3 Exercises You Should Be Doing Everyday


Read time: 2-3 minutes.

It’s not every day we can make it to the gym. Between going to work and managing the other priorities in your life, breaking a sweat can be difficult. However, there are 3 exercises that almost everyone should be doing and it only takes 20 minutes – max.

Before we dive into the “Big 3” exercises, let’s learn a little about where they came from and why. The Big 3 consist of: Bird DogSide Bridge/Plank, and the McGill Curl Up. These top-notch exercises were created by Dr. Stuart McGill – an expert in managing back pain. A professor emeritus at the University of Waterloo, where he taught for 30 years, Dr. McGill investigated health issues pertaining to the back. He has produced over 240 peer-reviewed articles, many textbooks on this subject matter, and has earned many awards. Additionally, he has mentored over 37 graduate students.

So, as you can see, Dr. McGill is kind of a big deal in the health and wellness realm – especially when it comes to rehabbing the back.

The first exercise is the McGill Curl Up.

McGill Curl upThis is done by laying on the floor on your back. Extend one leg while bending the other knee approximately 90 degrees. Then, place your hands on your low back to maintain the natural curve in your spine. From there, pull your head, shoulders, and chest straight up towards the ceiling without tucking in your chin. Lift them up as one unit and hold this position for 10 seconds. Slow and steadily, come back to starting position. Do half the repetitions (i.e. 3-5 sets of 10 second holds each) with alternating legs bent.

The second exercise is the Side Bridge/Plank.

SIde Bridge PlankBegin by lying on your side, with your forearm on the floor and elbow underneath your shoulder joint. Then, place your hand on the opposite shoulder. From there, pull your feet back so the knees are now at a 90-degree angle. Lift the hips off the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Try to maintain a straight line from your head down to your knees. Repeat with alternating sides. Aim for 3-5 sets of 10 second holds each. Challenge tip: Straighten out the knees and pivot your feet instead.

The last exercise is the Bird Dog.

Bird DogWhile on the floor, begin by assuming the quadruped position aka “on all fours.” Raise one arm up and forward while extending the opposite leg straight up. Make sure to not let your abdomen sink or low back curve. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Alternate opposite arm, opposite leg. Repeat this movement for 3-5 sets of 10 second holds each.

There we have it – The McGill Big 3.

These exercises are wonderful for rehabbing nagging aches, pains, and minor injuries,
as well as, general core strengthening. Remember, our core does not consist of only our abs. Our obliques (sides) and low back are all part of the core and require strength for overall health. Additionally, if your pain continues to become bothersome, check in with your local Structural Chiropractor to make sure there are no structural abnormalities hindering your potential.

In health and happiness,

Dr. Modi

Dr. Milan Modi

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