By Devon McGregor –
For several weeks leading up to October 10th, I had been looking forward to my trip to New York. And, although I have visited this great city that is home to Lady Liberty and nearly 8.5 million of her citizens on many occasions before, this experience, I knew, would be special.
I don’t often use the word REVOLUTIONARY lightly. That kind of word is usually reserved to describe Apple’ iconic products. Never before have I used that word to describe a fitness modality. However, FOUNDATION TRAINING is, in my opinion, revolutionary.
Created by Dr. Eric Goodman, an easy to like Californian, Foundation Training (FT) “is a series of exercises based on integrating the muscular chains of the body.” Dr. Goodman explains that his: “Exercises begin with the Posterior Chain of Muscles to quickly stabilize your spine and core because our modern lifestyles leave most of these muscles weak and imbalanced.” Let me paraphrase for him: Foundation Training is probably the most challenging sequence of exercises that I have ever done. From the very first exercise, you will engage your muscles so tightly that you will begin to shake. You will sweat so much that you will hear a voice inside of your head asking: “Why did you wear so much damn clothes?” And did I ever discover that fact from the very first time I tried the exercises. I had my ass handed to me. Since then, I do them daily because it just feels really good. Afterwards.
For years, like Eric Goodman, I’d been experiencing chronic back problems. I mostly kept it a secret, but feared that I would require surgery at some point in the future. I faked the concerns, pain & the fear that I had really well. You guessed it, Foundation Training has changed that for me. And, I couldn’t be any more thrilled!
At Balance Fitness, nearly all of our staff, including Personal Trainers, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Pilates, Feldenkrais & Yoga Practitioners instruct our clients in Foundation Training with incredible results. Some of our members practice it when they travel! Even the athletes we work with have been humbled by Foundation Training.
According to Dr. Goodman: “All ages and fitness abilities can benefit from Foundation Training because it teaches your body to move as nature intended.”
Foundation Training was first introduced to us by my colleague at Balance, Eva Quan. I was so impressed by the exercises introduced in Eric Goodman’ TedxTalk, I performed them several times over one weekend. I found then, as I still do now, that the stronger I get, the harder the exercises have become.
Goodman’ Foundation Training has cemented my own views on what was believed to be proper human movement. Perhaps not so coincidentally, all of the exercises performed during Foundation Training involve FLEXION, EXTENSION & ROTATION, the primary movements that I’ve discussed in an earlier blog. However, the key to this incredible movement modality is how effectively it strengthens your posterior chain. That is, the muscles that start at your heels, travel up your calves, hamstrings, glutes, lower and upper back, concluding at your neck and the base of your skull. But, do not be fooled. The rest of your body is also placed under tremendous tension as it supports, or provides a firm “handshake” to your posterior chain.
It is really challenging. If you are an elite athlete, or believe that you are really strong, try Foundation Training. If you have been practicing yoga, Pilates, CrossFit or Functional Training for years, Try Foundation Training. You will all be humbled. However, in a very short period of time, often on the first day, you will feel really good. And, much stronger.
If you have not, yet, heard of or tried Foundation Training, you will and should. If you believe that you know your body, you don’t. If you believe that you have nothing new to learn, you are wrong. If you believe that the modalities that you currently practice are the only answers to your improved fitness, Foundation Training will enhance it.
And so, I find myself in Rihanna’s new hometown, Soho, taking part in this most revolutionary modality. For the past 2 days, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., I have, along with nearly 40 other participants, put myself through some of the most challenging exercises that you could ever imagine. Humbly, the only weight that I have used for resistance, so far, is my own body weight. And still, I have two more days to go!