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Human Kinetics

Athletic Body in Balance

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Athletic Body in Balance is the first guide of its kind to show you how to train for smooth, fluid movement and prevent muscle imbalances, mobility restrictions, stability problems, and injuries.

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Book Description

Great athletes make difficult moves look effortless with a combination of skill, strength, and balance. Traditional conditioning builds a fitness base, but modern sports training takes into account athletic movement patterns. Athletic Body in Balance is the first guide of its kind to show you how to train for smooth, fluid movement and prevent muscle imbalances, mobility restrictions, stability problems, and injuries.

Physical therapist and sports conditioning expert Gray Cook has proven the effectiveness of his approach through the performances of athletes in the NFL, NBA, NHL, WNBA, and Reebok® University's sports training system. Cook's methods will help you identify functional weaknesses; correct imbalances; explore your potential; and refine sport-specific movement skills such as jumping, kicking, cutting, and turning. You will see where conditioning is breaking down and how to get your body back on track.

Whereas other books concentrate on maximizing your strengths, Athletic Body in Balance focuses on exposing and overcoming your weaknesses to form a foundation for long-term training gains. Learn how to maintain what you gain and build on your improvements. Make this comprehensive assessment tool your training guide. Prepare and repair your body for ultimate athletic performance with Athletic Body in Balance.

Table of Contents

Part I. Athletic Movement
Chapter 1. Mind and Movement
Chapter 2. Identifying Weak Links
Chapter 3. Analyzing Movement
Chapter 4. Developing Resistance to Injury

Part II. Mobility and Stability
Chapter 5. Mobility and Stability Testing
Chapter 6. Balance Training
Chapter 7. Core Training

Part III. Strength and Endurance
Chapter 8. Strength and Endurance Testing
Chapter 9. Movement Imbalance Training
Chapter 10. Strength and Endurance Exercises

Part IV. Power, Speed, and Agility
Chapter 11. Power, Speed, and Agility Testing
Chapter 12. Speed and Quickness Training
Chapter 13. Power, Speed, and Agility Drills

Part V. Performance Programs
Chapter 14. Rotation and Swinging
Chapter 15. Throwing and Striking
Chapter 16. Jumping and Kicking
Chapter 17. Cutting and Turning
Chapter 18. Progress Evaluation


Gray Cook is a physical therapist, board certified in orthopedics. He also is a certified strength coach with experience in several sports at the youth, college, and professional levels. Cook is a nationally recognized lecturer and consultant to the NFL, NBA, NHL, and WNBA as well as numerous college sports medicine and conditioning facilities. His innovative research and applied work are found in many rehabilitation and conditioning publications.

Cook is the director of orthopedic and sports physical therapy at Dunn, Cook & Associates. He also serves as the creative director of sport-specific training for Reebok® and is Reebok's® first master coach.

Gray Cook received his graduate degree in physical therapy education at the University of Miami School of Medicine with a focus on orthopedics and sports rehabilitation and research in motor learning. Cook is a faculty member of the North American Sports Medicine Institute and is the codeveloper of the course titled Functional Exercise Training and Rehabilitation. He lives in his hometown of Danville, Virginia.