Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Review: Foundation Training

I had seen Foundation Training come up a few times and wondered what it was about.  The name is catchy, and since I base my training on building the core, or building a foundation to work from, I just had to see what it was all about.  I found the book on Amazon, and since it was fairly inexpensive, I bought it.  Honestly, I thought I would be getting a program with the same core stabilization exercises I use, but in a different order, or slight variation.  What I found was far from what I expected.
Foundation Training: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move With Confidence by Dr. Eric Goodman and Peter Park is far from the ordinary.  The exercises are all bodyweight, and can be done anywhere.  The workouts begin simple and have three stages of progression. While the focus of the book is on back pain, I feel as though it is very important to use these exercises for back pain prevention, core stability, and flexibility.   The other main focus is on posture and teaching correct movement patterns.
As we do more sitting in our daily lives, at work, the car, or at home, we are creating poor posture.  Our bodies are not designed to sit.  The results are a underactive posterior chain of muscles, internally rotated shoulders, and a forward leaning head.  These all lead to back pain, poor hip function, and knee issues.
Information handed down from Physical Therapists and Sports Science has taught us something very important about the core: it is not all about the abdomen.  Foundation Training redefines the core, stating that it is primarily the posterior chain that supports the body.  This statement is supported by the latest science, so if you are still doing endless crunches, sit ups, or ab dominant core workouts, STOP NOW!  You are creating dysfunction that will lead to injury.
Foundation trains you to use your most powerful muscles properly, creating lasting power and flexibility throughout the most important areas of your body.
Foundation training also teaches correct movement patterns.  Once you get the hang of the simple exercises, you will be moving far better, especially while squatting, where many people have difficulties.  After just a couple of workouts, you will have a better posture.  As I have incorporated Foundation Training into my workouts, as well as my clients and athletes, we have all noticed feeling taller.
Rather than taxing the muscles that are not meant to work so hard, you will learn to move in a way that allows the posterior chain to do its job with integrated, powerful movement.
The book begins with a great explanation of what is going on with your core, movement patterns, and posture.  There are great pictures which also show muscles being used.  The book ends with a chapter on Foundation Lifestyle, and a chapter Training The Foundation Way.
This book is a must have for anyone who has any amount of back pain.  It is also a must have if you spend a lot of time sitting for work or driving.  Foundation Training is good for anyone from the unconditioned person starting a fitness routine, to the elite athlete.  I find Foundation Training to be an invaluable addition to my core strength program.

Buy the book: Foundation Training 

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