PreHab Exercises: Recommended Books
Learning more on your own from others in the field!
I am a huge fan of ‘self-study’ and have gained many ‘nuggets of wisdom’ from numerous people who have written amazing books and/or videos. More importantly, it’s important to keep reading and watching what other coaches, trainers and therapists are working on because the fields of training and fitness are continually growing and changing just as our world and lifestyles grow and change. In other words, it’s important to learn from others as a way to sharpen our own personal approaches to training and coaching.
Here are my top recommendations when it comes to ‘self-study’:
Katy Bowman – Biomechanist
Move Your DNA – Book/Audiobook
Nutritious Movement – Website
Katy Bowman is a biomechanist that brought the concept of ‘mechanotransduction’ to my attention in her book Move Your DNA, which chronicles the various effects a modern lifestyle has on the body over time, especially in regard to the body’s biomechanics. In her book, Bowman outlines the extent of change Daily Life Activities can have on our bodies, literally transforming or deforming them. She also provides numerous simple and effective solutions for all these various modern-world pitfalls. In fact, Bowman instructs the audience of her audiobook to ‘walk’ while listening to the book, preferably in nature, to stimulate proprioception and reignite the DNA’s natural ability to regenerate the body into healthy and physically capable shapes.
In addition to Move Your DNA, Bowman has several other books to choose from, including Alignment Matters and Whole Body Barefoot, as well as her “Every Body” Biomechanics course and certification offered via her website, Nutritious Movement.
Anatomy Trains – Book
Anatomy Trains – Website
‘The Father of Fascia’ – Tom Myers created a major paradigm shift in the world of exercise and fitness with his book, Anatomy Trains. This book introduced the holistic concept of powerful ‘interlinking trains’ that run throughout the body, which eventually impacted the way we approach functional training as well as Soft Tissue Therapy and Recovery. Tom brought fascia to many people’s attention, which paved the way for the acceptance and adoption of Soft Tissue Therapy in the training community. Personally, I was very fortunate to learn from Tom himself in Los Angeles a number of years ago. I know he is always asking more questions, learning more, and refining his point of view, which is such a glowing trait to have in my opinion. So, if you enjoy learning directly from the source, then start reading or listening to Tom Myers.
Gray Cook – Physical Therapist and Strength Coach
Movement – Book
Functional Movement – Website
After years of assessing and evaluating patients as a physical therapist, Cook and his team of therapists and coaches created the Functional Movement Systems approach, a quantitative method of assessing or screening movement. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and the Selective Functional Movement Screen (SFMS) are both the basic focus in his expansive book, Movement, which explains in detail many of the reasons and principles behind these two screens. I was lucky to learn about the FMS screen from Gray back in 2007, and it has shaped the way I evaluate clients/athletes and assess movement. The FMS is currently used by scores of athletic teams in major universities as well as at the professional level.
Cal Deitz – Strength & Conditioning Coach
TriPhasic Training – Book
XL Athlete – Website
Cal Dietz is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Olympic Sport at the University of Minnesota and has produced hundreds of All-American athletes in his tenure there. He is also the author of the book TriPhasic Training, which evolves much of Yuri Verhoshansky’s Supertraining and Shock Method into an approach that can yield great results. Though I found his book TriPhasic Training heavy to understand, I watched Dietz in countless presentations and interviews that have helped explain his method and expand upon his training brilliance. Dietz is a highly recommended coach to learn from whenever available.
Coach Dos – Robert dos Remedios
Cardio Strength – Book
Coach Dos – Website
A longtime strength and conditioning coach for College of the Canyons in California, Coach ‘Dos’ is well sought after and respected in the training world as his knowledge of training is very extensive and his narrative explanation is clear and simple. In other words, Coach Dos is easy to learn from and is someone who has a lot to teach. Cardio Strength is laid out well for both beginners and experienced weightlifters and strength trainers. Coach Dos gives clear and concise reasoning for each of the training programs outlined in his book and includes many pictures and demonstrations of the moves. I also highly recommend listening to him on the Performance Podcast with Wil Fleming and/or attending one of his presentations at the Perform Better or the NSCA conferences.
Ultimate Conditioning for Martial Arts – BookLandow Performance – Website
Speed and Agility Coach – Website
Loren Landow is renowned for his ability as a strength and conditioning coach, especially when it comes to speed and agility. Landow works with scores of professional athletes and presents training seminars/workshops all across the country. He is known to have an acute eye for correct biomechanics and he maintains two simplistic mantras when it comes to training: ‘The heart of my philosophy of training is to maximize human performance effectively and efficiently,’ and ‘don’t sacrifice what you want the most for what you want in the moment’ – both philosophical beliefs that resonate within the PreHab Exercise philosophy. It is highly recommended to watch/attend a seminar/workshop with Loren as he conveys his ideas and concepts very clearly and simply.
The Four Hour Body – Book
The Four Hour Body – Website
Considered as one of the ultimate ‘bio-hackers,’ Tim launched his book, The Four Hour Body, back in 2010 and was the first person to publicly mention ‘PreHab.’ Tim fills this book with an array of techniques, principles, and advice on how to “hack” into your body to maximize results with a minimum effort (i.e. training), including an interview with Gray Cook himself. Covering topics from the ‘Slow Carb Diet’ to PreHab, this book is worth having simply because it is so thought provoking.
Kelly Starrett – Physical Therapist
Becoming a Supple Leopard – Book
Ready to Run – Book
Deskbound – Book
Mobility WOD – Website
Kelly Starrett made a name for himself when he posted hundreds of videos on YouTube as a way to teach people how to improve their mobility and performance. Starrett’s comic persona and reoccurring proposition that every person should practice ten minutes of ‘maintenance’ everyday was enough to launch Mobility WOD as an international hit, especially within the CrossFit community, and paved the way for his book, Becoming a Supple Leopard, which outlines several techniques and concepts to improve mobility and performance in weightlifting, gymnastics, and more.
Recently, Starrett released a few other books, Ready to Run and Deskbound, as well as a second edition of Supple Leopard that comes with illustrations that help communicate his ideas concerning torque and movement technique.
The Roll Model – Book
Yoga Tune-Up – Website
Years ago, I worked with Jill at Equinox Fitness in Los Angeles and was fortunate enough to take her yoga class many times. Her class was challenging for a typical muscle-bound guy like myself (at the time – I have become much more flexible and mobile since then), but it was so worth it when it was all over!
Now, Jill is the creator of Yoga Tune Up, which has changed the lives of many, though she really made a name for herself with her book, The Role Model. This thorough guide to ‘rolling’ teaches anyone the basics of Soft Tissue Therapy right in his or her own living room. Jill’s approach is extraordinary and she has many times been seen working side by side with Kelly Starrett.
Intervention – Book
Dan John – Website
Dan John has a fantastic email newsletter, where he continually dishes out links to interesting articles and refers to other people doing positive work in the world of strength and conditioning. All in all, I am a fan of Dan John because I admire his simplistic and logical approach to exercise and strength training. Dan has also worked with several other influential minds in this field, including some people already on this list. His book Intervention is a great starting point as it helps you figure out what your goals are for your body and some options on how to get there safely. In Easy Strength (written with Pavel Tsatsouline), Dan outlines basic programs for getting in shape and improving strength. He also shares how to balance strength and conditioning training with the practice of whatever sport you’re in.
On a personal level, Dan John re-introduced me to ‘Carries,’ an exercise I never truly understood the benefits of until I started doing them on a consistent basis. It was Dan’s conviction in ‘Carries’ that won me over, and now, Carries are an integral part of my training. In other words, Dan gave me an ‘intervention.’
Enter the Kettlebell – Book
Strong First – Website
There’s a saying that you are as good as the company that you keep. Well, then Pavel Tsatsouline is pretty good as he has worked with at least three others on this list: Gray Cook, Tim Ferriss, and Dan John.
Pavel is sometimes referred to as the Father of the Kettlebell, as he is said to be the one who brought many Russian training secrets and techniques to America. Whether you want to credit him with the success of the Kettlebell in America or not, it does not change the fact that Pavel is a master at what he does; if you are interested in becoming strong and flexible at the same time, look to Pavel. I am personally a fan of his logical approach and love this particular training technique called ‘Greasing the Groove,’ which can help you master any exercise, movement, or physical skill with a simplistic practice.
Pavel actually has a few different books, including Easy Strength, written with Dan John. Kettlebell Simple and Sinister is perfect for beginners in kettlebell, and his simple and concise routines help you make fast progress (note: this book includes swings and get-ups only; it does not include snatches). All in all, you cannot go wrong learning from Pavel.
Chi Running – Book
Chi Running – Website
Though not the first person to mix the spiritual control of Tai Chi with the vigor of running, Danny Dreyer is the first to write about it (as far as I know). Danny easily explains his concept of Chi Running, a method of economizing your running technique to conserve energy, protect your body, and eventually run further as well as faster! I personally loved this book as it helped me to overcome my own injuries and run more often, without any pain too! If you want to effortlessly run and run farther, this book is for you!
Dr. Nicolas Romanov
Pose Method of Running – Book
The Running Revolution – Book
The Pose Method – Website
Now, we go from running effortlessly to burning up the track: Dr. Romanov is famous for spreading his POSE technique of running all around the world. His book provides and explains this running technique, as well as what is necessary to master the POSE Method, which unlocks your ultimate sprinting speed. If you want to run fast, the POSE Method is for you.