Evangeline Lilly has her fair share of action roles, from playing acrobatic archer Tauriel in The Hobbit to her long-running role as The Wasp in Marvel’s Avengers franchise. However, Lilly has been open about her physical and mental struggles during lockdown, after experiencing a breakdown which led to her staying in bed for a lot of the last two years.
“I have spent a good part of the past two years in bed struggling through a very serious physical breakdown.” Lilly wrote in an Instagram post. “Now I need to rebuild my strength in order to be able to bring the Wasp back to life again.
“After 26 years of lower back pain, injury and weakness, I am starting to feel strength coming into that area of my body again and it feels amazing!”
In March 2020, she shared another vulnerable post in which she felt “alone and unseen”. As she starts training for her fourth Marvel movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, she has chosen to rebuild her strength without tools like elliptical machines or resistance bands, instead using a system called Foundation Training.
“In order to build strength, I need a strong base. My base is so compromised from decades of injury, misalignment, compensation and over-working. So, that is where I am starting - with my foundation.”
Check out the video of Lilly doing her Foundation Training workout on a scenic beach below:
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What is Foundation Training?
Founded in 2007 by chiropractor Eric Goodman, Foundation Training (opens in new tab) is a series of bodyweight workouts which is said to “use gravity to counterbalance the changes in inactivity”. It works by getting you to hold positions such as lunges and half-squats, while focusing on grounding and breathing.
It’s similar to some yoga poses or holding a plank: by engaging your lower back, glutes and legs, you’re undoing the damage of sitting and other modern comforts, which leave those muscles unused for long periods of time. By training those muscles regularly and holding these poses for a few minutes a day, you can begin to counteract a sedentary lifestyle.
These exercises are low-impact and rely on holding positions rather than having to squat or deadlift with dumbbells, which makes them much more accessible to those suffering from joint pain. Over time, by building your strength up (and perhaps using some of the best supplements for joints) you’ll be able to transition to more dynamic resistance training exercises.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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