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Anatomy for Strength and Fitness Training

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Updated September 12, 2006

Anatomy for Strength and Fitness Training

Anatomy for Strength and Fitness Training

Anatomy for Strength and Fitness Training is a great resource for fitness professionals and exercise enthusiasts who want to learn how the body works as well as see the muscles involved in a variety of strength and flexibility exercises.

Part One - Overview of Anatomy

The first section of the book covers the technical side of anatomy and physiology and may be more detailed than the average exerciser wants. For professionals or people who want to get certified, this section offers some nice overviews of many of the topics you're usually tested on.

The sections here cover:

  • Anatomical definitions and terminology - this is helpful in learning the shape, movement and location of different muscles.
  • The muscular and skeletal systems - this section includes summaries of how each system works as well as detailed illustrations.
  • Anatomical planes - this section offers a basic understanding of the planes of motion, which is necessary in understanding the biomechanics of exercise.
  • Anatomical terms and joint movements - this is a well-written section offering a chart showing movements along with the plane of motion, a description and an example of the movement. This is a great resource to continually refer back to.
  • Posture and muscle balance - this section covers functional training as well as suggested workout parameters for different goals.

This is a nice overview of the basics for people who want to learn more about how the body works and the more technical aspects of exercise.

Part Two: Anatomy of Exercise

The second section of the book gets into the nitty gritty of each muscle group, detailing exercises for the chest, legs, back, shoulders, arms and abs. It also includes some great balance and stability exercises, stretches and power exercises for those looking for more advanced moves.

Each exercise shown includes all the details of the move including:

  • Type of exercise, what it does and whether it's for beginners or advanced (e.g., a pushup is: core exercise, compound, push, closed-chain, body-weight, functional and beginner to advanced)
  • A basic description
  • Tips for good form
  • A chart analyzing the joints and muscles used
  • A full illustration showing the muscles worked
  • Pictures showing the start and finish of the movement
The exercises listed are pretty standard, from bench presses and squats to lat pulldowns and kickbacks, so you'll find most strength exercises here. There are also a couple of sample programs for developing muscle and functional strength.

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of great anatomy and exercise books out there for both professional trainers and interested exercisers, but this one does stand out for its ease of use. There are two pages per exercise and the moves are broken down so that you know exactly which muscles are working and which muscles work as stabilizers. The illustrations also help to understand how the muscles are involved as well as proper form.

There are also interesting facts included about each exercise, giving you tips for what they do and how to include them in your workouts.

Overall, this is a great resource for both professionals and fitness enthusiasts and a great reference to use for creating and changing strength training workouts.

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