Max Shank with the Barbell Shrugged

Here’s Max Shank with Mike Bledsoe and Doug Larson from Barbell Shrugged, talking prevention of shoulder injuries, a few key points:


Planks are the Magic Bullet for Hip Mobility

Planks are the Magic Bullet for Hip Mobility

Give Yourself A Full Body Mobility Assessment!

Give Yourself A Full Body Mobility Assessment!

Stuart Mc Gill playlist

From part 6


if you lift heavy AND do spine flexion movements, i.e. situps, those two are counter-opposed. That’s a poor choice of exercise combination (…) if you lift heavy, you can’t do situps and yoga and all these heavy bending exercises, so you gotta pick one (…) if you’re gonna lift, you need the opposite of what yoga gives you: stiffness in the spine


Some people have misquoted me saying McGill is against flexion (…) I never said « don’t do flexion moment work » (…) there’s a difference between flexion and flexion moments

Part 8

Every great sprinter in the world has a lot of lordosis (…) you HAVE to have it because the power production out of the hips [is] created through the stride during the sprinting

It looks like what McGill is saying is that in the same way we choose rep ranges / form styles for training specificity, we should also choose some movements while avoiding others. This is because the principle of specificity holds true for « everything » we do. So a gymnast is not adapted to lift heavy weights because of his flexible spine, and an olympic lifter « needs » a non-flexible, stable spine, to be able to do his lifts safely. Hence McGill seems to suggest that a lot of spinal (or muscular) flexibility is not good for lifters. He has talked about this previous in this video with Duffin


Summary of the video:

  • Being happy/smiling in the gym means weaker neural drive & lowered performance potential
  • Become a little angry for maximal performance
  • Always practice technique as if it was a max attempt, even easy warmup sets
  • You can prime athletes neurologically before max attempts via putting their body in a state of fight or flight
  • Athletes are tuned elastic machines that store elastic energy strategically. You can leak elastic energy by being too soft or overstiff
  • The purpose of stretching is to tune this elastic energy
  • Athletes shouldn’t stretch outside of their « working » range. Mobility can ruin athletes at the elite level (8:28)
  • Stretching reduces sensitivity of stretch receptors
  • Don’t overdo mobility (avoid being « loose » before maxing). Powerlifters should never stretch outside of their elastic range to preserve their elastic energy at the end range of the lift (« that’s what lifting suits do – they provide artifical stiffness » 9:47)
  • A long boring warmup can be relaxing and doesn’t put the athlete in the right state of mind (neural drive)

Part 9

: Don’t break form, it leads to injury

If you’re doing endurance training:

By going to failure you just ruined your athleticism.

Part 10

: The most important core exercises: bird-dog, side bridge, and modified curl-up

It’s all about stiffening the core, and freeing the hips and shoulders

Part 11

The muscles of the spine are designed to stop motion (..) if you keep creating stress-strain reversals in [your spine], it will eventually break

The downsides to partner stretches

The downsides to partner stretches are the following:

  • If your partner doesn’t have a good anatomical understanding of what they are trying to stretch, it isn’t always effective. (i.e., they don’t know how to square your shoulders or hips)
  • You have to find someone that can communicate clearly and not just push you too far too fast.
  • You will be put into positions where your groin/crotch is opening way up in front of the other person and they may be holding your feet or something. If you got qualms with that, you’ll find it awkward (I don’t, but just a potential thing).
  • When you’re stretching a strong male dude like me with really strong legs, the partner needs to be extremely strong to overcome the resistance that some tissues can generate. (I’m looking at you, hamstrings. In fact, it HAS to be a strong dude that stretches my hamstrings because even THEY get tired and if it was my girlfriend, for example, trying to do the same thing, she actually won’t be able to take me to my limits!)
  • On the other hand, if you’re much stronger than the person you’re stretching (like if i’m stretching my gf), then it’s really effective and easy.
  • Last but not least, communication must be continuous and limits must be respected. It is possible to do too much, too fast. So this isn’t meant to be done just only once, all out. It’s something that should be done 1-2x/week to let the body heal and then go at it again.

So it’s a very delicate process, and you have to have someone you could trust to do this regularly with. I personally am lucky that I live in a place where there are no social stigmas of this kinda thing and we do it with friends on the beach regularly. So i was thinking of maybe making videos for the various things we are doing. But just wanted to gauge any interest in such a thing, since it requires a bit of work (it takes 2 to tango… 3 if there’s a cameraman involved).

A Randomized Trial Comparing Yoga, Stretching, and a Self-care Book for Chronic Low Back Pain


Yoga classes were more effective than a self-care book, but not stretching classes, in improving function and reducing symptoms due to chronic low back pain, with benefits lasting at least several months.