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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.
Top customer reviews
For the affordable price on Amazon, compared to the amount of knowledge and expertise it provides, it really is a steal!
The book comprises roughly three sections, although Kelly may not thank me for lumping his chapters together that way.
The first, a single chapter, explains the philosophy and concepts of Kelly's Movement and Mobility system. If you read that, spent five-ten years developing techniques to apply it, you wouldn't need the rest of the book. Fortunately, the rest of the book is there to save you that time.
The second, multiple chapters, is the meat of the book. This is where you learn the basic rules to the system and then how to apply them to a range of movements found in good strength and conditioning programs. The system is internally consistent and the "rules" simple to apply to movements that may not be listed. If you follow the system laid out in this section, barring accident, you will avoid almost all of the injuries commonly associated with exercise. Perhaps more significantly in a world increasingly made up of sedentary office workers, you will have some principles that apply to all human activity, that transfer to day to day life. This is the section where people need to spend the most time. You'll save yourself so much frustration and pain if you do.
And, it's an excellent guide to the correct performance of the exercises, something worth the purchase of the book in its own right.
The last section is what Kelly is known for.
This is a comprehensive guide, broken down by body part, to repairing the damage we all accrue if we didn't follow, or weren't aware of, the method described previous sections. Loosely speaking it's about stretching and self-massage techniques to restore range of motion, which is about as adequate an explanation as describing as rainbow as "light". They're effective, novel in some cases and all of them are well tested in Kelly's practise and gym.
They work. However, ideally, you shouldn't need them.
Spend time in the first 2 sections learning how to move correctly and you'll only need passing familiarity with the last section.
I didn't jump in and review the book when I first received it. I've read it cover to cover twice and spent more time going over portions I wanted to fully understand.
If it sucked, or didn't live up the hype, I was determined to say so even if it upset Kelly.
I love this book. I have a copy for myself, I've bought another to give to a trainer I know and I expect to buy more for other people who need to read it.
Is it perfect?
Pretty close, but I would like to see that first section, what I described as explaining the philosophy of Kelly's system, broken up typographically. It's information dense and a bit of a slog. It is not long, but I suspect that will see people skipping it as too hard to plough through.
That section is too important to the concept the book is trying to get across to risk that.
Aside from that, I really can't fault it.
Kelly deserves to be very proud of the legacy he has created with this work.