I became familiar with Craig Liebenson during my days in the NBA when he was the Team Chiropractor for the Clippers. Especially early on, I would look up in the Red Book all the staff members for the other teams in case I met them, and then I would have some intel to build a good initial conversation. In learning a little bit about Craig, I reinforced the names Janda and McGill. Many folks are oblivious that many of the photos in Dr. McGill’s Ultimate Back Performance book are taken in Craig’s office. And he still has that same old cable functional trainer. He’ll get a Keiser one day.
Over the last few years, I have deepened my relationship with Craig, due in no small part to the connection with DNS and the Janda Approach. Around a year ago, Craig and I taught a class together @ Peter and Alicia Rouse’s facility in Santa Monica, and it was certainly a pinnacle point for me to be considered on parallel ground with someone like Craig. To be honored and recognized by Craig in his talks and messages is something I am honored to have on my figurative resume.
Some months ago, Craig released 3 DVDs that will ultimately be companions to his new book, the Functional Training Handbook, due out in January. There will be many, many came appearances in the Handbook including mine on performing the Deadlift and some variations and progressions.
These DVDs ultimately can serve as clinical reference, but my overall impression is that they are very translatable for the general population.
Here are some notes from the 3 DVDs that Craig has put out. Hovering over the graphic will take you to Amazon for the DVDs.
–My copy I think had an error in the beginning segments, so if yours is the same, maybe just skip the beginning part. :-)
–Excellent demonstration of what I first saw from McGill in testing out for shearing tolerance.
–Plenty of excellent variations of the stable spine in the ground-based positions – Quadruped, Planks, Dead Bug, Ball Hamstring Curl. All movements I’ve used in some way, shape, or form during training and rehab.
–Due emphasis on the braced neutral spine in all of these movements. The mobile spine is a requirement, and it is often a missing link in the full picture. But you can not go wrong with practicing bracing strategies.
–Dr. Liebenson’s intent to bridge rehabilitation and fitness training is most embodied by this DVD. Where I actually see this DVD as most useful is as a messenger for parents that think strength & conditioning for young people is ONLY lifting heavy things and getting tired with cones set up on the turf. Functional Training is about what it produces, not what it looks like. This is a Gray Cook line, and this DVD pushes that end. Strength and power training are huge links in the chain for human performance, however, if the links of movement skills and postures are limited, the strength and power are being planted in dead soil. I like that this DVD can be handled by a parent pushing their kids, which we know is not going to stop, and add in some more movement based training options.
–I actually liked this DVD the best. I think these breathing positions and postural challenges are a step beneath the corrective exercise nature of training. These DVDs mimic the progression of systems that I subscribe to in terms of DNS-FMS-RKC.
–This yoga and posture DVD is like DNS in terms of the basics. The core DVD is like FMS in terms of corrective training through bracing, and the performance DVD is on the way to bigger, faster, and stronger a la RKC.
–As with all 3 of the DVDs, they each finish with an easy-to-follow routine that highlights the better moves from the DVD.