Tuesday, January 01, 2008

"Scientific Back Training"

This course by Paul Chek changed my life in so many ways that looking back on it now it's hard to believe how I came to take it. I found it in 1997 totally by accident when I saw Chek's course on " squatology" advertised somewhere and, being the total squat freak at the time, I wanted to read everything and anything on squatting that might make my poundages go up.

Of course it had very little to do with competition power squatting but when I realized the whole course was little more than the price of the one tape I got and took the entire course.Little did I know it would form the basis of my corrective exercise work with my injured clients and then my injured self just a few years later.

It also introduced me to the work of Vladmir Janda and the entire concept of Length/Tension relationships, tonic and phasic muscles and achieving real balance of the musculature of the body by looking at the interconnectedness of everything in the body.the body as a total unit working together,not just a conglomeration of disparate parts.

I went back and looked over the course manual again a few days ago and really gained a new appreciation for the amount of great information included in this course that still holds up perfectly well ten years later.Here is the table of contents:

Gross Anatomy:

1) transverospinalis group

2) erector spinae group

3) Important back musculature

4) abdominal musculature

5) thoracolumbar fascia and related musculature

6) intra abdominal pressure

7) hydraulic amplifier mechanism

8) erectors vs abdominal musculature as rotators and stabilizers

9) spino Scapulo musculature as back muscles

10) shoulder girdle position and its influence on thoracic curvature

11) gleno-humeral and spino scapular force couple mechanisms

12) hip extension mechanism sagittal plane

13) frontal and transverse plane force couples

14) understanding lumbo pelvic rythym

15) posterior ligamentous system vs hyperlordosis

16) lumbar disc pressures as a % of standing and in various postures

17)Understanding lumbo pelvic rythym and lumbar lifting posture in conclusion

18) reading the back

19) facilitation of tonic muscles

20) posture curves and exercise selection

21) determining pelvic tilt and lumbar lordosis

22) recognizing spinal rotations

23) the importance of quality neuromuscular motor patterning ( flow chart)

24) facts about motor learning

25) neutral spine philosophy


1) floor exercises

2) horse stance

3) squatology the science of squatting without injury

4) squatting with a relative flexibility imbalance


Anyone intersted in taking this corresponce course can find it here on Cheks website. Pretty in depth stuff but I found it, as well as his High Performance Core Cnditioning course invaluable for my own training as well as for my clients.If you don't know your anatomy and kinesiology you will after digesting all of this,lol!


Jordan Vezina said...

Good post. I've been interested in this course for a while, and here's just one more reason to get on board with it.

Mark Reifkind said...

I can't recommmend it enough.thanks.

Mark Reifkind said...

jordan I see we are neighbors; you're in mountain view eh? cool stuff. I'm going to link to your blog if that's ok.

Jordan Vezina said...

I take it as a great compliment Mark, thanks. Yes, I'm down the street in Mountain View.

Mike T Nelson said...

Hi there Rif!
What do they mean by
"7) hydraulic amplifier mechanism"
Just curious
Mike N

Mark Reifkind said...


" as the erector spinae musculature contract they expand. Because they are encased in a shealth of thoracolumbar fascia their expansion creates intercompartmental press( icp). This ICP creates "hoopt tension" within the facial sheath, with the net effect being apressure or hydraulic erection force."

Mark Reifkind said...

thats "hoop" not hoopt tension.mike this was in contrext of a comparison with the muscular mechanism of creating tension vs using the elastic energy of the ligamentous tissue( classic arched vs round back lifting discussion).

Mike T Nelson said...

Thanks for the clarification. I figured it was hoop since that makes more sense. See---all those graduate classes in mechanical engineering are paying off now! Hehehe
Take Care