Gary Gray Methodology

Someone recently asked me what I thought about Gary Gray.
Obviously I’ve never met him, but obviously the question is about the methodology.
I’ve never taken any coursework, so my opinions are based on what I’ve seen and read and 3 excellent days I spent with Todd Wright in the Fall.   I have every intention to take his Chain Reaction course in the near future.

I think what we do is very similar.

However, I have no professional patience for anyone that thinks repetitive flexion is okay or that suggest that because it happens in “real life,” we should train those positions for “resiliency.”  That is short-sighted and foul.

I absolutely love his views of regional interdependence, and I have touted for several months that the matrix programs that Todd Wright teaches @ Texas are absolutely amazing, and it is a program I MUST learn more about. I felt his volunterns were teaching me how to be athletic.
I would be remiss to not remind all of you that Todd said I move very well for a big guy.  Anyway………………………

I think the problem is that many folks that attend his coursework or GIFT program take everything he says, such as training “real life” bad movement, as gospel, and they hang on to the few foul parts of his message.

Basically anyone that does not believe in relative compensatory flexibility is not someone we should look to for elite levels of information
And without losing train of though, any suggestion that McGill’s work is only applicable to situations with a fixed sacrum is absurd.

All too often folks seem to need to cling on to the so few things that are wrong in training and rehab rather than than the amazing diverse and huge catalog of the things that are right.

  • April 30, 2010

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Bruce Lipton Reply


As someone on the outside looking in on this, in the sense that I am not an active professional in either physical therapy or strength coaching, I wanted to ask you if past possessing the ability to actually flex and extend the spine optimally at each articulation/segment, is it a case of avoiding lumbar flexion and lateral flexion as much as is humanly possible, regardless of what we are doing? Basically from your comment regarding those suggesting training in certain positions for “resiliency” I get the feeling that you feel that strength and mobility in these areas do not require active work to maintain, which is contrary to how many of us typically approach things when we don’t know any better.

I suppose my confusion on the neutral spine vs. flexion front stems from some coaches who are adamant about maintaining neutral spine in all lifts and then are less stringent about lumbar spine movement during a bodyweight drill like mountain climbers. While I certainly don’t think that a relatively healthy spine will explode if it encounters some flexion here and there, that never struck me as any reason to seek it out one bit…………………but now I seem borderline militant about maintaining a tall spine during everything loaded or otherwise, and as someone who isn’t well-educated in these areas, I was simply wondering if my tendency to avoid even the hint of lumbar flexion and lateral flexion as often as possible, whether in the gym or just going about daily life, could actually be missing the boat in some respect or set me up for some type of problem down the road.

When it comes to flexion of the spine (specifically in the lumbar region), does it come down to essentially maintaining it once we have it, but not seeing it out? i.e. saving flexion for when we may randomly encounter it in daily living but never seeking it out in anything we do in the gym.

Charlie Reply

Bruce – I think you are following where I am coming from here.
Poor movement stresses passive structures. You only get so many bad moves in these structures.
And just when you least expect it, the straw that breaks the camel’s back abounds. It’s not getting folded up in a squat turned into a dumped good morning. It’s from picking up a piece of dust in the kitchen.

The assumption that we are going by is for example once you get the toe touch, you keep the toe touch with great advanced corrective exercise as long as needed and deadlifts in the program.

Keep in mind that there is 45-50 degrees of lumbar flexion in a normal spine as well as about 12 degrees of rotation. These are normal ranges that should be evident. Going beyond is not appropriate, nor is repeatedly going through what is available.

This model that values t-spine, hip, and ankle mobility through stable movements actually should expect to yield less frequency of bad positions in “real life” and game-play.

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