Brian Carroll Coaches the Birddog

Brian Carroll Coaches the Birddog

ANOTHER MCGILL BIG 3 POST? Yes, in this video, I coach the birddog. It’s not difficult to execute, but execution is critical when correctly performing an exercise concerning a back-painted person. Different pain triggers and pain generators/ damaged tissues can limit one’s ability to do birddog or, for that matter, even get on and off the floor.

Most of you will be able to follow along with this video and have no issues once you see the main cues hammered consistently:

1. Push the earth away

2. Stiffen the torso, pushing out with both oblique muscles

3. Don’t raise the leg too high – if in doubt, lower the leg

4. Play with stiffness, heel angle, and leg height

More Birddog Context and Coaching 

I know this may surprise many of you, but even the most confident athletes tend to mess up the Birddog. Is it the end of the world? No, not for most of the people. For some, it’s keeping them in back pain; others never build a solid, rigid, and resilient core until they start doing them correctly for stiffening. A few videos out there make it very difficult to understand its purpose. The leg is jacked up in the air; the bird dogger is not holding the exercise for time, instead pointing, as demonstrated by about 9/10 physical therapists in my experience. The last most common error I see is the lack of stiffening of the torso. You might start to see that everything I see most commonly wrong with the Birddog has created a system of cues (listed above) to remind the dogger of proper form and attack the most common mistakes I see.

When I get a chance, I will discuss more modifications of the Birddog, depending on the injury, pain generators, and the end goal. I will also show you some progressions to make them more difficult. I also think the purpose of the Birddog is confusing to some, while others understand it’s part of a bigger plan, not the plan to build a core of iron or to build a more resilient back. More soon!

Brian offers Virtual & in-person coaching

Back Injured Average Mary or Joe who wants their life back

Back Injured Athlete Wanting to Return to Sport

Lift and exercise coaching & cueing to troubleshoot form

Program adherence & accountability coaching

Nutrition & Supplementation Coaching & Guidance (10 or 20 weeks)

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Brian Carroll

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Brian is a retired world-class powerlifter with over two decades of world-class powerlifting. From 1999 to 2020, Brian Carroll was a competitive powerlifter, one of the most accomplished lifters in the sport's history. Brian started off competing in bench press competitions 'raw,' then, shortly into the journey, he gravitated toward equipped lifting as there were no "raw" categories then. You only had to choose from single-ply (USPF) and Multi-ply (APF/WPC). Brian went on to total 2730 at 275 and 2651 at 242 with more than ten times his body weight in three different classes (220, 242, 275), and both bench pressed and deadlifted over 800 pounds in two other weight classes. He's totaled 2600 over 20 times in 2 different weight classes in his career. With 60 squats of 1000lbs or more officially, this is the most in powerlifting history, regardless of weight class or federation, by anyone not named David Hoff. Brian realized many ups and downs during his 20+ years competing. After ten years of high-level powerlifting competition and an all-time World Record squat at 220 with 1030, in 2009, Brian was competing for a Police academy scholarship. On a hot and humid July morning, Brian, hurdling over a barricade at 275lbs, landed on, fell, and hurt his back. After years of back pain and failed therapy, Brian met with world-renowned back specialist Prof McGill in 2013, which changed his trajectory more than he could have imagined. In 2017, Brian Carroll and Prof McGill authored the best-selling book about Brian's triumphant comeback to powerlifting in Gift of Injury. Most recently (10.3.20) -Brian set the highest squat of all time (regardless of weight class) with 1306 lbs – being the first man to break the 1300lb squat barrier at a bodyweight of 303 lbs.
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