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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

Coach Kelly Starrett received his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2007 from Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, California. He currently runs his own physical therapy practice at San Francisco CrossFit—one of the first 50 CrossFit affiliates—and focuses on performance-based Orthopedic Sports Medicine with an emphasis on returning athletes to elite level sport and performance. His clients see exceptional results from his progressive blend of manual physical therapy and strength training. Since 2009, Kelly has been traveling the country teaching his "Movement, Mobility & Maintenance Course" in an effort to spread his message that good mobility and proper movement are the keys to good performance and that all humans should be able to perform this basic maintenance on themselves.

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Victory Belt Publishing; Hardcover with Jacket edition (April 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936608588
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936608584
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.2 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,020 of 1,112 people found the following review helpful By Charles Gonnello on August 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a biomechanics and Injury prevention specialist, I specialize in corrective exercise and have made a successful career out of it. I am always looking for new information and books to expand my knowledge of the human body. I was looking for a bit more than what this book provided. I was originally drawn in by the amazing reviews (even before the book was released). Which is awfully suspicious. Regardless, I'd figure I'd see what all of the hype is about. As a practitioner, I am more interested in causation and correction, less in just what looks( or doesn't look) right. This book provided very little of what I was looking for and I'd recommend several other, more detailed books before this one, if you are interested in injury prevention. The book was filled with errors, that was easy for someone like myself to pick out quickly.

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
Movement-Gray Cook
Pain-Free Program-Anthony Carey
Advances in Functional Training-Mike Boyle
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672 of 761 people found the following review helpful By Michael Weinstein on May 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was initially surprised that on the day of publication +200 five star reviews hit Amazon for this book and it strikes a little more balance is required.

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, 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.
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372 of 433 people found the following review helpful By Rik on May 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before we start, yes, this is freaking long. I know. I originally wrote this for people at Reddit, and only made a few minor edits for Amazon.

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, 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 or, 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.
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404 of 487 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Eric Lane on April 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must first let you know that I am not one to review books. I wrote my first book almost 2 years ago and I understand the incredible task it is to undertake something that Kelly has done. I have read hundreds of books in my life. Going through Pre-Med and then on through Chiropractic School I was expected to read every book having to do with anatomy, physiology, neurology, and you name it. I have spent over 20 years treating patients for back, neck, shoulder, hip, elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle problems. I have attended over a hundred seminars dedicated to teaching me to better understand the dynamics of the human body and how to help my patients heal faster and completely. I have also dedicated a large percentage of my practice to treating athletes and the injuries they suffer. Also being certified in Physiotherapy I have always tried to stay as competent as I can to help them heal from their injuries and most importantly to help prevent them.

I came across Kelly's work over a year ago through his site. I was so impressed with the dedication he showed by posting a daily video on helping others not only treat but prevent injuries. When I heard of his upcoming book I can say for the first time in a long time I was very excited for a new book to read. I pre-ordered it many months ago and continued to check for its release like a kid waiting for Christmas. I received my copy early this week and after spending about 4 days and unable to put it down, reading it at every opportunity, let me summarize my thoughts on what I can say without question is the absolute best volume of information I have ever seen compiled in one book that addresses the human body.
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