Local Chiropractor teaches famed method to develop the “new” core.
By Marissa Maier
I don’t consider myself to be particularly athletic. I do yoga and run occasionally, but other than this I do very little exercise. On a Monday morning when local chiropractor Glenn Goodman was about to give me a brief tutorial in the new Foundation technique I was obviously at first a little faint of heart. But as we flowed from one posture to the next the exercises became more enlightening than burdensome. With my hips pulled back, arms stretched towards the sky and knees slightly bent, I was noticing muscles deep in my back that I honestly hadn’t felt in years.
The Foundation program, developed by Goodman’s nephew Dr. Eric Goodman, focuses on strengthening the back, or as Goodman calls it “the new core.” While many other forms of exercise emphasize the abdominal muscles, Foundation pays equal if not more attention to the rear of the body, and with good reason. At his Sag Harbor-based chiropractic office, Goodman noted that most of his clients seek out his services to alleviate back pain.
“The largest number of cases that any chiropractor sees is back pain, usually in the lower back,” Goodman added. “The Foundation has become the most efficient and effective technique I have ever found to get people out of pain and increase their performance athletically.”
The program itself was created out of Eric’s back problems. As a water polo player, surfer and all around athletic guy, Eric has suffered from back pain due to his years of activity. As the pain wasn’t fully resolved through yoga, chiropractic or acupuncture, Eric started to developed his own method to strengthen this core area and laid the groundwork for the Foundation. He was also working as a professional trainer at the time and was able to test out this new technique on his clients. But his “big break,” as Goodman calls it, came when he was asked to be the chiropractor for the U.S. Water Polo team, who were soon to compete in the Olympics.
“They were bottom ranked and then they were silver medaled without injury,” Goodman remarked, highlighting the rarity of an Olympic team competing without a single injury.
After joining forces with Peter Palk, the official strength and conditioning coach for Lance Armstrong, the Foundation has slowly collected a cadre of well-known followers. From Los Angeles Lakers basketball players to 10-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater to celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, the Foundation is gaining both traction and fame in the world of professional sports and beyond. Eric and Palk are set to publish a book on the Foundation in May 2011 with a forward written by fan Lance Armstrong.
While the Foundation classes are continually taught privately and at a studio in Santa Barbara, Goodman is the only practitioner of the technique on the East Coast. He is just finishing a series of Foundation classes at One Ocean Yoga in Bridgehampton and will start another course, at a yet to be determined location in January.
Though athletes and movie stars are notable followers of the Foundation, Goodman pointed out that the technique is accessible to anyone, from the novice to the advanced. The movements themselves, while slightly challenging to hold, are simple and straightforward. As the Foundation method also draws from yoga and Pilates, Goodman likes to give his Foundation routines a flow which is similarly found in Vinyasa yoga, seamlessly moving from one position to the next. He also explains that the technique specifically concentrates on a group of muscles called the posterior chain — which extends from the hamstrings to the back. Toning these muscles strengthens the back to both alleviate pain and increase athletic ability.
For those on a time crunch, Goodman teaches a shortened 20-minute routine to make the practice workable for any hectic life. As one local Foundation devotee observed, Goodman is like a dentist who is simply teaching his clients how to keep their teeth clean.
“The key is daily dipping,” he noted. “They can create their own personal short routine that is just simple so they can do it on a regular basis.”