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A valuable approach to injury prevention and rehabilitation with a sound sports-medicine base--and some strong disagreements with established opinion. The authors--an orthopedic surgeon and a kinesiologist/former Mr. Universe--base their programs on the holistic view that athletes and performers should strengthen and improve all parts of the body, not just those associated with their particular activity. Their Total Body Training Theory rests on three basic concepts. The first is to strengthen the core--the mid-torso muscles that control the ""central pillar"" of the body. The second emphasizes stabilization: to develop ""structural integrity"" so that the body has a stable system at rest or in motion, and can't be caught off-balance or out-of-line and thus be liable to injury. The third, dynamic range of motion, disputes many of the established rules for stretching. Pure flexibility is not the point, Dominguez and Gajda contend: what we really need for performance is ""stability throughout a full range of motion of the joint."" Thus many common exercises, designed for stretch alone (e.g., toe-touching), are useless or even harmful. Part 2 is devoted to explaining the Total Body Training Program based on this theory. In the accompanying discussion, other popular exercise programs are faulted--including aerobics (too many people accept cardiovascular fitness as the be-all and end-all of exercise) and machine-systems, such as Universal or Nautilus (the exercises don't move the joints through their full range of motion). Also covered: treatment for common injuries; pros and cons of physicians, and various other therapists; how to rehabilitate that most vulnerable of joints, the knee. Even those who don't agree with the whole will find sections of interest.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1982
Publisher: Scribners