Back pain... one of the most debilitating chronic injuries people face today. I've met hundreds of people personally at my gym who have suffered from a variety of back issues ranging from herniated discs and muscle strains to back surgeries that failed to provide relief and left the patient stiff and immobile.
I personally have battled back injuries off and on over the last 4 years due to a herniated disc that presented itself while I was performing Deficit Deadlifts in the summer of 2013. The first couple years after the incident my low back would spasm, flare up, and leave me sidelined multiple times per year. It severely limited what I could do in and out of the gym for weeks at a time. Even when I was feeling strong and healthy, continued to weigh heavily on my mind anytime I was attempting to lift, move, or carry heavy objects.
I bet many of you have dealt with similar issues. Aches, pains, and days where you are handicapped in the way you can move and live because of your back. Luckily, over the last two years I have found a couple options that have helped my back feel stronger than ever. Over the last year I've literally performed 10,000+ reps of kettlebell swings with no problem. I've returned to deadlifting for periods of time in my exercise routine with no flare ups.
Today I want to provide you with one of the best options I have found for strengthening the lower back. These three exercises, coined the "McGill Big 3", are from Dr. Stuart McGill. Dr. McGill is one of the best spine specialists in the world. He's worked with top strength coaches, world class athletes, and strongest humans on the planet. He's helped people avoid back surgery, return to performing at an elite level in their chosen sport, and lift hundreds of pounds pain free.
His "Big 3" are simple, effective, and can be done in your home without any equipment. These movements focus on improving the strength and endurance of the muscles that support the spine without repetitive flexing and bending of the vertebrae, which can cause much of the back pain people suffer from today. I'd recommend performing the Big 3 multiple times a week and as a warm-up before any workout. The video below provides basic verbal and visual demonstrations of each movement as well as a guideline of how often and how much to do.
On Friday, I will post the other option that I have found greatly beneficial for relieving, and strengthening, my back pain.
We are Amber and Jordan Kirbey. We are excited to share our experiences and ideas with you!