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Top Fitness Books to Read This Summer

We’ve compiled a list of the best fitness books to read this summer if you’re looking for inspiration!

This list of 14 books contains no large academic textbooks but smaller easy to pack and easy to read books.

14. Breathe, Focus, Excel

In Breathe, Focus, Excel, Harvey Martin—breathing coach for top athletes and teams in the MLB, NHL, and NFL—explains the science behind breath work, how breathing affects various systems of the body, and why changing how you breathe can help you change your game.

Like any skill, breathing is a fundamental movement pattern that requires training to achieve mastery. Breathe, Focus, Excel guides you through breathing exercises that will expand the rib cage, protect the spine, and strengthen the pelvic floor. More importantly, each exercise is designed to help you improve performance.

13. Run Healthy

If you are a serious runner, you are well aware of the aches and pains associated with the sport. Run Healthy: The Runner’s Guide to Injury Prevention and Treatment was written to help you distinguish discomfort from injury. It provides the latest science-based and practical guidance for identifying, treating, and minimizing the most common injuries in track, road, and trail running.

12. Jim Stoppani’s Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength

As a leading authority on exercise science and former senior science editor for Muscle & Fitness, Jim Stoppani has helped millions of people change their lives through expertly designed training programs based on research and science. That tradition continues in his third edition of Jim Stoppani’s Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength.

Packed with an impressive 380+ exercises and nearly 140 programs, this comprehensive encyclopedia of training will guide you in maximizing muscle mass, strength, and fat loss.

11. Complete Guide to TRX® Suspension Training®

Since its development over a decade ago, Suspension Training® has remained a popular choice for developing strength, stability, core power, flexibility, and balance because it delivers results. Used by the best of the best, from personal trainers to the elite athletes they work with, Suspension Training® is a respected and essential component of conditioning programs worldwide.

10. Rocket® Yoga

Break free from the limitations of classical ashtanga yoga with the progressive and dynamic practice of Rocket® yoga. This modern style of yoga is rooted in traditional ashtanga but allows for more freedom of movement based on individual anatomy and fosters empowerment through creativity, endurance, and rhythm.

Rocket®Yoga: Your Guide to Progressive Ashtanga Vinyasa presents the beauty and benefits of Rocket yoga—from its history and philosophy to the sequences and practices unique to its style.

9. Personal Best Running

Good racing doesn’t just happen. It’s a skill that must be honed with training and hard work. In Personal Best Running, Coach Mark Coogan shares his successful formula for running fast—while staying healthy and happy—without running taking over your life.

Coach Coogan has excelled in running as both an athlete and coach, producing numerous Olympic and champion runners. His success is founded in his belief that long-term running success is impossible if you’re not training and racing in the right environment and that running should never come at the expense of your overall physical or mental health.

8. Strength Training for All Body Types

Every person’s body is different. Short, tall, or big all over, training should be designed to accommodate an athlete’s different joint angles, bone lengths, and overall body structure. In Strength Training for All Body Types: The Science of Lifting and Levers, Lee Boyce and Melody Schoenfeld have teamed up to create a unique resource that explains how different bodies manage various exercises and how to best take advantage of physical attributes to optimize those movements.

7. Kettlebell Training

Kettlebells have been around for hundreds of years but have seen rapid international growth over the last decade. It is no wonder that kettlebells have become so popular across the world: They provide an effective and inexpensive tool for improving mobility; promote fat loss; increase endurance, strength, and power; and enhance sport performance.

6. Yoga for Runners

You already know that running can be invigorating, therapeutic, fun, and challenging. And you are likely painfully aware that it can lead to stiffness, muscle imbalances, and overuse injuries such as knee pain, shin splints, sciatica, and hamstring and groin strains.

5. Lower Body Training

Get the help you need to achieve a stronger lower body. Lower Body Training is a comprehensive guide containing the most up-to-date, scientifically proven strategies for increasing lower body size, strength, and power. Jason Brown, a program design expert who has worked with CrossFit affiliates and strength and conditioning facilities around the world, shares his innovative programs for a variety of different training goals, ranging from increased lower body size and strength to improved athletic performance.

4. Daniels’ Running Formula

Train for your next race with the man who has been called “the world’s best running coach.” With more than 55 years of experience, Jack Daniels is a legendary figure in the running community. Named the National Coach of the Year by the NCAA and honored as the Division III Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Century, Daniels has mentored some of the greatest names in running, including Jim Ryun, Ken Martin, Jerry Lawson, Alicia Shay, Peter Gilmore, Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, and Janet Cherobon-Bawcom. In Daniels’ Running Formula, he has shared training advice with hundreds of thousands of runners. Now in this updated—and definitive—fourth edition, he again refines his methods and strategies to help you run faster and stronger.

3. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy

Increase strength, build mass, burn fat, and define your muscles. With full-color anatomical illustrations, step-by-step instructions, and training advice, Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy is the authoritative resource for sculpting your physique without free weights, machines, or expensive equipment.

2. The Physiology of Yoga

While many people practice yoga simply because it helps them feel good, the physiological basis for yoga’s effects on the body and mind is often unknown or misunderstood. Understanding these physiological concepts can help to deepen your yoga practice.

The Physiology of Yoga separates speculation from fact by examining how the body responds and adapts to yoga within many systems of the body: musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, endocrine, reproductive, and digestive. Straightforward explanations guide you in sorting through conflicting information about what yoga really can help you achieve and in evaluating whether certain yoga methods provide benefits to any or all of those systems.

1. Strength Training Anatomy – The Best Fitness Book

Over two million people have turned to Strength Training Anatomy for an inside look at how the body performs during exercise. Now with new exercises, stretches, and exercise variations, and with more of Frédéric Delavier’s signature art, the fourth edition of this classic work sets the standard by which all other strength training resources will be judged.

No other resource combines the visual detail of top anatomy texts with expert strength training advice. Over 700 anatomical illustrations, including 90 new to this edition, depict 231 exercises and variations to reveal the primary muscles involved as well as all the relevant surrounding structures, including bones, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue.

Header photo by Jannes Glas

This entry was posted in: Fitness & Health


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