The first time I found out about Foundation Training I was in my apartment in San Diego reading an email from a family friend. The email was from a co-worker of my mother who had gone through the Foundation Training Certification and was recommending me the program to get rid of my lower back pain. Back then I was experiencing chronic back pain on a daily basis, especially when I would sit down to meditate. The pain went all the way from my lower back to my neck and shoulders. It was unbearable.
I had already tried going to a chiropractor to adjust my spine but the pain relief would only last a handful minutes. The chiropractor would adjust me, I would feel better and by the time I drove home and got off the car the pain would come back. Many times I asked my chiropractor for advice and exercises to feel better and improve my posture. He gave me a single page print-out with some basic stretches for the back. These exercises idn't help much, I still had bad posture and chronic pain. It seemed to me that the docotr cared more about me paing him for visits twice a week than my actualy health. I know I should have gone to another chiropractor but instead I found something better, Foundation Training.
The first experience I had with the Foundation Training exercises was watching a YouTube video featuring Dr. Eric Goodman. In this video Dr. Goodman explains the major common causes of back pain, bad posture and poor movement patterns. I was fascinated by the presentation, it was very clear that I had been sitting, standing and moving wrong my whole life.
The answer to resolving this patterns was simple, practice new posture and movement patterns by practicing the Foundation Training exercises. I was so convinced that this was the solution to my lower back pain that I didn’t even buy the Foundation Training Book nor the Foundation Training DVD. Instead, I simply signed up for the Foundation Training Certification. I figured that if I was going to learn this I wanted to learn it right from the begginig.
The Foundation Trainign certification was a four day intensive training program taught in Santa Barbara, California, with Dr. Eric Goodman and his team of master instructors. At the time I wanted to do the training to learn the exercises to ensure that I would do them properly. At the same time, for some particular reason, part of me knew that I was going to end up traveling the world, teaching Foundation Training and working with the Foundation Training company.
The Foundation Training Book and DVD
Two weeks before traveling to the Foundation Training certification in Santa Barbara I decided to buy the Foundation Training book and DVD. I realized that if I was going to be jumping into an intensive Foundation Training program I needed to know at least the basic Foundation Training exercises.
As soon as the book and DVD arrived I read every page in the book and began to practice the exercises in the videos. My father, who had been suffering from lower back pain for 30 years decided to try them too. At the time he had a couple of herniated disks in his low back and once in a while would get such an intense feeling of pain in his lower back that he would not be able to move for several hours.
I will never forget the feeling after trying those exercises for those first two weeks. My lower back felt like it was on fire, but it was a good burn. It felt like the muscles that were sore had never been used at all. This was a huge surprise for me considering that I had been a student athlete through high school and college. I also remember feeling stronger even after the first week, the exercises provided me with an interesting mix of physical support and confidence.
The Foundation Training Certification
Finally the first day of training came and I was excited to begin. I remember driving to Santa Barbara, singing in my car from the top of my lungs and even crying with joy. I was so excited that I missed the exit by 10 miles. I had to turn around in the highway and by the time I got to the training, I was 30 minutes late.
I walked into the room where the certification was taking place. Inside there were 25 people standing over yoga mats in a circle, there was one mat that was empty, that was my spot. I said a quiet “hello” to the group and joined the Foundation Training class that Dr. Eric Goodman was teaching. The routine was much more intense than the workouts I had been practicing at home. After the first 5 minutes I was already sweating, struggling to hold the poses Eric was teaching. It was challenging and at the same time it felt very rewarding.
The Foundation Training Certification lasted four days. During these days we did a dozen workouts and we learned each Foundation Training exercise in detail, starting with the Founder. The Founder is the first exercise that Dr. Goodman came up with. It is a modification from the traditional chair pose in yoga asana, except that the knees are held all the way back behind the heels.
By keeping the chest up with the knees and hips back the body is able to move most of the weigth from the quadriceps into the hamstrings. By doing this, the body is able to properly conect and use the posterior muscles chain. The posterior muscles chain is a chain of muscles that are connected through myofascial (connective tissue wrapping bones and muscles, tendons and ligaments). This connection allows all the muscles in the chain to work more efficient, facilitating movement while supporting and stabilizing the pelvis and spine.
Foundation Training and Yoga
Some Foundation Training exercises shares similarities with popular yoga poses such as Cobra and Forwards Fold. However, there are many differences between yoga and Foundation Training. The more noticeable is the differences in the breathing patterns and how isometric contractions are used throughout the body.
I have been studying yoga for more than 5 years and have done more than 500 hours of yoga teachder trainings. I can say with confidence that Foundation Training and yoga are not the same. None the less, someone with less experience may see a Foundation Training class and think it is a yoga class. The reason is that Foundation Training was born out of Dr. Eric Goodman’s yoga practice, but what made the difference is that he was able to modify some of the yoga poses to target the most common physical imabalnces in the modern world. These imbalances are more often thatn not caused by repetitive movement patterns which must be addressed to completly fix the problem. Dr. Goodman's background as chiropractor and personal trainer adds another layer of differences in his aproach to physical self-care.
As a student and teacher I have been able to mix Foundation Training into my yoga practice and yoga into my Foundation Training practice. They both go hand in hand, now days I use them to support the improvements my clients receive after massage therapy sessions. These tools, combined with the proper nutritional and lifestyle changes have done wonders improving the life of the people that I work with. I recommend Foundation Training to everyone looking to get rid of back pain, improve their performance and live a healthier life. Needless to say, I am not the only one.
Foundation Training Reviews by Top Athletes, Doctors and Scientists
The Foundation Training program has been very successful among top athletes in all major sports. Dr. Goodman used it to train the USA Olympic Water Polo Team that won the silver medal in Beijing in 2008. Many of the players attribute their Olympic success to the Foundation Training exercises Dr. Goodman taught them. Terry Schroeder, the Head Coach of the team said “Eric did an exceptional job of keeping the players injury free while performing at a very high level through some extremely tough months of training. In my opinion, the Foundation Training program was very critical to our success in Beijing. The team exceeded everyone's expectations and became one of the great stories of the Olympics by winning the silver medal. We stayed healthy and performed at a high level and Dr. Goodman deserves a good deal of credit.”
In addition to the USA Water Polo Team, Dr. Goodman has trained dozens of top level athletes including Peter Park, winner of two World's Toughest Triathlon titles. Lakey Peterson, World Surf Champion says “Practicing Foundation Training for the past 4 years has been one of the most critical decisions of my surfing career. I had recurring lower back problems when I was a bit younger, but since starting Foundation Training I have felt constant improvement”. Derek Fisher, 5 times NBA Champion says “Working with Eric Goodman I have reached a new level of endurance, stamina, and strength. The Foundation Training program pushes me without exhausting me, conditions me, and has completely changed the way my body moves and feels.”
Some of the most acclaimed doctors and scientist of our day also support Dr. Eric Goodman and the Foundation Training program. Dr. Mercola says “Foundation Training may offer the best of all worlds in terms of building a strong core, eliminating back pain, and promoting optimal health that goes beyond fitness” and Dr. Joan Vernikos, Former NASA Directors of Life Sciences adds “The Founder exercise is the answer to my many years of research on the negative effects of sitting”. The list goes on and on.
Summarizing My Experience with Foundation Training
By the time I completed my first Foundation Training Certification my body had transformed. My posture was better than it had ever been and my movements more gracious than I could have imagined. My yoga practice went through a radical change and my confidence levels where through the roof. Needless to say, I had finally found a way to relieve my lower back pain.
Since that day I continued to practice Foundation Training and attend more certifications. I was hired by the Foundation Training Company and I even got to live with Dr. Eric Goodman for 6 months. It was during this time that I went through massage therapy school and completed my massage therapy certification. My life changed for the better and it has continued to improve since.
Four years later, I am still practicing and teaching Foundation Training, this time in the city of Boulder, Colorado. I also teach online classes to people around the world, helping people find pain relief and more freedom of movement. My favorite student is my father, who had lower back pain for more than 30 years, and was able to fix after a month of practicing Foundation Training.
I am grateful for Dr. Eric Goodman, the Foundation Training company, team members and everyone who has supported me through this process. It has been a beautiful journey and it continues to be so. I wish you also get to experience the benefits of Foundation Training and that you get to live a life free of back pain.
I hope this article was useful and that you enjoyed the reading. If you have any questions or comments you are welcome to contact me.
Wishing you well,