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Why Powerlifters Shouldn’t Do Yoga – Flowgrade Show Episode 33 with Dr. Stuart McGill

Should you combine deadlifts with an extensive yoga routine? What’s the easiest test ot identify the next NHL superstar? And how do you recruit subjects for a sex mechanics study? Get the answers to these questions and more in this episode of the Flowgrade with the go-to-expert for biomechanics of the spine, Dr. Stuart McGill.

“Couch potatoes never have back pain, it’s so unfair.” – Dr. Stuart McGill

“There just weren’t any guidelines on how to have back-conscious sex.” Dr. Stuart McGill is notorious for finding unconventional but highly relevant projects. I met Stuart at the Functional Training Summit in Munich where he told me about his controversial experiment, which required him to find participants outside of the university community. So Stuart and his team went to latin dance schools to find open-minded couples, which agreed to have themselves strapped with electrodes to analyze their movements during sex.

Stuart McGillDr. Stuart M. McGill is a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, Canada. Besides attention-grabbing studies like the one described above, Stuart treats a multitude of professional athletes from various sports. With more than 30 years of clinical research and three major books under his belt, Stuart is one of the go-to-doctors for professional athletes, sport teams, and other high performers with back pain. He occasionally shares athletes with another expert in the field and a former guest on the Flowgrade Show, Kelly Starrett.

Stuart McGill In this interactive episode (Stuart helps me to fix my posture with one easy trick), you will learn why Stuart has mixed feelings about MMA, the easiest test to identify the next NHL superstar and why powerlifters should avoid doing yoga an. You will also learn a couple techniques from Stuart’s book Back Mechanic to optimize your posture on the spot.



  • 1:00 – Why Stuart introduces himself as a plummer
  • 3:00 – Mixed feelings about MMA and ultimate fighting
  • 5:10 – Why the NBA has better tests than the NFL
  • 10:40 – An easy test to find the next NHL superstar
  • 12:20 – Why powerlifters shouldn’t do yoga
  • 20:45 – The hardest book Stuart has ever written
  • 23:40 – How to fix your posture with some easy exercises
  • 27:50 – On longevity and how to train in different life stages
  • 33:30 – What Stuart would recommend his younger self
  • 38:45 – On recruiting participants at latin dance schools


  • “If you want an explosive athlet, you can’t have endurance.”
  • “You can’t mix up a lot of yoga and deadlifts. That’s a recipe for back pain.”
  • “The combine of the NBA is extremely content-valid.”
  • “I follow what the science shows.”
  • “Know what the sport demands.”
  • “Couch potatoes never have back pain, it’s so unfair.”
  • “Great athletes don’t live very long.”
  • “Don’t get too comfortable.”
  • “There were no scientific guidelines [on back-conscious sexual positions].”


NBA Draft Combine

NFL Combine

Kelly Starrett


Back Mechanic by Dr. Stuart McGill

Thank you Perform Better Europe for organizing the interview with Stuart!

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