Here’s a video Robert shared in comments. It has totally changed my thinking on how to protect the back from injury.
University of Waterloo kinesiology professor Stuart McGill is one of the world’s foremost experts on spine biomechanics. Here, he discusses several pervasive myths about back injury, exercise, proper lifting, and strengthening the core.
McGill: “Most people will not get through life without some element of back pain impinging on their activity.”
I’ve watched this video several times. I’ve learned a lot, like, a flexible back or a strong back are not protective of back injury. In fact, they are associated with more injury. The muscles of the back stabilize, they prevent movement. But back muscles require endurance because they’re in use constantly. I did not know this. I thought flexibility and strength were important. I’m changing how I treat my back.
Here’s a good video showing McGill’s “Big 3” exercises for stabilizing the back:
I’ve been doing the bird dog every day. It requires balance!