Athletic Body in Balance – Book review

This month I decided to revert back to a book on physical development. I selected a very popular book from a few years back…

Title: Athletic Body in Balance

Authors: Gray Cook

Topic: Athletic Development

Appropriate for: S&C Coaches, Technical Coaches,  Teachers, Students

Overall rating: 3/5

Overview: Gray Cook is a physical therapist working with many professional athletes. He wrote this book some time ago, back in 2003. This book is often some foundational reading for those in sports rehabilitation and performance. For those familiar with the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), you will recognize the author and those concepts are present within the book. Identifying and addressing weak links in the body are a key theme throughout, with subsequent chapters building on this initial theme.
Key areas addressed prior within the book are:

  • Athletic movement
  • Mobility and Stability
  • Strength and Endurance
  • Power, Speed and Agility
  • Performance Programs

Within these chapters Gray Cook covers some basic screening and testing methods, as well as how to interpret the performance of your athletes. He also suggests some basic exercises and progressions to develop mobility, strength and power. If you are coaching and have no strength and conditioning support, you may wish to have a read of this book and implement some of the concepts presented.
Personally, I found the book pretty basic. My personal thoughts on athletic development coaching and what “functional” means are somewhat different from those present in the book. However, there are still some useful and valid methods and concepts in this book, as evidenced by the fact that the FMS is still widely used in our industry. As such, it’s still worth a read.
You can find the book here: Athletic Body in Balance
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