Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group, LLC Blog

The Man That Wants To Kill Crunches

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 @ 07:10 AM


Dr. Stuart McGill  

After three decades of figuring how out the spine works, Stuart McGill has come to loathe sit-ups. It doesn’t matter whether they are the full sit-ups beloved by military trainers or the crunch versions so ubiquitous in gyms. “What happens when you perform a sit-up?” he asks. “The spine is flexed into the position at which it damages sooner.”

The professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo knows a thing or two about snapping spines. In his lab, McGill proudly shows off a machine that’s probably created more disc herniations than any other in the world. “We get real [pig] spines from the butcher and we compress them, shear them and bend them to simulate activities such as golf swings and sit-ups, and watch as unique patterns of injury emerge.” A disc has a ring around it, and the middle, the nucleus, is filled with a mucus-like liquid. Do a sit-up and the spine’s compression will squeeze the nucleus. On his computer, McGill shows how the nucleus can work its way out of the disc, hit a nerve root and cause that oh-so-familiar back pain. “From observing the way your total gym routine is performed, we can predict the type of disc damage you’re eventually going to have.”


While there are lots of ways to injure a back, the sit-up is an easily preventable one. According to his research, a crunch or traditional sit-up generates at least 3,350 newtons (the equivalent of 340 kg) of compressive force on the spine. The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health states that anything above 3,300 newtons is unsafe.

So McGill suggests replacing sit-ups with exercises to strengthen the core while not bending the spine: 

Continue to read this article by clicking HERE  


Want more awesome McGill resources? Visit Craig Liebenson's site for a complete list of audio, video, and written articles outlining the most up-to-date research on athletic performance and core development.


Learn why crunches are hurting your back and why your traditional core exercises are missing the mark when it comes to improving athletic performance at the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar featuring Professor Stuart McGill as keynote speaker!

Hurry - this seminar will sell out again this year.  Discounted prices end December 31st, 2012!

Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today



Topics: Art Horne, Craig Liebenson, Charlie Weingroff, Adriaan Louw, Bill Knowles, Marco Cardinale, Fergus Connolly, Stuart McGill, Rob Butler, Bobby Alejo

Visiting Boston - Your guide to Staying in Boston for BSMPG 2013

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 @ 07:10 AM


5 Steps to ensure your 2013 BSMPG Seminar is a Success 


2012 BSMPG Social

1. Remain Calm: Yes, it's true that we have the biggest names in Sports Medicine and Performance here in Boston for the 2013 Seminar and it's also true you might never be exposed to so much brain power under one roof ever again.  But this is no reason to start dancing around your apartment like a teenage school girl who just met Justin Bieber!  Ok, maybe it is.

2. Rest Up: we certainly know how to put on the best seminar in the industry - that's understood. If you've attended an event in the past you know we also know how to put on the best socials in the industry as well.  Bring Ibuprofen and a water bottle! 

Our motto: learn hard - play hard! 

3. Bring Business Cards: We know that you come for the best speakers in the world, but we've also been known to connect sports medicine and performance professionals with the best technology support companies, nutrition experts, and a number of other industry leaders from around the world with one another.  We don't want to brag - but we're also responsible for a number of interviews and jobs over the last few years.

4. Take Notes: Not during lectures silly! That's what the powerpoint and outlines we provide you are for. Some of the most powerful conversations take place during our scheduled breaktimes, lunch hours and social events.  With the leaders in sports medicine and performance from around the globe present as attendees, some of the biggest Ah-ha moments happen outside the lecture halls. Be ready with pen and paper in hand - you might not get another chance to talk to so many NHL and NBA coaches and therapists as you do at BSMPG!

5. Secure Lodging: During this week many Boston and area colleges and universities host graduations and because of this, area hotels book up fast.  We encourage those even thinking about attending to reserve hotel rooms now! You can always cancel the week leading up to the event, but if you wait until the week prior to book, you'll certainly be out of luck. Reserve your room now. See link below.

Click HERE for a complete list of our Hotel Partners.    


Recap: Get excited because we are planning the largest BSMPG Seminar to Date - book your travel, get a babysitter, reserve a hotel room, and bring your brain and party pants to Boston! 

Let's get it on BSMPG-ers! (yes, that's a Marvin Gaye reference)

See you soon!


Register today for the world's largest Sports Medicine and Performance Seminar - May 17 & 18, 2013. Boston MA 

Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today




Topics: Art Horne, Craig Liebenson, Brijesh Patel, Mike Curtis, Charlie Weingroff, BSMPG Summer Seminar, Cal Dietz, Jeff Cubos, Dan Boothby, Marco Cardinale, Marvin Chun, Fergus Connolly, Stuart McGill, Rob Butler, Clare Frank

BSMPG 2012 Summer Seminar Highlights - Craig Liebenson

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 @ 07:09 AM


Click below to see highlights from our 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar featuring Keynote Speaker, Craig Liebenson during his workshop session.

More highlights are set to come in the next few weeks so stay tuned!



Save the date for the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 17th & 18th in Boston MA.


Keynote Speakers include: Dr. Stuart McGill, Dr. Marco Cardinale, Fergus Connolly, Adriann Louw and Marvin Chun.  Individual learning track speakers will be announced shortly. 



Register for the 2013 BSMPG  Summer Seminar Today



This is sure to be the biggest Sports Medicine and Sports Performance Seminar to date!

A special thanks again to our SPONSORS!



Topics: Craig Liebenson, BSMPG Summer Seminar

World Pain Expert, Adriaan Louw Joins BSMPG 2013 Summer Seminar Keynote Speaker Set

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 @ 06:08 AM

BSMPG is proud to announce Ariaan Louw as a keynote speaker at the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 17th and 18th, 2013!  Adriaan joins keynote speakers, Dr. Stuart McGill, Marco Cardinale, Fergus Connolly and Marvin Chun for this weekend event.  With the most thorough and integrated speaker line-up ever assembled, the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar will be the WORLD'S most sought after Sports Medicine & Performance Seminar to date!!

We are expecting the largest crowd in the history of BSMPG events with speakers and attendees traveling the globe to be in Boston in May of 2013, and thus have already made plans to move our main lecture hall to a newly renovated multi-tier auditorium.

Be sure to save the date now - hotels will fill fast with this event along with normal Boston traffic so start making plans now!

See you in Boston next May!!!


Adriaan Louw


BSMPG Summer Seminar


ADRIAAN LOUW, PT, PhD (c), M.App.Sc (physio), GCRM, CSMT

International Spine and Pain Institute

Adriaan Louw attended the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa, where he graduated in 1992 from an extensive physiotherapy program, including a very stringent manual therapy based training. Adriaan is an adjunct faculty member at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, where he teaches spinal manipulative therapy. Adriaan maintains clinical practice and is a co-owner, part-time clinician and spine specialist at The Ortho Spine and Pain Clinic in Story City, Iowa. Adriaan has been teaching postgraduate spinal manual therapy and pain science classes throughout the US and internationally since 1996. Adriaan completed his Graduate Certificate in Research Methodology from the University of South Australia, followed by his Masters degree in research into spinal surgery rehabilitation at his alma mater, Stellenbosch University. Adriaan is a Certified Spinal Manual Therapist through International Spine and Pain Institute. Adriaan is in the final stages of his PhD, focusing on therapeutic neuroscience education and spinal disorders. Adriaan has presented at numerous national and international manual therapy, pain science and medical conferences and has authored and co-authored numerous articles and book chapters related to spinal disorders and pain science.


Save the Date: May 17 & 18th, 2013 - Boston MA.  This will be one conference that you will not want to miss!!

Topics: Art Horne, Brian McCormick, basketball conference, Craig Liebenson, Chronic Pain, Adriaan Louw, BSMPG Summer Seminar, Cal Dietz, Marco Cardinale, Stuart McGill

Predicting Performance and Injury Resilience in Collegiate Basketball Athletes

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 @ 06:08 AM


by Art Horne



basketball performance resized 600


Just recently Dr. Stuart McGill, Jordan Andersen and myself published an article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examining the link between traditional pre-season strength, fitness, and sports medicine testing to overall on-court basketball performance and injury resilience throughout the course of two collegiate basketball seasons.  Although I would be the first to admit that there are some clear limitations to this study (number of participants for example), key performance predictors (points scored, ability to rebound, block shots, etc) were NOT associated with traditional strength or performance measures so often pursued in collegiate basketball strength programs.

Over the course of the next few weeks I will review this article in detail and provide insight into how actual on-court basketball performance may be improved upon beyond simply finding better parents or recruiting.  


Predicting Performance and Injury Resilience From Movement Quality and Fitness Scores in a Basketball Team Over 2 Years

McGill, Stuart M.1; Andersen, Jordan T.1; Horne, Arthur D.2

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

July 2012



The ability to successfully predict injury resilience and competition performance from preseason testing is a very wishful goal; however, questions remain regarding this objective: Do tests of fitness have a predictive ability for injury and are there other factors that can be assessed that may predict injury? Are there specific indicators that predict performance? This study was motivated by these questions.

Attempts to understand injury mechanisms and performance sometimes consider links to fitness. Traditionally, fitness testing, at least in occupational settings, has included the assessment of strength (13), joint range of motion (ROM) (23), and physiological variables such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen uptake (2), but the performance scores in the occupational context are difficult to quantify. In contrast, there have been some studies relating fitness to sporting performance that are more tangible. In studies of ice hockey players (6,24), success could be more tangibly quantified from on-ice measures such as total minutes played and scoring chances. Green at al. stated that “goals scored” was not the best measure of hockey skill. Studies of football players suggest that those who score higher on movement quality tests have few injuries (11,12); however, preseason football combine testing is dominated by tests of strength and running speed. Recognizing that movement asymmetry and compromises to neuromuscular control have been linked to both future injury (11,12) and with having a history of back injury (17), movement assessments have been developed (3,4) and have been suggested to predict injury rates. Further, several fitness and movement tests have been implicitly assumed to predict “playing” performance by their inclusion into standard preseason tests. These include tests of endurance, strength, joint ROM, agility, and speed. The question remains as to the validity of these factors when attempting to predict injury resilience and performance.

Although links between moving well and injury resilience and performance seem intuitive, this notion remains controversial. Interestingly, some evidence suggests that fitness training alone may not ensure peak performance or injury resilience (8,20). In addition, movement quality has been suggested to predict future injury (12). A possible mechanism may be that injury changes the way a person moves as an accommodation to pain (consider, e.g., the changes in mechanics throughout the anatomical linkage when limping from foot pain). Having a history of injury, in particular back injury, appears to change movement patterns (17). Movement patterns determine important injury criteria, such as joint and tissue load, together with influencing the length of time and repetitions an individual is able to perform a task with uncompromised form. Compromised form exposes the tissues to inordinate load elevating the risk of injury. Several examples of this link are available, for example, not maintaining a neutral curve in the lumbar spine while bending and lifting decreases the tolerable load at injury (in this case tissue failure [18]); having restricted hip motion is linked to having more spine motion when bending (17). Movement competency has also been linked with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury rates, for example, having larger knee abduction moments and angles when landing from a jump predicted higher ACL injury rates (9). Given the variety of considerations for interpreting the links between movement, fitness, performance, and potential injury, the goal of this study was to first evaluate some traditional fitness test scores in a controlled athletic group that has a variety of challenging movement demands and also perform an assessment of the quality of movement. It was hoped that following a test group for a period of time would reveal links between specific fitness scores and movement quality with variables to predict injury resilience and performance. If such links exist, they could form a rationale for specific tests to be included in preseason testing.

The purpose of this study was to see if specific tests of fitness, and movement quality, could predict injury resilience and performance in a team of basketball players over 2 years (playing seasons).

It was hypothesized that in a university basketball population, (a) Preseason movement quality and fitness scores would predict in-season performance scores. (b). Preseason movement quality and fitness scores would predict in-season injury resilience.



See Dr. Stuart McGill and other world authority in Sports Medicine, Science and Performance at the 2013 BSMPG Summer Seminar - May 17 & 18 in Boston MA

Topics: Art Horne, Brian McCormick, basketball performance, basketball conference, basketball training programs, athletic training conference, Craig Liebenson, Shawn Windle, Basketball Training, Stuart McGill, Keith D'Amelio

Highlights from the 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Fri, Jun 8, 2012 @ 07:06 AM


Click below to see highlights from our 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar featuring Logan Schwartz from the University of Texas.

More highlights are set to come in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

A special thanks again to our SPONSORS!



Topics: athletic training conference, Craig Liebenson, Logan Schwartz, Cal Dietz, Bill Knowles, Chris Powers

Review of BSMPG 2012 Summer Seminar by Jason Lightfoot

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mon, Jun 4, 2012 @ 07:06 AM


I recently attended the BSMPG Summer 2012 conference, and over the course of two days I realised how little I know. I got the opportunity to hear a number of really smart people speak (including Bill Knowles, Craig Liebenson, Dr John DiMuro, Mark Toomey, Art Horne, Dr Pete Viteritti, Keith D’Amelio, Chris Powers, Irving Schrexnayder and Alan Grodin).

It was awesome.

Firstly, a huge thanks to Art Horne and the rest of the people who made the conference possible. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to make the trip across the pond for it next year.

Here’s a snapshot of my notes which I scribbled down throughout the conference.


“Injury is an opportunity to become a better athlete”.

We shouldn’t be talking about return to play, we should be talking about a return to competition.

Are any of your athletes load compromised, or joint compromised?

The return to competitive strategy should be months or years long, not weeks.

“It’s easy to get an athlete back to sport, it’s hard to keep them back”


Continue to read this review by clicking HERE.

Topics: Art Horne, Craig Liebenson, Charlie Weingroff, Andrea Hudy, Cal Dietz, Bill Knowles, Alan Grodin, Dan Boothby, Chris Powers

BSMPG Summer Seminar Photo Gallary - 2012

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 @ 07:06 AM

Another year, another success. 

View pictures from the 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar below.  For the complete photo gallary click HERE.

SAVE THE DATE: BSMPG has announced May 17-18, 2013 as the date for our next summer seminar.  Speakers will be announced soon!

Thank you again to all our attendees, speakers, sponsors, and organizers!


Chris Powers




Lunch Time!



To view the complete picture set from the 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar click HERE.



Topics: Art Horne, Craig Liebenson, Brijesh Patel, Charlie Weingroff, Cal Dietz, Dr. DiMuro, Dan Boothby, Chris Powers

Review of 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar by Jeff Cubos

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Wed, May 23, 2012 @ 06:05 AM

BSMPG Summer Seminar


Year after year, Art Horne and the gang at the Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group host their anual Summer Seminar. Having heard nothing but positive feedback from colleagues who have attended in the past, I decided that this would be the year to finally attend. Living in Western Canada, it certainly isn’t easy to travel across the continent both from a time and financial perspective, but I felt that in order to continually better myself as a professional, attendance was a must. Like many of my previous educational endeavors, it was important for me to be 100% confident that this event was grounded in “educational conducivity” and not just a place where many of my friends were going to be. However, upon looking at the speaker lineup, it was more difficult to convince myself not to attend.

Perhaps the most challenging task however, was deciding which sessions to attend. So aside from the keynote lectures where all delegates were present, I found myself attending lectures from the following: Sean Skahan, Dr. John DiMuro & Mark Toomey, Art Horne & Dr. Pete Viteritti, Joel Jamieson, and Keith D’Amelio. So…

Continue to read this review by Jeff Cubos by clicking HERE



Topics: Craig Liebenson, Charlie Weingroff, Andrea Hudy, Bruce Williams, Cal Dietz, Bill Knowles, Alan Grodin, Barefoot in Boston, Dr. DiMuro, Dan Boothby

BSMPG 2012 Summer Seminar a HUGE SUCCESS

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mon, May 21, 2012 @ 07:05 AM

Another year.... Another HUGE success!!

BSMPG would like to thank all the attendees who attended the 2012 BSMPG Summer Seminar.  We wouldn't be able to run the leading Sports Medicine & Performance Seminar in the world without the leading Sports Medicine & Performance Professionals attending each and every year.  And of course a huge thank you and shout out to all of our sponsors and speakers! 

Thank you!

Additional photos and details coming soon. We've already started planning for next year so stay tuned for details coming soon!


Here is a little sneak peak from the Photo Gallery that will be up shortly:


Joel Jamieson



Craig Liebenson



NBA coaches



BSMPG Social



IMG 2385 resized 600 

 Thanks again and it was so great to see everyone!



Topics: Art Horne, Jay DeMayo, athletic training conference, athletic training, Craig Liebenson, Brijesh Patel, Charlie Weingroff, Logan Schwartz, Andrea Hudy, Cal Dietz, Bill Knowles, Alan Grodin, Jeff Cubos, Barefoot in Boston, Dr. DiMuro