it. In the same podcast, McGill mentioned that often instructional videos/articles about it do not capture all the nuances of it. So I'm curious if anyone knows of a McGill-approved instructional text or video (preferably video) on them, whether it's in one of his books or etc.
 

ali

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@kbell12 , thanks for posting. Listened to it on my dog walk just now. Interesting and informative interview. Looks like another book I need to buy!
 

Phil12

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Just reporting back, but the sit up is amazing, and the side planks are tough.
 

somanaut

More than 300 posts
Tried the Big 3 last week, and the pain in my back was worsened. Talked to the head chiropractor at a clinic where I sometimes have shifts as a CMT, he respected Mcgill as a researched, but also said that his therapeutic recommendations where off, and that he was emphasising static holds too much, and that they in his mind, especially the side plank and crunch did not have any statistically relevant effect on functional (vs. structural) back pain (quoting from memory). He did however like the SF method (when I described it) and thought 1hand swings and TGU hardstyle was if not the best, then at least in the top for what should be recommended to most clients as a prehab exercise before anything else, and he even though, that they could work as rehab exercises for many clients, provided they had proper instructions.
I went back to S&S after a 3 month hiatus, and back pain has subsided after 3 sessions...lesson learned.
 

natewhite39

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
"Back pain" is such a difficult area to manage as so many different elements contribute to the equation. I personally have had nothing but great success with McGill's strategies both for myself and students. Back Mechanic is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about self care and lifestyle "back hygiene."

image.jpeg
 

Rayhzel

Triple-Digit Post Count
Word, back mechanic is a great read. I am also planning to pick the other books of McGill.

Back mechanic was really insightful on the function of the back.
 

somanaut

More than 300 posts
I have not read any of Mcgill's work, and I am in no position to evaluate it. But would just point out that not all healthcare professionals agree with his ideas. And that results may vary as to the effectiveness of his methods. And yes "Back Pain" is to my knowledge a huge area, probably to huge to even warrant a label like back pain, beyond the layman vernacular.
 

natewhite39

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
I have not read any of Mcgill's work, and I am in no position to evaluate it. But would just point out that not all healthcare professionals agree with his ideas. And that results may vary as to the effectiveness of his methods. And yes "Back Pain" is to my knowledge a huge area, probably to huge to even warrant a label like back pain, beyond the layman vernacular.
I agree. McGill is a professor of spine biomechanics so his methods and practice are communicated from a different perspective compared to an MD.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
If I may, Dr. McGill isn't an exercise specialist. I read another book by another back specialist, who shall remain anonymous for the purpose of this conversation - it was a fantastic book _except_ for the chapters on how to exercise. I just ignored those, and I went so far as to post this in my review of his book - great book, great doctor, great perspective, great everything, but let an exercise professional help you with your exercise, not Dr. McGill, and not your medical doctor, either.

JMO, of course.

-S-
 

somanaut

More than 300 posts
If I may, Dr. McGill isn't an exercise specialist. I read another book by another back specialist, who shall remain anonymous for the purpose of this conversation - it was a fantastic book _except_ for the chapters on how to exercise. I just ignored those, and I went so far as to post this in my review of his book - great book, great doctor, great perspective, great everything, but let an exercise professional help you with your exercise, not Dr. McGill, and not your medical doctor, either.

JMO, of course.

-S-
Indeed, the take away, for me at least, is that Mcgill is of course a respected researcher. But his findings and academic research has to be evaluated in real time on the spot by some one educated in practical rehab. And isn't that how science and such things is supposed to work? Theory vs. practise. As far as I know, there are some people where x-ray, scanning and clinical diagnosis of a deformity of the spine do not exhibit the same, if any, pain symptoms. Quoting Brett Jones, Quoting Gray cook:
"Imaging should be used to confirm a diagnosis, not make one."
Why Movement Screening and Exercise Play by Different Rules
Theory should inform methods and practise, not dictate it, in my opinion.
My big lesson, as stated, was: S&S is what has kept me on the right track, and I should respect that more, and build more slowly on both the method and practise. And that a chiropractor that I respect, really liked what SF is doing. Without him having heard about it before.
 

AndyMcL

More than 500 posts
Back Mechanic is a great book, and a lot of the principles from it have helped both my back and that of some of the athletes I coach. SF is great too and a lot of those principles have also helped. It is not an either/or, or a one size fits all. There is no panacea or silver bullet, so it is important to have access to lots of tools that help support good movement patterns.
 

geekess

First Timer
Tried the Big 3 last week, and the pain in my back was worsened. Talked to the head chiropractor at a clinic where I sometimes have shifts as a CMT, he respected Mcgill as a researched, but also said that his therapeutic recommendations where off, and that he was emphasising static holds too much, and that they in his mind, especially the side plank and crunch did not have any statistically relevant effect on functional (vs. structural) back pain (quoting from memory). He did however like the SF method (when I described it) and thought 1hand swings and TGU hardstyle was if not the best, then at least in the top for what should be recommended to most clients as a prehab exercise before anything else, and he even though, that they could work as rehab exercises for many clients, provided they had proper instructions.
I went back to S&S after a 3 month hiatus, and back pain has subsided after 3 sessions...lesson learned.
I also get back pain after doing Big 3. What is S&S?
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
S&S is Kettlebell Simple and Sinister. You'll find links to purchase it, via amazon.com, on our main web page. It's a very popular, successful program. You'll also find a _long_ thread right at the top of our Kettlebell section, full of testimonials from those who've achieved the program's Simple goal.

-S-
 

Steve W.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Indeed, the take away, for me at least, is that Mcgill is of course a respected researcher. But his findings and academic research has to be evaluated in real time on the spot by some one educated in practical rehab. And isn't that how science and such things is supposed to work? Theory vs. practise. As far as I know, there are some people where x-ray, scanning and clinical diagnosis of a deformity of the spine do not exhibit the same, if any, pain symptoms.
I don't think this fairly represents Stuart McGill at all, from what I know about him. I haven't read "Back Mechanic," which seems to be more of a self-help guide aimed at the general public, but have read two other of his books, quite a few articles, and heard him speak. He has a lot of clinical experience, including with many athletes, and seems to take a very individualized "it depends" sort of approach. The following series of articles by powerlifter Brian Carroll may give a better sense of how he approaches back pain.

A Day with Dr. Stuart McGill (Part 1)

A Day with Dr. Stuart McGill (Part 2)

A Day with Dr. Stuart McGill (Part 3)

A Day with Dr. Stuart McGill (Part 4)
 
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somanaut

More than 300 posts
I don't think this fairly represents Stuart McGill at all, from what I know about him. I haven't read "Back Mechanic," which seems to be more of a self-help guide aimed at the general public, but have read two other of his books, quite a few articles, and heard him speak. He has a lot of clinical experience, including with many athletes, and seems to take a very individualized "it depends" sort of approach. The following series of articles by powerlifter Brian Carroll may give a better sense of how he approaches back pain.

A Day with Dr. Stuart McGill (Part 1)

A Day with Dr. Stuart McGill (Part 2)

A Day with Dr. Stuart McGill (Part 3)

A Day with Dr. Stuart McGill (Part 4)
How is this not a fair representation of Stuart McGill?
 
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