For those of you looking for a simple, effective approach to core strengthening and back pain relief, I highly recommend Foundation Training. Developed by chiropractor Dr. Eric Goodman, this unique, yoga-esque approach strengthens the deep spinal muscles and large postural muscle groups through a combination of isometric (sustained hold) and mobility exercises.Much of the success of the program lies in its emphasis on creating back muscle strength, rather than just abdominal strength. Too many core exercise programs focus merely on the abdominal muscles, forgetting that much of back pain relief, good posture, and functional mobility lies in strengthening the muscles of the spine itself. For a society facing an epidemic of excessive sitting and core de-conditioning, it is critical that we target these muscle groups effectively and safely. As such, I feel that a program like Foundation Training, done several times per week, is a must for maintaining spinal health.
As with any new program, start out slowly and gradually. Though the protocols may look simple and straight-forward, they target areas that few of us use often. So, take your time working up to even the basic workouts suggested in Foundation Training. Aim to spend 15-20 minutes on these exercises every other day, and watch your back pain ease and your mobility improve within even the first week.