Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Jay Dicharry’s Anatomy for Runners: A Book Review

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Jay Dicharry’s Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention takes the reader through an accessible discussion of health, exercise, and running in general. Dicharry starts with the building blocks—he discusses everything from the basic premise of what he calls FIT (frequency, intensity, and time) and tissue health to the drills needed to balance out the muscle deficiencies that many of us have. He takes a bottom up approach on running and athletics in general and this approach is a huge positive for anyone of any experience level.

What makes Dicharry’s book such a strong read is his intense focus on biology, especially in reference to running and sport in general. He digs into tissue health, alignment, and development, all of which he attacks from a cellular, individual level. While the subject matter is dense, the delivery is soft and full of easy to understand metaphor. For example, he uses straws to discuss muscle fiber alignment and builds on said image in order to elaborate on muscle function and dysfunction. Such facts are key, for if one does not understand that alignment of healthy muscled fibers versus that of those which are damaged, one will fail to understand how to recover and adjust. With this knowledge, Dicharry echoes the therapy side of the industry, and spends an expansive amount of time first detailing the destructive nature of NASIDS and then advocating manual therapy. I know from coaching that manual therapy—both through self-trigger point massage and physiologist/PT governed Graston and ART—can keep athletes first whole and second put them back on the track quickly.

Dicharry discusses form alterations, specifically suggesting that one avoids altering form in favor of strengthening imbalances. Once the imbalances are adjusted, one will gain efficiency, which, of course, will lead to improved performance. That said, a fantastic book worthy of a read.

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