Foundation Training to Treat or Prevent Chronic Back Pain


Improve Your Performance, Eliminate Pain, and Strengthen Your Core

By Katherine Maguid

When Maia Ignatz broke her back after a cliff-jumping accident, she didn’t know how, if at all, she would fully recover. But through persistence and dedication to healing, along with a new and relatively radical form of core strengthening exercises called Foundation Training, Maia fully recovered. But she also went on to found her own massage business and to become the amateur XTerra Triathlon World Champion in her age group.

Foundation Training was created by Santa Barbara chiropractor Dr. Eric Goodman, who developed it as a way of treating his own chronic back pain. A unique series of exercises that focus on strengthening the posterior chain of muscles, Foundation Training can benefit everyone—whether you’re an elite athlete or someone who spends most of the time seated in front of a computer.

According to Maia, “It’s that seated position that stretches and weakens both our anterior and posterior core muscles—sometimes so much so that we end up in pain.” Foundation Training is specifically designed to target and activate those muscles, encourage proper movement patterns, and stabilize the pelvis. By opening up the anterior side of our bodies and strengthening the posterior side, it provides a comprehensive approach to core stabilization.

So, everyone can benefit from Foundation Training. “We spend so much of our time seated,” Maia says, “and that—combined with poor posture and aging—leads to our muscles becoming weaker in general.”

The Foundation Training website offers information and helpful resources. “But people will ultimately learn how to perform the exercises in the best way possible for their individual bodies if they can take at least one private session first,” says Maia, who was one of only thirty people selected to participate in the first Foundation Training certification program in December 2012. She now offers both private and group sessions of Foundation Training.

“Without proper movement integrity and a strong core, the health and strength of your body will become compromised,” says Maia. “You may become prone to injury or pain because you have dysfunctional movement or compensation patterns. But, if you have a really strong core, you will be a stronger and healthier individual.”

Click each image to enlarge (and print!)






Last modified: May 20, 2013

5 Responses to :
Foundation Training to Treat or Prevent Chronic Back Pain

  1. stephanie says:

    you notice…nobody’s saying anything

  2. Lauren says:

    I’m saying my back & hips are killing me!

  3. Cal Gerberding says:

    This is Great Movement!! Been at it for 3 months, and really improved my cycling, climbing experience! Thanks Eric & Pete!

  4. Amy Musto says:

    I’ve been doing the 3 examples you have here and I do feel the muscles they are targeting. I’m very hopefull this will prevent future back episodes. I wasn’t sure if it was enough to do one rep of each pose?

    1. Maia says:

      It is recommended to do these exercises frequently and properly. In the beginning, you might hold each exercise/pose for 15-20 sec, and increase the duration as you get stronger. These exercises are a universal accessory or bookend to any activity (or inactivity). 15-20 min each day is a great goal, but if you can only seem to fit it in 2-3 times a week, you will still see some benefit.

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