Back Exercises – The Big Three McGill protocol

As someone who understands the challenges and discomfort associated with low back pain, I wanted to share with you a set of exercises based on The Big Three McGill protocol. Dr. Stuart McGill is a renowned expert in spine biomechanics and has developed effective exercises for strengthening the core and alleviating low back pain. It is important to note that before
attempting these exercises, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified physiotherapist, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions.

The McGill Big Three: These exercises focus on stabilizing the core muscles and promoting a healthier back. Perform each exercise in a controlled manner, without any jerking or sudden movements. Aim to complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise.

a) McGill Curl-up: Lie on your back with one knee bent and the foot flat on the floor, while the other leg remains straight. Place your hands underneath the natural arch of your lower back.
Gently lift your head and shoulders off the ground, while maintaining the natural arch of your lower back. Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly lower yourself back down. Be careful not to tuck your chin down, or place extra stress on the neck.

b) Side Plank: Lie on your side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder. Keep your top leg straight and your bottom leg bent, but have both thighs aligned. Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Hold this position for 10-30seconds depending on your ability and then slowly lower your hips back down. Repeat on the other side.

c) Bird Dog: Start on your hands and knees, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Extend your right arm forward and your left leg backward, keeping your core engaged by gently drawing your belly button in on an exhale and keep your back level throughout. Hold this position for a few seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Try to prevent your hips from jutting out or tilting.

Walking: In addition to the McGill Big Three, regular walking can be a beneficial exercise for low back pain. Start with shorter distances and gradually increase the duration and intensity as your body allows. Walking helps improve overall back health and promotes better circulation.
Remember, the exercises based on Dr. Stuart McGill’s protocol aim to strengthen your core and provide relief from low back pain. However, it is important to listen to your body and discontinue any exercise that causes pain or discomfort. If you experience increased pain or if these exercises exacerbate your symptoms, please consult a healthcare professional for further guidance.

I hope you find these exercises helpful in managing your low back pain. Always prioritize safety and take it slow, gradually increasing the intensity and duration as your body allows. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey toward a healthier back!

Download your FREE 7 Day Plan!

Listen to the Podcast!

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email