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Athletic Body in Balance Paperback – 1 May 2003
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Great athletes make difficult moves look effortless with a combination of skill, strength, and balance. Traditional conditioning builds a fitness base, but modern sports training takes into account athletic movement patterns. "Athletic Body in Balance" is the first guide of its kind to show you how to train for smooth, fluid movement and prevent muscle imbalances, mobility restrictions, stability problems, and injuries. Physical therapist and sports conditioning expert Gray Cook has proven the effectiveness of his approach through the performances of athletes in the NFL, NBA, NHL, WNBA, and Reebok[registered University's sports training system. Cook's methods will help you identify functional weaknesses; correct imbalances; explore your potential; and refine sport-specific movement skills such as jumping, kicking, cutting, and turning. You will see where conditioning is breaking down and how to get your body back on track. Whereas other books concentrate on maximizing your strengths, "Athletic Body in Balance" focuses on exposing and overcoming your weaknesses to form a foundation for long-term training gains. Learn how to maintain what you gain and build on your improvements.Make this comprehensive assessment tool your training guide. Prepare and repair your body for ultimate athletic performance with "Athletic Body in Balance".
About the Author
Gray Cook is a physical therapist, board certified in orthopedics. He also is a certified strength coach with experience in several sports at the youth, college, and professional levels. Cook is a nationally recognized lecturer and consultant to the NFL, NBA, NHL, and WNBA as well as numerous college sports medicine and conditioning facilities. His innovative research and applied work are found in many rehabilitation and conditioning publications. Cook is the director of orthopedic and sports physical therapy at Dunn, Cook & Associates. He also serves as the creative director of sport-specific training for Reebok® and is Reebok's® first master coach. Gray Cook received his graduate degree in physical therapy education at the University of Miami School of Medicine with a focus on orthopedics and sports rehabilitation and research in motor learning. Cook is a faculty member of the North American Sports Medicine Institute and is the codeveloper of the course titled Functional Exercise Training and Rehabilitation.
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My one compliant is that the book is that when I bought the book I thought I was buying a guide to the FMS, or something that would include the whole FMS. But the book actually does not contain a lot of info for the shoulder. It misses out that part of the FMS, which I find frustrating.
Apart from that I would highly recommend this excellent text.
The tests are clearly described and illustrated to portray to the reader what the purpose of the test is. The systematic procedure of testing and how to record the results is followed by protocols to improve any dysfunction hilighted through the tests.
The book is broken down into chapters relating to each fundamental area covered, the first two being mobility and stability. The further chapters go on to discuss ways of improving these factors with progressions following in the later chapters. The last few chapters were a little disappointing. The exercises for speed, agility and the plyometric training was not cutting edge and could be found in other titles with a more comprehensive range. For a novice to these areas, these chapters are adequate.
This book is ideal for any trainer looking to improve testing skills beyond the normal testing of cardiovascular and respiratory function. It is also idea for therapists looking for a quick way to assess the fundamental movements of the body.
Other titles which are worth looking at are High Performance Sports Conditioning edited by Bill Foran. The book is contributed to by many well respected conditioning specialists and therapist including the author of this book, Grey Cook. The book goes into more detail about the screening mentioned in this title.
Titles that maybe of interest for the speed and agility chapters are by Alan Pearson. The books are aimed at different sports but the background is similar. The titles are part of the SAQ range.
Tudor Bompa and Donald Chu have good titles concerning plyometric training to add further knowledge to the last chapters of this book.
If you can get hold of Paul Chek's Movement That Matters book, this will give you a good understanding of functional movements and what is a functional movement. Chek's seminar courses are also very interesting within this area.
Overall the book if used primarily for the screening is very interesting and is thoroughly recommended. The test is good with excellent pictures of the movements. The reader is left with a good base level to build on.