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Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance Hardcover – April 23, 2013
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About the Author
Kelly's clients have included Olympic gold-medalists, Tour de France cyclists, world-class extreme skiers and X-Games medalists, dancers with Smuin, San Francisco, and Sacramento Ballet Companies, military personnel, and competitive age-division athletes.
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Top Customer Reviews
Pros: Solid info on 'smashing', picked up some new stuff.
Cons: Lack of detailed explanations
Errors in simple understandings of human mechanics
Heavily influenced by Crossfit propaganda
Little info on causation
Recommendations: NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
Pain-Free Program-Anthony Carey
Advances in Functional Training-Mike Boyle
While I subscribe to much of what the author puts forth and on balance this is a worthwhile resource there are some real pros and cons...
Among the pros is the philosophy, comprehensiveness and generally easy to read style that is at times conversational in a positive manner.
There are some major cons. Starting with the fact that there is no index -- are you kidding me. This matters as for many I suspect this will serve more as a resource than read it once and absorb everything. Second issue is that it is very dense in material. This makes synthesizing things a challenge at times as we are left to figure them out on your own. I suspect many more lay or casual athletes will give up due to this. I could only read a chapter, or so, at a time. Pictures are okay but a tie to all the videos on his site would be much better. When dealing with movement still pictures aren't the same. I also would have liked to have seen a chapter relating sporting activities to the motions and mobility they require and the issues they tend to raise.
One other important point. Prior to publication of the book mobilitywod.com, the author's web site, was a free blog. It is pushed heavily in the reviews and in the book. It is now a for pay site. Fair enough, it doesn't need to be free but it is a material turnoff to link the two in the way it has been done.
So, I recommend this more for a trainer, serious athlete, and less for the casual athlete who arguably this should be most useful for.
First off, a squabble with how the book was published: I ended up paying 50 euros to purchase the book and get it shipped over here, at Amazon.com, which is a US-based website. This is odd because I live in the Netherlands, so it would've made much more sense to order at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de, but then I would've paid 50 euros for just the book sans the shipping. This is odd and in dire need of correction.
On Amazon, all you read are rave reviews of how the book will change your life and will instantly make you the healthiest human being on the planet and all that... well, I don't believe in magic bullets, and neither should you. Don't take this as me saying the book isn't good; it is and there are definitely a lot of things I've learnt from it. However, I don't think it's the be-all-end-all of fitness books.
Overall, the book is well-written; very digestible writing. However, I can see that if you're new to this, you'll probably have a hard time on some parts, and will be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information. Because there is a lot of information: there are 32 individual movements described, ranging from a basic air squat to a muscle-up and there are over a 150 pages describing specific mobility techniques.
The book starts of with an introduction, which, as expected, is Kelly banging his own drum loudly for a couple pages; there is no real info there. From there on out, the book is divided up into roughly three parts:
* Introduction to/Explanation of the movement and mobility system: this explains Kelly's general rules for movement, mainly concerning spinal organisation and bracing.Read more ›
I picked up Becoming a Supple Leopard with very high expectations. It was available for pre-order months before it was actually published, and there was a ton of hype around it. In the end, I was a bit let down.
The book had some good parts and bad parts. Let's start with the bad first.
- It was a bit verbose. It took dozens of pages to say what could have been said in 2-3 pages.
- There were no assessments. Kelly gives lots of great mobilizations, stretches and drills, but doesn't give you a way to assess which ones you need (and there are literally hundreds). Sure, there's the test/retest, but it still seemed a bit disorganized to me.
- He teaches you how to do your own self-maintenance, and that's big! Previously what was previously the domain of only physios, chiros and osteos can now be done by the person him/herself, without much knowledge of anatomy. No, it doesn't replace the expertise of the mentioned professionals, but the tools given in this book certainly help to make their jobs easier, because it allows people to take their prehabilitation (and rehabilitation) into their own hands.
- I've read a lot of books on improving flexibility, and most of them only talk about one aspect: either the fascial aspect of flexibility, or the neurological aspects of flexibility. Kelly's book talked about the fascial aspect, the neural aspect (although to a lesser extent) and loosening up the joint capsule. That last one especially is big since I've never read anyone else talking about that.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best book on the subject ever written. I'm in my early 50's and following Starrett's protocols has improved my performance and my quality of life.Published 21 hours ago by William Mitchell
Good book for the average active person wanting to improve mobility.
Of course, the book is only good if you implement some of the information into your everyday life.
Awesome book--a must have for anyone who is into serious fitness for the long haul.Published 4 days ago by Michael D. Crum
Love this book. I have read every book out there on fitness, training, etc. This is one of my all time favorites. A great tool!Published 20 days ago by Linda