Strengthen Your Core Through Your Posterior Chain

posterior_chainYou often hear about the impor­tance of strength­en­ing your core. This is so true and impor­tant, but the focus for how to do it, has been misleading.
Many peo­ple are told that they have back pain because of weak abdom­i­nal mus­cles. In fact, devel­op­ing strong abdom­i­nal mus­cles and other frontal core mus­cles more than devel­op­ing your pos­te­rior core may actu­ally make you more prone to back injuries. This is because the abdom­i­nal mus­cles do lit­tle to con­tribute to the struc­tural sta­bil­ity of the body nor do they have a big role in facil­i­tat­ing proper movement.
Foun­da­tion train­ing, devel­oped by Dr Eric Good­man rede­fines the core to strengthen. The focus is on the pos­te­rior chain of mus­cles. This includes your ham­strings, glutes, erec­tor spinae mus­cles (the long mus­cles along your spine) and adduc­tor mus­cles. The exer­cises teach all those mus­cles to work together through inte­grated chains of move­ment, which is how you’re struc­turally designed to move, as opposed to com­part­men­tal­ized move­ments like crunches, Dr Good­man shares.
One of the exer­cises, the Founder, takes the entire pos­te­rior chain of mus­cles and pulls them together. The exer­cises add as many mus­cles into a given move­ment as pos­si­ble, which dis­perses more force through­out the body, tak­ing fric­tion away from your joints and putting that ten­sion into your muscles.
The exer­cises espe­cially help peo­ple who are sit­ting all day, dri­ving long peri­ods, look­ing down at cell phones long peri­ods and sit­ting on the couch watch­ing tv. In these posi­tions the body becomes flex­ion dom­i­nant, with the front of the body short­en­ing. This leads to poor pos­ture, spinal injuries, short­en­ing of the abdomen, short­en­ing of the hip flex­ors, for­ward posi­tion of the head, and rolled for­ward shoul­ders. Breath­ing also becomes lim­ited in this slumped for­ward pos­ture, not allow­ing for full oxy­gena­tion of the body.
The spine can eas­ily become sub­lux­ated or mis­aligned in this state. As chi­ro­prac­tors we notice with the dom­i­nance of flat screen devices and work habits, con­stant sit­ting is becom­ing like the new “smok­ing.” As a sup­ple­ment to cor­rec­tive chi­ro­prac­tic care, we often pre­scribe Foun­da­tion type exer­cises and pos­tures, strength­en­ing the pos­te­rior chain, to retrain the body to move how it was designed to, with grace, flex­i­bil­ity and power.
Foun­da­tion: Rede­fine Your Core, Con­quer Back Pain, and Move with Con­fi­dence, by Eric Good­man, Peter Park