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The Best Fitness Books To Read This Summer

Your summer ‘fitspiration’ is here. If you’re wondering what are the best fitness books to read this summer then this post is for you!

This list of 14 books contains no large academic textbooks but smaller easy to pack and easy to read books which won’t affect your suitcase weight limit.

These books contain exercises you can do with limited, or no equipment which you can do if your hotel only has a small/basic gym. Some of the books include excellent and intriguing stories from experts in the industry.

14. New Functional Training For Sports

New Functional Training for Sports

Michael Boyle’s New Functional Training For Sports is a great holiday read, you’ll learn lots of new exercises which are perfect for out of season/preseason training.

The book is easy to read, with clear explanations of exercises. Whether your sport is football, tennis, ice hockey or anything else, you will become a better athlete/coach.

13. Breathing For Peak Performance

Breathing for peak performance best books to read this summer

World-renowned author, dancer and movement educator Eric Franklin’s new book has been a hit since its release earlier this year.

This concise, heavily illustrated text helps you to improve your breathing function. Benefiting your health, improving your sports performance and enhancing your life. While chilling on the beach or around the pool you can practice all 35 breathing exercises listed in this book.

This little book will fit in any suitcase or hand luggage without a problem.

12. Strength Band Training, 3rd Edition

The portability and efficiency of strength bands are what makes them so popular. Strength Band Training shows you how to maximise strength, speed and flexibility in the gym, at home or on the road.

The new 3rd edition is due out in summer 2019, hopefully, it will be ready before your holiday.

11. The Art Of Running Faster

The Art of Running Faster

Looking for some running inspiration or awesome stories from elite runners and coaches? If so, then this is the book for you.

Follow your morning beach run with tips from experts Julian Goater (former National Cross Country winner and Commonwealth Games medalist) and Don Melvin (a leading running journalist).

Running is a great holiday activity as it doesn’t require equipment. Just remember to stay hydrated and regulate body temperature, this is something we discussed in our recent article Running in Heat and Humidity.

The Art of Running Faster topped our list of Best Running Books. And fully deserves its place in this list of best fitness books.

10. Sport Business Handbook

OK, not necessarily a ‘fitness’ book however this book is a great holiday read. It has insights from over 100 leaders in the sports business industry.

Some of these include:

  • Rick Horrow – Editor and one of the most well-connected businessmen in the industry. orchestrated over 100 deals worth more than $20 billion. Worked for Fox Sports, Bloomberg, BBC and the CEO of Horrow Sports Ventures.
  • Mike Krzyzewski – One of the biggest names in Basketball the former pro coached the US men’s team from 2006-2016.
  • Gary Player – Widely considered one of the greatest golfers of all time he now operates The Player Foundation which promotes underprivileged education around the world.
  • Larry Lucchino – Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer former and President/CEO (2002 – 2015), in which the club won three World Series. He also saved and enhanced Fenway Park, established the Major League Baseball record for consecutive sellouts and created the Red Sox Foundation, a philanthropic powerhouse.
  • Rick Burton – A marketing guru. Worked for the US Olympic Committee, Commissioner of Australia’s NBA and in the book he talks about working with Michael Jordan and his Nike Air trainers.

Read their stories this summer and come back from your break more motivated than ever.

9. Complete Guide To Foam Rolling

Complete Guide To Foam Rolling

The summer break is a great time to focus on recovery. Maybe you don’t want to workout but you want to increase flexibility and mobility while aiding your recovery. If this sounds like you, pack this book.

You may want to pack a foam roller too. If you don’t have room in your suitcase then pack a hockey ball or tennis ball that way you can still work your way through some of the exercises prescribed in Complete Guide To Foam Rolling.

8. The Happy Runner

A little different from most Human Kinetics books, however, you can still learn a lot from this inspirational fun running book.

happy runner best fitness books

Authors David and Megan Roche discuss their personal experiences and use their coaching expertise throughout. They point out the mental and emotional factors that help you learn exactly how to become a happy runner and achieve your personal best.

7. The M.A.X Muscle Plan

The Max Muscle Plan

Want to pack some muscle on over the summer? Then Brad Schoenfeld’s M.A.X Muscle Plan is what I can recommend. I participated in a live case study from this book. I did a linear periodised programme and made some significant gains.

Mitogen Activated Xtreme (M.A.X) training, is a scientifically proven programme to help you maximise your muscle potential and transform your physique.

Despite it being a scientific programme it is easy to read and follow and something you could read-up on whilst on holiday.

6. A Journey Into Yin Yoga

A Journey Into Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga is perfect for a relaxing holiday. This slow-paced Yoga relieves stress and reduces anxiety. This book written by the excellent Travis Eliot gives you all the tools you need to begin this potent practice. What better time to start than during your summer holidays and while the book is in our summer sale.

If you don’t think you are ready for Yin Yoga yet, check out one of our other great Yoga titles. You can find our bestsellers in our list Best Yoga Books.

5. High-Performance Training For Sports

High-Performance Training for Sports

Number 5 on the list of best fitness books to read this summer is High-Performance Training For Sports. One of our bestselling S&C books. This book is packed with exercises including bodyweight and functional exercises you can do while on holiday.

High-Performance Training for Sports was put together by a mix of contributes including some of the most decorated coaches in the world. Between them, they have worked with Olympic medalists, athletes and teams from the NBA, NFL, MLB, NCAA, Tour de France and English Premier League.

4. Your Workout Perfected

Your workout perfected

With 243 exercises and 71 programmes, you’re bound to find something to suit your goals in Your Workout Perfected. Even if your hotel gym is shoddy with limited equipment or perhaps equipment you’ve never seen before. Nick Tumminello, a fitness innovator and 2016 NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year has you covered.

Summer holidays are a good time to reevaluate your fitness regime. that’s why this book is the perfect travel partner. That programme you’ve been following all winter/spring, that one you love – may be improved it may even be harmful. That’s why Your Workout Perfected was developed.

3. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy

No gym? No problem! Take this book written by Bret ‘the glute guy’ Contreras on your trip. With full-colour anatomical illustrations and step-by-step instructions, this book is an easy read and something you can just pick up an put down while laying in the sun.

Image taken from Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy

Whether you are wanting to take your training to the next level or simply seeking a proven approach for training on the road/on holiday Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy is one of the best fitness books in the market. A one-of-a-kind resource that you’ll refer to again and again.

2. Complete Guide to TRX® Suspension Training®

Complete Guide to TRX Suspension Training

TRX bands have become a must-have for any fitness fanatic when travelling. With a TRX Suspension Trainer, you can get a great workout doing body-weight exercises anywhere. All you need is somewhere to strap the bands. You can workout in your hotel room, in your gym, in a park or even on the beach.

There are 100’s of exercises you can do with TRX but how do you know which ones will work the best for you? That’s why we teamed up with TRX to publish this book. Written by world-renowned strength and conditioning expert Jay Dawes.

best fitness books for holiday - TRX

Complete Guide to TRX includes instructions for more than 115 exercises. Complete with photo sequences, variations and safety recommendations. You’ll learn how to develop and integrate strength, power, core stability, flexibility and balance. Which is what makes it one of the best fitness books published by Human Kinetics.

1. Strength Training Anatomy – The Best Fitness Book

Strength Training Anatomy

We have now sold over 3 million copies of Strength Training Anatomy. It is one of the best selling fitness books ever published.

This classic book makes a fantastic travel companion. It’s easy to read, not too big (under 200 pages) and you’ll be sure to learn something new.

There is no other resource in the market that brings anatomy to life like Strength Training Anatomy. Which is why we say it is the best fitness book ever. Over 600 full-colour illustrations reveal the primary muscles worked along with all the relevant surrounding structures, including bones, ligaments, tendons and connective tissue.

Readers love the artwork and the way you can see how your muscles should work while performing various exercises. The illustrations in this book are second to none and the feedback we get is overwhelmingly positive.

Travel Tips

If your flight is a long haul and you’d like some tips on how to overcome jet lag, then you’re in luck. We’ve done some research and figured out how elite athletes overcome jet lag. Read our article 7 Hacks That Help Athletes Overcome Jet Lag (With Examples).

This entry was posted in: Fitness & Health


Hi, I'm Ryan, the Marketing Manager and chief blogger here at Human Kinetics Europe Ltd. As somewhat of a washed-up athlete I've always had a passion for health, fitness and sport science. I now find myself working at the world’s biggest independent publisher of sport, health, dance and fitness resources. This means I get unrestricted access to all the best, most interesting, scientifically-proven writing on sports science. Of course I'm going to share this with you!

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