The Bottom Up Kettlebell Carry (2014)

The Bottom Up Kettlebell Carry by Stuart McGill (Download PDF, 33Kb) Every time I work with top international athletes I learn more about athleticism. We have all heard that having a strong core increases strength elsewhere in the body. Experience tells us this is true but I was incomplete in my explanation of the mechanism. […]

Okinawan strength: Developing the “Iron Body”

Stuart McGill PhD ( Strength is context specific – to remain immovable, to be resilient to blows and forces, and to lift and handle large loads with low risk of injury require a specific type of strength. The body is stiffened to become unbreakable. The martial arts of the island of Okinawa, Japan have embodied […]

Enhancing back performance with super stiffness (2013)

Super Stiffness by Stuart McGill, Professor of Spine Biomechanics Invited for (Download PDF, 25Kb) At a gymnastics or martial arts meet, or at a weightlifting competition, listen to the coaches advice to the athlete – Stay tight! This means to maintain stiffness. Being stiff ensures that there will be minimal energy losses as forces […]

Core stability: “Fascial raking” to stimulate abdominal wall activation for ultimate performance (2013)

Core stability: “Fascial raking” to stimulate abdominal wall activation for ultimate performance Stuart McGill, Professor of Spine Biomechanics (Download PDF, 57Kb) Core stability depends on activity in the many muscles that act around the torso, and in particular those that form the abdominal wall. This article describes how to improve the contraction quality of these […]

All Things Strength & Wellness – Podcast Interview

Listen At » “On this episode Dr. McGill and myself discussed – common reasons why the low back breaks down, common problems Dr. McGill see’s with core training, problems Dr. McGill see’s with some rehabilitation protocols that are used to treat low back pain, and/or dysfunction, Dr. McGill’s 5 stage protocol at rehabbing low […]

Designing Back Exercise: from Rehabilitation to Enhancing Performance (2012)

Designing Back Exercise: from Rehabilitation to Enhancing Performance Stuart McGill, Ph.D. Professor of Spine Biomechanics, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo (Download PDF, 260Kb) Many have asked me to write a short overview to assist increasing the competency of clinicians. But after writing two textbooks based on our hundreds of […]

The short stop squat: A drill for setting up big pulls

Professor Stuart McGill I am often asked for my opinion about the best way to squat, or to pull a loaded bar. My answer always is, “It depends on the person”. We all have a different injury history influencing which tissues may need sparing, different body segment length ratios affecting leverage advantages, different hip socket […]

Striking faster and harder – How the great fighters do it

Stuart McGill, University of Waterloo, ( and Jon Chaimberg, Adrenaline Performance Center, Montreal ( Published in Blitz Martial Arts Magazine, Australia, 2009 Great fighters simply get more out of their bodies to create fantastic performance. Teaming up with some top MMA/UFC fighters, we were able to document the “tricks” of striking fast and hard (see […]

Magazine: Core Values | The New York Times

Magazine: Core Values | The New York Times Stuart McGill, a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, demonstrates a core exercise program that emphasizes all the major muscles that support the spine.

On The Use Weight Belts

Stuart M. McGill Professor of Spine Biomechanics, University of Waterloo, Canada A review invited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association March 2005 Scientific studies regarding the use of belts for athletic endeavours is scarce. Much more evidence and insight exists for the use of belts in occupational settings. The relevant information from occupational usage […]

Spine flexion exercise: Myths, Truths and Issues affecting health and performance

Professor Stuart McGill, PhD University of Waterloo, Canada, and Backfitpro Inc. ( This short article is intended to address the confusion regarding the issue of spine flexion and the misquoting of our work on this topic. First, some general thoughts are addressed, followed with discussion of the mechanisms of athletic performance, injury resilience, and suggestions […]