I’m beyond honored to have Dr. Eric Goodman of Foundation Training here on the blog today. I first heard of Eric’s core training method when I was living and working in Santa Barbara. As a Pilates professional I admire and respect professionals who are providing safe, effective and intentional exercises to help people move and live more comfortably in their own bodies. Eric does just that. Today he is shedding light on “the core” that we often talk about and provides an exercise that will help to improve your strength and posture. Enjoy!
As concise as possible, the pelvis is where your body is built to have the most stability, therefore any muscle that directly connect to the pelvis should be considered a piece of your core. The pelvis, the center of your body’s stability, is anchored and balanced by the tissue immediately surrounding it. Your athletic ability, flexibility, and strength are all dependent on a powerful pelvis.
In order to most effectively stabilize your pelvis you need to take an integrated approach at strengthening all of the muscles surrounding it. The days of the abs and obliques are long gone, it’s time to look at the core in a more complete way.
Here is a look at our body’s core muscle hierarchy:
1. Glute muscle groups: These are the powerhouses of the body. They do not work alone though, they need a strong low back and long hamstrings to do their job.
2. Adductor muscle group: This is your built in traction system. When the adductor group of muscles remains strong you have a significant increase in hip stability, arch height in the feet, and a pelvic brace from a couple of the strongest muscles in the body.
3. The lower back muscles: These muscles facilitate the proper function of the Adductor and Glute groups and have an important role integrating the Posterior Chain of Muscles. When the low back is weak the hamstrings are able to remain shortened and the lower spine becomes a primary bending point. When the lower back is strong enough to resist bending it acts to work with the glutes, adductors and hamstrings to support the entire torso. A weak lower back is the primary cause of most injuries throughout the entire body. Simply put, a weak lower back changes every aspect of your movement patterns.
3. The abdomen and hip flexors facilitate the proper lengthening and tension among the posterior chain muscles. Think of the front of your body as a window that shows what is happening at the spine. When you learn how to keep the hip flexors at their most effective length, your posterior chain of muscles is able to connect more effectively.
4. The Transverse Abdominal muscle: This is built of horizontal muscle fibers and when they contract it acts as a belt that fastens the muscles in place. Think of this muscle as a built in bracing system. When the transverse abdominus is tightened against the other muscles among this core group, the entire system becomes stronger.
CLICK HERE to view a demonstration of Foundation Training’s signature core exercise: the founder.
Dr. Eric Goodman is creator of the innovative exercise and rehabilitation program called Foundation Training. Eric acts as a consultant to numerous Doctors, strength coaches, athletes, celebrities, and severe chronic pain sufferers around the world. Eric has been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and National television programs for his thought provoking theory about human movement and chronic pain. Eric and Foundation Training co-author Peter Park’s first book, Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain and Move with Confidence was released in May 2011 followed shortly after by their first instructional workout DVD in early 2012. Eric lives in Santa Barbara, California where he walks in the mountains, surfs in the ocean, and teaches people to help themselves feel better every chance he gets.