Mention posture to most people and, if they think of anything, it’s someone walking around with a book balanced on their head or sitting self-consciously upright in a straight-backed chair. But listen to Dr. Eric Goodman talk about posture and you’ll be transported into a whole new mindset.
Goodman locates posture at the dead center of what he identifies as the top modern health problem: chronic pain, which so many people experience today because we sit curled forward toward a computer screen, a dinner plate, or some other device. As a result, we never develop the kind of integrated posterior chain that will keep our spines healthy as we age. So, while living in Santa Barbara and working with clients at Peter Park’s Summerland fitness facility, Goodman developed Foundation Training, a series of movements that he calls “a modern solution to a modern problem.”
It is quickly catching on, at least among elite athletes and actors. Early adopters include basketball great Derek Fisher, actors Rob Lowe and Jeff Bridges, and, in preparation for the 2008 Olympics, the entire United States men’s water polo team, whose captain Tony Azevedo asserted that Foundation Training was “one of the primary driving forces” behind their silver medal. If you’ve ever experienced back pain, you should at least search for Foundation Training on YouTube and give the 12-minute introductory workout a try.
I recently attended part of one of Goodman’s Foundation Training certification workshops at the Narrative Loft on Calle César Chávez. What I saw was a roomful of people of all shapes and sizes coming together to stick out their butts and stretch forward with their chests and hands. Goodman developed this “founder” movement to “recruit the back muscles and anchor the posterior chain.” By getting the fascia running all the way from the heels to the head to work together, Foundation Training allows the individual to decompress his or her spine. While it takes time and dedication to achieve the maximum positive effect, the results in terms of pain relief and, yes, improved posture can be felt in the first session.
For more info and upcoming classes, see foundationtraining.com.