| | | | | PA Radio – Episode 102: Dr. Stuart McGill

Author / John

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meet the sherlock holmes of human movement. 

What does it take to be a “spinal Jedi”?  This episode’s guest has been called this among many other names in an attempt to convey his innate sense for human movement.  Dr. Stuart McGill did not set out to work predominantly with athletes but his research in spinal biomechanics led him to perfecting sports performance.

Find out the intricate processes that Dr. McGill goes through to assess athletes and patients.  Every detail from gait, to posture, to sound of the stride is analyzed creating comprehensive picture of that athlete’s potential limiting factors.

In a profession where pain is often the indicator when something is amiss, I ask
Dr. McGill if this is ever an issue with athletes who have a high pain tolerance.  Are they less likely to exhibit traditional signs of injury until it’s too late?

Listen as our discussion evolves from expressing regional and hereditary genetic traits to discovering the harsh truth – some people’s spines simply weren’t built to play contact sports.  Finding this out early on in life can not only enable you to optimize your success in other arenas of sport, but it might also save you a trip to Dr. McGill’s office.

Six foot five, 293 lb JJ Watt recently box jumped (and with good form, I might add) 61 inches.  For anyone that’s trying to visualize that height, it’s approximately 20 Double-Doubles from In-and-Out, 61 VHS copies of Bloodsport starring Jean Claude Van Damme, or half the height of a 122 inch structure.



To get more information including video demos, research articles, and links to purchase Dr. McGills books including Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance visit www.backfitpro.com  Take a look at Dr. McGill’s upcoming seminar schedule to catch him in action live in a city near you.

And in case you didn’t tune into last episode, Wade’s Army is going strong with a 30 day campaign all throughout April.  Here is a quick word from Tex on how to get involved and receive a limited edition Wade’s Army t-shirt.

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John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.


  1. Sheldon on April 19, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Could we get some elaboration on the part where doc was talking about anterior impingement of the hip? Maybe an idea of an exercise or two to work on correcting it?

  2. R swe on April 19, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Knowledge bombs, thank you for this one!

    Could you maybe try to turn up the volume of your guests though? Seem to be a bit low in recent episodes

    • CALI on April 20, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks! Glad you liked it.

      100%. I’ll see what I can do to improve the audio levels. I’ve tried a few online audio refining systems and didn’t really dig the final product. Stay tuned to see how the next one turns out…

      Thanks again for the feedback.

  3. R on April 20, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Real knowledge bombs here, thank you!

    Could you try to turn up the volume on your guests? They’re always lower than the staff

  4. Ingo B on April 20, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Invest in a small mixer like this one:


    Every person gets their own channel. Adjust levels until each are even. Next time I’m down there, I can explain. Or email me.

    • CALI on April 20, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      I’m not doing this because you told me to, I’m doing it because I want to.

      Also, Ingo – we are 100 Episodes deep and may be in need of a new intro. I know you’re not in the habit of doing anything helpful or free for PAHQ but I thought you might turn a corner and start being a tad more selfless. Just a thought.

  5. Ingo B on April 21, 2015 at 7:47 am

    There are times I think you’re the future version of my daughter sent back in time to save the world. Or do something to it.

    I’ll start thinking of ideas, but if you have some, please share. Message me via the forums or email. If the latter, expect terse messages rife with spelling errors and barely-decipherable abbreviations. No mail access at work, and my fingers are too PHAT for efficient IPhoning.

    • CALI on April 21, 2015 at 9:10 am

      Word. I’ll be sending my recommendations via US Mail. I’ll expect a response in no less than 30 business days.

  6. Blake Hoopes on April 21, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    I am soooo glad you guys got Dr. Stuart McGill on the show. I attended a convention with him a couple years ago, and was going to suggest getting in touch with him for the podcast. But, like always, you guys leave very few rocks unturned. Hence the reason why I’m with you guys. I’ve enjoyed @john implementing the knowledge into field strong too. The programing is meticulous, intertwined with proven, past & current methods, seamlessly integrated for peak performance. Keep up the good work!

    • CALI on April 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      Badass. Glad you’re seeing the Power Athlete theme.

  7. Forrest on April 22, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Ditto on the guest volume. There are some episodes (i.e. 102) that are so quiet I simply skip listening to them. This sends me into a downward spiral of depression exceeded only by the feeling of listening to interviews of CrossFit games athletes.

    As always, you are appreciated.

    • CALI on April 22, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Wow. Well that is an aggressive downward spiral. I don’t want anyone tuning out or tuning off like when a girl starts to tell a story. I think 103 is on point and we have good audio for Friday. Do me a favor and give it a listen when it goes live an let me know what you think.

      We may not have a complaint department or HR, but we will gladly take any feedback.

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