Stu McGill's Big Three Exercises for Spine Stability

Audience: Patients, Trainers & health professionals

Utility: Exercise sheet handout for basic spine "stability" training

What exercises: Bird dog, side bridge, curl up

Stability is in quotes because you can certainly debate whether these exercises actually increase "stability".  Or more accurately make the stable system more Robust.  What these simple but great exercises definitely do is work the entire trunk and hip musculature without imposing a large compressive or shear load on the spine.  The initial research justification for those exercises (almost 16  years ago but they have only been catching on for the past 5 or so) is that they train the spine musculature but do so in a manner that may not increase the injury risk.  Many exercises can train the spine musculature (e.g. double leg raises, back hyperextensions) but do so in a manner that might increase your risk of injury.  These exercises avoid this which may be ideal in a low back injured population.  Athletes are a separate kettle of fish.

Attached is a pdf of the basic Big Three.  Future posts will show variations.

Click here for Stu McGill's Big Three right here: thebodymechanic mcgill big three

All the best,

Greg Lehman, Physiotherapist/Chiropractor