Dr. Eric Goodman smiling and wearing a blue shirt.
Dr. Eric Goodman

Why you need Dr. Eric Goodman’s Foundation Training

Dr. Eric Goodman

Back pain sucks.

Give a strong, confident person a good dose of back pain and it can reduce them to a hunched-over, tired shadow of their normal self.

We all know people like this. It might be your dad, who after years of manual work can no longer drive for more than 30 minutes because of his pain, and so visiting friends and family is a struggle.

It might be your friend who used to run marathons but now squirms when tying their shoelaces. Or it could be a work colleague, who “threw out their back” when they were trying to move the new printer into the office and is still waiting for their claim to be processed so they can progress with their treatment.

Dr. Eric Goodman knows this pain well.

Centr Founder Chris Hemsworth performs a dumbbell snatch in the gym.

Centr founder Chris Hemsworth has used Foundation Training to build a more injury-resilient body.

“I had back injuries since I was 19,” Eric says.

“By 27 I was so frustrated. I had been to several doctors along the way, I tried lots of rehabilitation, I tried lots of conventional exercise therapies and it just wasn't working for me. Eventually, I was told I needed fusion surgery.”

Instead of going under the knife, Eric began researching the posterior chain muscles and learned how they could be trained to better support the spine. He realized that while surgery or medication could provide relief, it wouldn’t necessarily address the root cause of his pain.

Foundation Training emerged from Dr. Goodman's refusal to accept surgery as his only option. Having seen the impact this style of training has had on his own body and how it helped to eliminate chronic pain, Eric is on a mission to get Foundation Training into the hands of everybody.

Combining breathing exercises and mindful movements, Foundation Training is effective for addressing existing pain and as a proactive approach to prevent future injuries. Centr’s founder Chris Hemsworth is a huge fan – he credits Foundation Training with easing his stiffness and allowing him to train at his peak when he bulked up for his role as Thor.

So what is Foundation Training, and how can it help you to reach your full potential?

What is Foundation Training?

Foundation Training is a series of bodyweight exercises designed to help you move better, improve posture, reduce pain and boost overall well-being. Using mindful movement, Foundation Training emphasizes strengthening the posterior chain, which supports the spine.

By strengthening and learning to use these muscles through posture and breathwork, you’ll start to correct the imbalances that come about because of our modern lives – think sitting too much and hunching over screens.

The beauty of Foundation Training is that it can be completed in just a few minutes a day. The exercises can be done anywhere, at any time, with no equipment. The training leverages your natural strength and ability and shows you how gravity can help counterbalance the negative impacts of inactivity and sitting.

Who can benefit from Foundation Training?

Anyone can benefit from Foundation Training. Well-known practitioners include Chris Hemsworth – of course – as well as Matthew McConaughey and surf champ Lake Peterson, though there are plenty of not-so-famous faces reaping the benefits of Foundation Training. Here are a few:

Athletes: Foundation Training targets the athletic trifecta – performance, longevity and better recovery. This style of training can help create efficient movement patterns that make the most of the muscles, which prevents breakdown and promotes durability. Incorporating the training into daily routines also helps to improve breathing capacity and body awareness.

Anyone with an active career: We’re talking paramedics, firefighters, nurses, outdoor guides – the list goes on. If your job requires heavy lifting, time on your feet or high-impact movement, Foundation Training can fortify your body so you can spend more time doing what you love.

Office workers: If you spend most of your time sitting at a desk, odds are you have problems with your posture. Slouching, hunching – we all do it. And though we rarely notice our posture during work hours, that time spent slouching can have a huge impact on our lives away from the desk. Unfair, right? Fortunately, strengthening those supporting muscles through Foundation Training will not only keep you upright in the office but also have you loosened up come the evening, weekend or your next vacation.

Try this Foundation Training move for back pain

Curious about what Foundation Training looks like in action?

“The Founder is an exercise that teaches people how to fully recruit and strengthen the muscles of the posterior chain (the back of your legs, hips and back),” says Dr. Eric.

“It also reinforces proper movement and assists spinal decompression. The technique might look simple, but performing it correctly can be a challenge for anyone (even if you’ve got six-pack abs and glutes like an NFL linebacker).”

Frequently asked questions about Foundation Training

What does Foundation Training do?
Foundation Training strengthens the posterior chain to support the spine. It uses your natural strength and gravity to help counterbalance the negative effects of inactivity and sitting. The movements and breathing exercises can be completed anywhere and require no equipment.

What are the principles of foundation training?
Foundation Training isn’t just about teaching you a series of exercises – the principles of this modality will teach your body how to move for strength, stability and freedom. It does this through targeting:

  • Your feet, the foundation of your body’s strength and stability
  • Your breathing, which when done correctly (in Foundation Training this is called ‘decompression breathing’) can bring length to the spine
  • Your whole body, working as one. With a particular focus on the posterior chain (the back of your legs, hips and back), Foundation Training strengthens the chains of muscles throughout your body, because nothing works (or hurts) alone.

How often should I do Foundation Training?
If you have existing back pain or discomfort, Dr. Eric Goodman recommends 15–20 minutes a day for the best results. Some people see improvements from just a few sessions a week, though it does depend on personal circumstances. As with anything, you should create a daily routine that works for you and stick to it as best you can.

Why is Foundation Training important?
Modern life is not great for our bodies. Many of us spend our days sedentary or hunched over a computer, so we need a way to counterbalance the compression – enter Foundation Training. It strengthens the core muscles essential for everyday functioning. Without this strengthening, we leave ourselves open to back pain and other issues.

What is foundation strength?
Foundation strength is the baseline strength you need to develop to support a healthy, pain-free way of moving. It’s foundational because it’s the strength you need to support everything else you do – from lifting weights to running or playing sports.

Where can I try Foundation Training?
You’re in the right place. All Centr members get access to Foundation Training sessions with Dr. Eric Goodman. After all, it helped Chris, our founder, so much – how could we not make it available to you? Start your free trial today to unlock Foundation Training and more functional fitness guides on Centr.

Important: If your back pain was caused by a specific injury, see a medical professional.

Want more advice on pain-free movement?

Dr. Eric Goodman

As the creator of Foundation Training, Dr. Eric Goodman has made it his mission to help people manage chronic pain and improve performance. A chiropractor with expertise in physiology and biomechanics, his exercises will help you retrain your body to take the strain off your spine and joints. Eric is also the author of True to Form, which features a foreword by Chris Hemsworth.

Dr. Eric Goodman

Sign up to unlock your full potential

All your tools in one place

Expert-training to fuel your fitness, nutrition and mindfulness.

Limitless ways to fuel your mind & body

Access to over 3,000 workouts, recipes, and meditations – all tailored to your goals.

Tech that keeps you moving

Download Centr on all your devices to level up and track your results live.