Category Archives: Low Back Reconditioning

How Does Foam Rolling Work? And Why “SMR” Should be Called “SMT”

Today, I’m going to share a discussion on Facebook that I recently had with Todd Hargrove and Greg Lehman. I’m not always confident with my understanding of things, but I’ve developed great “go-to guys” over the years when I’m seeking answers in various topics, and Todd and Greg are well-versed in areas pertaining to manual therapy.

I lift weights every day with a ton of strong dudes. Nearly all of them foam roll. I foam roll and use the stick and a lacrosse ball too. Are we all just a bunch of dumb meatheads falling prey to The Placebo Effect? Or is there more to foam rolling than meats the eye? Are we changing mechanical properties in the fascia? Or are there other mechanisms at play?

read more

5 Things You Should Do Everyday

In 1970, the average United States citizen spent $356 on healthcare. This figure rose to $8,402 by 2010.  When ranked as a percentage of GDP, healthcare costs were 7.2% in 1970 and 18% in 2010 (1). As you can see, healthcare costs have risen tremendously over the years. It is therefore in all or our financial best interests to take care of our bodies. Here are five such things that you should probably do every single day; things that will help you maintain proper functioning and prevent costly medical expenses later on in life.

Deep Squat

Why it’s a good idea:  The deep squat will help you maintain your hip flexion mobility (a technical way of saying that you’ll retain the ability to squat all the way down) throughout life. The deep squat is performed much more commonly in many Asian and Middle East countries and requires 95-130 degrees of hip flexion and 110-165 degrees of knee flexion (which is a lot of range of motion) (2,3). If you use this ability, you’ll keep it. If you don’t, however, you’ll lose it. Dr. Stuart McGill started performing this drill daily and credits it for helping him retain his hip function and prevent hip replacement surgery (4). If you’re a lifter, you want to retain your deep squat ability, as it’s been shown to lead to greater vertical jump transfer, quadricep and hamstring hypertrophy, glute activation, hip extension torque, postactivation potentiation, and deep squat strength compared to shallower squatting (5-10).

read more

Transcribed Interview With Stu McGill

Last month, I posted an audio interview with Dr. Stu McGill HERE. At that time, many readers requested a written transcription of the interview. Well, ask, and you shall receive! By the way, my favorite quote is this:

And what the listeners – I hope they understand – is that it doesn’t matter whether I’m with you (Bret) or Pavel or Dan John or back in the old days of Mel Siff, Zatsiorsky and Gracovetsky, any of these people, we were all good friends. We enjoyed one another. We enjoyed debating. And it was over a beer and peanuts. We knew one another’s kids, all of these things. They came and stayed at houses just like you did.

read more

New Research: The Glute Max is Really Good at Stabilizing the SI Joint

Low back pain is a bitch! Previous literature suggests that up to 30% of incidences of low back pain could in fact stem from the sacroiliac (SI) joint. I wrote about the SI joint a year and a half ago in a blogpost titled, The Sacroiliac Joint Takes a Beating. If you haven’t read this yet, I recommend you do!

Nevertheless, a recent paper has emerged that sheds more light on the critical role that the gluteus maximus plays in stabilizing the SI joint. The article was published in the Clinical Journal of Biomechanics and is titled, “Anatomy and biomechanics of gluteus maximus and the thoracolumbar fascia at the sacroiliac joint.” Click HERE for the Pubmed link, but I’ll paste the abstract below:

read more