You can’t overhaul your body overnight, no matter what the quick-fix training plans promise. Big transformations are a result of a series of small changes. And that’s the precise philosophy foundation training was founded on.
But what is foundation training? It’s a style of exercise that emphasizes the posterior chain: the muscles up the backs of our legs and around our spine. You can see it as an antidote to the modern lifestyle. As you know, most of us spend our days in front of the computer — that’s a huge toll on our backs.
Foundation training focuses on movements that contract, lengthen and strengthen your muscles, fundamental traits if you want to move smoothly and injury-free.
So, how exactly does foundation training work?
Picture your body as a series of pulleys. To build strength, your muscles need both lengthening and tension. Foundation training focuses on muscles that are often weak, even in experienced gym-goers. These weak muscles lessen the efficiency of those pulleys and create havoc in the body.
Through a series of bodyweight exercises that activate the posterior chain muscle groups, you can protect part of your body more prone to stress and injury with your stronger core muscles. These include the glutes, thighs, lower back, adductors, hip flexors, and deep ab muscles. All of them activate your core in a way that delivers numerous benefits.
Foundation training: the benefits
1 – Pain prevention
Let’s start at the beginning: foundation training exists thanks to Dr. Eric Goodman. After years of back problems, Goodman was told he would need surgery. Believing there must be an alternative, Dr. Goodman (who was in chiropractic school at the time) utilised his knowledge of physiology, anatomy, and exercise to find a solution. His visionary solution was this: training which activates the large posterior muscles to take pressure off the spine, restoring nerve and lower back function and not only preventing but correcting pain. His method has helped people of all ages and backgrounds to ease lifelong pain. All that by tweaking their posture habits to work with gravity, not against it. Radically simple, right?
2 – Progressive performance
Maintaining spine health is crucial for anyone serious about upping their fitness game. But it’s not only injury prevention that makes foundation training a hit. From Tour de France cyclists to Olympic athletes, professionals use foundation training to enhance and progress performance. With as many muscles as possible working together, the training technique is designed to disperse more force and energy throughout your body.
3 – The way nature intended
At EVO, we strongly believe that movement is not an intervention – it’s nature’s way. Foundation training uses movements that come naturally to our body, those which we’ve gradually lost due to our modern lifestyles. Once you get back into the habit of adjusting your posture, you’ll be able to reprogram your brain to move in a more mindful and efficient manner.
4 – Creates length in your body
The front of your body is where most of the over-tightened, over-shortened muscles live. By strengthening muscles at the back of your body, every exercise in foundation training aims to lengthen and loosen those at the front. Decompressing your spine through foundation training has a positive effect on your posture. All this helps you to stand taller, with power and confidence.
5 – Better on your joints
Why let your knees and elbows endure strain and friction, when you can place the tension into your core muscles instead? Foundation training uses full-body movements to engage your proper core muscles. This will help you move with more strength, grace, and flexibility (without the creaks and clicks).
Lance Armstrong is such a fan of this type of exercise that Dr. Eric Goodman himself even created a workout for him. It’s available for your to try here.