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Blog, Training

In the first part of this serie I talked about the concept behind Foundation Training and why it’s useful in particular for triathletes. If you haven’t read the article please go ahead and check it out first before you continue reading – Founadtion Training for triathletes – Part 1

In this part I would like to talk about how I personally use Foundation Training in my daily routine. I am a big fan of daily routines and the Foundation Training excercises are great as a morning kick start routine. I keep the excercises short, as I don’t want them to consume too much of my time in the morning. 

The reason why I’d like to do these excercises in the morning after I wake up is to loosen up those muscles in my lower back. It’s also a breathing excercise at the same time, so I can combine some muscle strengthing and activation with some deep breathing. 

It’s important before you begin doing the excercises to properly study and learn them. They are not difficult but it needs a bit of training first to make sure you do them correctly. The right posture is very important to get the most out of the excerise. 

I have purchased the Foundation Training Videos from their website. You can download them for $59 from hereThey teach you every single excercise in a very simple and easy to understand way. If you don’t want to purchase the videos I recommend to check out some youtube videos or visit the website www.vancesimpson.com where you’ll find good introduction materials.

My morning routine

To keep things simple, I basically run the following 6 sequences in the morning. Each sequence takes about 1-2 minutes. I stay in each position for 3 slow deep breaths. 

After I finished the sequences I usually engage in some more deep breathing excercises and some medidation. I find these excercises to be really helpful in strenghtening my back, in particular the lumbar area. I noticed some improvements already after doing the excercises for a few weeks.

Does it translate to better performance in triathlon? Well I can’t answer this question yet but as I get stronger in my back it has definitelly helped in my cycling where I sometimes experienced some lower back tightness on those longer rides. I feel my overall posture has improved as well. 

As I will continue with Foundation Training I will keep you updated how it goes and provide some more insights in my next post of this serie. 

If you have already used Foundation Training and have some personal impressions, please feel free to share them with me, as I am curious how other people go with this training. 

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Blog, Training

In this 3 part series I want to talk a little bit about my experience with Foundation Training and how I use it to help me with injury prevention and to increase performance. I just came across the foundation training method while listening to one of Ben Greenfield’s podcasts where he was talking about it and how it can help athletes and everyday people.

Get more grounded and become a more resilient and injury free athlete
Foundation-Training-Athletes-199x300

The main idea behind Foundation Training is to live pain free, restore movement patterns and improve performance if you are an athlete. It’s a safe and effective excercise program to help you change the movement patterns that are hurting you. The excericses are simple and desigend in a way to naturally heal back pain. You do not need any special equipment and it can be easily added to your daily life. What I instantly liked about the concept was that it’s easy and short in duration and can be added to your existing training program. It only takes a few minutes of your time every day, either in the morning, during your work break or before you go out to do your training. I find it as a good addition to Yoga as well. Foundation Training is all about your core, basically anything that connects to your pevlis, including your hamstrings, glutes and adductor muscles. It teaches all those muscles to work together through specific full body movements and breathing patterns. In times like these where a lot of people suffer from back pain issues and sitting all day infront of a desk, this training addresses all these issues and helps you banish back pain and to restore nerve and lower back function to be able to live pain free. It basically trains your shoulders, back, butt and legs – the large posterior chain muscle groups. The creator of this training, Dr. Eric Goodman, explains on his website that the Foundation Training is:

“(an) innovative movement improvement program designed specifically to help you roll back the damage done and, more importantly, to help you become that pain-free and more powerful person we all aspire to be.”

 

A quick briefing on Foundation Training

For a further good introduction to Foundation Training, check out the video below with Dr. Eric Goodman

What’s in for you as a triathlete

We all know that “core” work is important and should be incorporated into your strength training routine. Very often when we think of “the core” we just think about the abs. Yes they are part of it but they are just one of many muscle groups that define the core. For endurance athletes a strong core contributes to better athletic performance and strengthing the muscles that surround the spine needs special attention. The Foundation Training does help here with activating and strengthening of the primary muscle groups that are important for triathletes. In the next part I will share some of the excercise routines that I use before training and in the morning. If you want to learn more in the meantime about Foundation Training, here are some good links for some follow up reading and watching.

 

https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/07/what-is-foundation-training/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZcZenvWBlg&feature=youtu.be

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2014/01/03/updated-foundation-training.aspx

https://www.amazon.de/True-Form-Foundation-Training-Sustained/dp/0062315315/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1470741250&sr=8-1&keywords=foundation+training

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Blog, Strength

As we get older our muscles can become smaller and weaker. Beyond the age of 30, we lose approximately 3kg of muscle mass per decade. Research findings indicate that interventions designed to increase skeletal muscle mass (such as weight training) may prove to be a critical weapon in the fight against obesity and other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension and cancer!

I came across this interesting research paper that looked into strength training for older adults and how it can help to live longer and lower the odds of dying. The study is the first to demonstrate the association in a large, nationally representative sample over an extended time period, particularly in an older population.

exercise-1235019_960_720If you are interested in the details check out the following article here.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160420090406.htm

A key take away message from this article is that weight training, due to its recruitment of type II muscle fibres, appears to be more effective than cardio, endurance and aerobics for fat loss, weight control, essentially converting the cells into a fat burning machine.

It’s an interesting finding because up to this point health benefits of basic physical activity and aerobic exercise (cycling, running, swimming, walking, etc.) have been well established, less data has been collected on strength training and how it can improve longevity and anti-aging.

The outcomes of this recent study showed the following

“…older adults who strength trained at least twice a week had 46 percent lower odds of death for any reason than those who did not. They also had 41 percent lower odds of cardiac death and 19 percent lower odds of dying from cancer. Older adults who met strength training guidelines were, on average, slightly younger, and were more likely to be married white males with higher levels of education. They were also more likely to have normal body weight, to engage in aerobic exercise and to abstain from alcohol and tobacco.”

The outcome of this study is that strength training in older adults is beneficial for anti-aging, and goes way above and beyond improving muscle strength and physical function.

A lot of people don’t like the idea of doing strength training and sign up for a gym membership or join strength exercise classes and spend a lot of money and time on this.

Also lot of people think you need heavy weights and expensive equipment to do strength training. This is not quite true, it’s possible to get fit and strong without going to a gym by simply doing a few effective strength exercises at home. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get your strength exercises in. Lifting weights is good but you need proper guidance from a personal training to make sure you do them right.

For me as an endurance athlete strength training is very important and I do at least 2-3 times a week some form of functional strength training.

To get you started and help you I have put together 4 simple exercises that you can do at home, 2-3 times a week. It doesn’t require much time, all you need is a good intention and to take the first step and try it out. Do it for 2-3 weeks and see how you feel.

Exercise 1: Warm Up

Exercise 2: Plank Variation

Exercise 3: Super Slow Push Up

Exercise 4: Back Extension

References:
https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/05/the-fittest-old-people/
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160420090406.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18091019
http://www.cbass.com/Strengthtrainingandtelomeres.htm

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