If you didn't know, I love to read. My athletes are always kidding me about how much time I spend reviewing research and reading content pertaining to the field. When I worked and lived in Massachusetts, every Monday my athletes would naturally ask me how my weekend was. My response was always the same, "wrote programs, read and went to Borders with the fiancé". It soon became a joke at our facility that all I did was "sit in front of the fire on Friday and Saturday nights with a cup of tea while diving into my favorite novel". I promise you two things, the following statement is only partially true and that my life is more exciting than that!
If you are a strength coach, physical therapist or fitness professional looking for a "novel" pertaining to rehabilitation, corrective exercise and the principles of human movement look no further than the content of Gray Cook. Gray's first book Athletic Body in Balance helped professionals identify and correct common deficiencies such as functional weakness and muscle imbalances through the ideologies of the Functional Movement Screen.
A few days ago Gray's latest book, Movement: Functional Movement Systems: Screening, Assessment and Corrective Strategies became available to Pre-order on Amazon. I highly recommend you get your hands on it if you train, coach or treat athletes of any age, skill or level. Dave Drapper has a helpful outline about the book on his site. Below is a brief chapter-by-chapter description for what to expect once it arrives at your doorstep.
Movement: Functional Movement Systems: Screening, Assessment and Corrective Strategies by Gray Cook
Chapter 1—Introduction to Screening and Assessment. This introductory chapter builds the foundation you’ll need to fully understand the purpose of screening movement. You’ll learn the concept of movement patterns and how to recognize these patterns in action, as well as the history and primary goals of movement screening. Chapter 2—Anatomical Science versus Functional Science The next 16 pages expand on the differences between authentic movement and scientific anatomical function. The functional systems of muscles, joints and ligaments are covered, as are the fascial matrix, breathing and the neuromuscular network. Understanding movement deficiency and dysfunction and how these develop will illuminate your work, and clarify your explanations to your athletes, clients and patients.
Chapter 3—Understanding Movement In Chapter 3, you’ll gain an appreciation of the natural laws of basic movement before specific, with an overview of how to use screening, testing and assessment to classify movement proficiency or deficiency. You’ll also get a summary of the differences between the two systems, the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA).
Chapter 4—Movement Screening Where in your intake process should you screen? Can you screen an injured client or athlete? This section will help you place movement screening in your existing business model, or it will show you where your program structure might be improved.
Chapter 5—Functional Movement Systems and Movement Patterns This summary explains the differences between the two systems, the FMS for fitness professionals and strength coaches, and the SFMA for medical professionals. You’ll get a brief look at the systems, and finish with an appreciation of primitive and higher-level movement patterns.
Chapter 6—Functional Movement Screen Descriptions The chapter used to cover the FMS will teach you the seven basic screens in detail, including where to stand, what to watch for during the movements and how to plan your modifications. You’ll get a description of each screen, the purpose of each, tips for testing, implications and photographs showing how to score each test.
Chapter 7—SFMA Introduction and Top-Tier Tests The top-tier assessments of the SFMA are covered in these 26 pages, which contain a discussion of the overlying considerations of functional versus dysfunctional and painful versus non-painful, the overriding criteria of the SFMA system. The seven elements of the top-tier will direct you to the breakout tests found in Chapter 8.
Chapter 8—SFMA Assessment Breakout Descriptions and Flowcharts Taking 58 pages and 66 photographs to cover the SFMA breakouts will serve to remind medical professionals of the individual assessments, and at the same time make fitness trainers and strength coaches aware of the tests used by professionals to whom they refer clients and athletes. The rationale for each of the breakout regions will pull the process together for you as it simplifies the overall approach.
Chapter 9—Analyzing the Movements in Screens and Assessments Chapter 9 teaches how to analyze the various test results. Using the tests of the Functional Movement Screen as the base, you’ll learn what mistakes most beginners make in screening, how to distinguish between stability and mobility problems and how to determine asymmetries. Here you’ll get your first introduction to reverse patterning (RP) and reactive neuromuscular training (RNT), two of the primary corrective tools of the Functional Movement Systems arsenal.
Chapter 10—Understanding Corrective Strategies This begins the wrap-up: What do you do with the resulting screen and assessment information? The 20 pages of Chapter 10 comprise the performance pyramid and how to use it to form your corrective strategies. Understanding the differences between correct and corrective exercises, between challenging versus difficult, and having a selection of self-limiting exercises in your exercise menu will give you confidence as you assign and program exercises.
Chapter 11—Developing Corrective Strategies Now that you’ve discovered dysfunctional patterns in your clients, athletes and patients, the next section will guide you in the corrective decisions that make up the three primary categories of mobility, stability and movement pattern retraining. You’ll get comparisons of conditioning and corrective exercise, movement prep and movement correction, skill training and corrective prioritization, and understand when each is appropriate.
Chapter 12—Building the Corrective Framework This chapter provides a checklist for your corrective decisions: pain, purpose, posture, position, pattern and plan. Even though every person’s movement is unique, without this framework, your corrective path will not be as clear as it could be. You’ll also become familiar with the basic structure involving special considerations and populations that may make up part of your client or patient base.
Chapter 13—Movement Pattern Corrections Chapter 13 builds on your knowledge of basic mobility and stability corrections and movement pattern retraining. Using passive, active and assistive techniques, you’ll be able to help your clients, athletes and patients recover lost mobility. Understanding stability and motor control, transitional postures and using facilitation techniques such as reactive neuromuscular training will give you the tools to challenge that new mobility. You’ll also become proficient at rolling after practicing the material in this rich chapter.
Chapter 14—Advanced Corrective Strategies Finally, in the 24 remarkable pages of Chapter 14, you’ll learn how to make corrective exercise an experience. This is how corrective exercise actually works in the human body, and the thorough discussion found in this chapter will teach you how to create this for your clientele. Using PNF, RNT, reverse patterning, conscious loading, resisted and self-limiting exercises, you’ll grasp the concept of the manageable mistake zone, and you’ll be able to use these ideas and techniques to stand out in your crowded professional field.
Chapter 15—In Conclusion This wrap-up section pulls the material together for one last review of where the industry is now, and where it’s heading. When you finish this section, you’ll have a complete understanding of the 10 principles of the Functional Movement System. These principles will guide you in learning and training authentic movement.
I hope you take my advice and pre-order it today! I'm confident that this text will not disappoint and exceed your expectations. Remember, reading is a FREE doctoral degree!