What is Foundation Training in Fitness?

The human body was designed to move, run, walk, squat, lift, push, and jump. To survive, we had to have the strength and mobility to perform our daily functions. That is to say—we had to have a foundation for building the skills required to live. 

But now, we don’t need to be fit to survive. Over the last few hundred years, we’ve created a new way of life for ourselves, one revolving around enterprise, productivity, and the power of the mind. This incredible world we have built has a significant downside. We tend to neglect our physical bodies because our minds are so much more powerful now that we’ve automated and outsourced the activities we used to perform for survival. 

As a result, our bodies are suffering. We have aches and pains, and we injure quite easily. We’ve accidentally overlooked some muscles in favor of others. Many have been forgotten entirely. 

While this sounds a little sad to hear, there is always a silver lining: we can train our bodies to support those daily functions that we have stopped focusing on! 

There are many ways to strengthen your body to get it running at an optimal level, and in this article, we’re going to focus specifically on foundation fitness training. What is it? Where did it come from? Who is it for? 

Keep reading to find out. 

What is Foundation Training? 

Foundation training is a style of exercise created in 2007 by Eric Goodman, a chiropractor in training looking for a solution to his back problems. He set out to find an antidote for the pains of modern life, especially sitting in front of the computer or cell phone while our backs grow weaker by the day.

Specifically, Foundation training emphasizes the posterior chain: the muscles up the backs of our legs and around our spine. We used to have to use these muscles all the time, but now that we’re more stationary in our day-to-day activities, these muscles have suffered the most. 

This group’s primary muscles are glutes, calves, hamstrings, latissimus dorsi, and erector spinae. Developing this group of muscles is absolutely essential if you want to move smoothly and without injury. 

Foundation training does an amazing job of emphasizing concentric, eccentric, and isometric exercise. This means that it emphasizes movements that contract your muscles, movements that lengthen your muscles, and movements that you hold to strengthen those muscles. Utilizing a combination of these movements add to not only strength but also mobility and overall function. 

Who is it for?

One of the most amazing aspects of foundation training and foundation movement is that it can help absolutely anyone. 

When it comes to athlete performance, foundation strength training can provide muscle efficiency, longevity to keep you in the game, and a new path to recovering from injuries. For those who are just looking to feel a little better in their day-to-day lives, foundation training can simply be a way to approach any activity with less pain

How do I do it?

Fortunately for those who love incorporating at-home workouts into our routines, foundation training is all about bodyweight. 

At the root of foundation training is a hinging motion. After all, being able to bend over and grab things is one of the most essential human movements. We’re made to pick up food, firewood, babies—you name it—so starting here makes perfect sense. This is where a lot of the movement will come from, which might be difficult at first but will make more and more sense to your body over time. 

12-Minute Foundation Training

Fortunately, this type of exercise was made famous by the 12-minute foundation training video, which was a quick workout developed for Lance Armstrong to support his body after the end of his cycling career, which was imbalanced because of the nature of cycling. The video is still available online for you to follow along. 

In case you’re curious about what to expect, the key position of foundation training has your weight in your heels, your chest up, hips back, knees bent, and arms out in front of you. If you’re already a yoga enthusiast, this looks a little bit like a chair pose—the major movements of foundation training stem from there. 

Foundation strength training is a fantastic opportunity for us to take our performance to the next level. It’s a step into fitness for those looking for a place to start, a recovery method for those that need some extra support, and an excellent supplement for the fitness buffs out there who hope to protect themselves from future injury. 

There is a space for everyone in functional fitness training, so give the video a watch, consider giving these exercises a try (and give it at least two weeks of practice while these muscles build before you decide whether or not you like it), and enjoy a new opportunity to support your body! You can try a functional training workout at any of our locations. Stop in and take a tour today!

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