Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review - The Student's Anatomy of Exercise Manual


The Student's Anatomy of Exercise Manual: 50 Essential Exercises Including Weights, Stretches, and Cardio

By Ken Ashwell
Publisher: Barron's
Publication Date: October 2012
ISBN: 978-1438001135
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: September 2012

Many times people head to places like Plant Fitness in hopes that they will lose weight and become fit in the process. It takes a little more than throwing yourself in the car and spending an hour in a gym a few times a week in hopes of targeting problem areas that you’d like to “fix.” For example, many people would love to have flat abs and are under the misconception that doing a series of crunches on a regular basis will do the trick. Crunches won’t burn fat but rather are a “strength and endurance exercise for the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, psoas, and iliacus.” Whew, does that sound complicated?

It really isn’t but your exercise regimen can get complicated and frustrating if you don’t know what you are doing or which muscles or muscle groups you’ll need to target in order to get the results you need. Crunches are an overall part of a good fitness package, but it is nice to know what you are accomplishing when you do them. I do have a set of the Barron’s Anatomy Flash Cards and the illustrations are similar, but in this book we get a full-body overview of the body as it works through an exercise.

The beginning of the book gives a highly detailed, crash course on our anatomy with an overview of the muscular, skeletal, nervous, circulatory, and respiratory systems, as well as anterior and lateral views of how our bodies move. Unlike the cards, the textbook-sized pages are easy to work with and things such as an at-a-glance anterior, posterior, and lateral views of the skeletal system on a two-page spread are excellent for comparative study. This is not only a book that can be used by those who wish to exercise, but also an excellent one for those who are in beginning anatomy or biology classes, work in sports medicine, or are in related health care fields.

CONTENTS (partial, relative to the exercises):

Anatomy Overview
Chest Exercises
* Dumbbell Chest Press
* Dumbbell Fly
* Bench Press
* Dip
* Cable Crossover
* Pullover
* Push-up
Back Exercises
* Lat Pulldown
* Chin-Up
* Bent-over Row
* Seated Row
* Reverse Fly
* Single-arm Row
Arm and Shoulder Exercises
* Biceps Curl
* Concentration Cural
* Cable Curl
* Triceps Pushdown
* Triceps Extension
* Triceps Kickback
* Shoulder Press
* Front Raise
* Lateral Raise
* Upright Row
* Shrug
* Wrist Curl
Leg and Buttock Exercise
* Dumbbell Squat
* Barbell Squat
* Barbell Lunge
* Deadlift
* Romanian Deadlift
* Step-up
* Standing Calf Raise
* Seated Calf Raise
* Leg Extension
* Seated Leg Curl
* Lying Leg Curl
* Leg Press
* Nordic Hamstrings
* Hip Adduction
* Hip Abduction
Trunk Exercises
* Plank
* Crunch
* Cross-body Crunch
* Bicycle
* Superman
* Bridge
* Back Extension
* Lift
* Chop
* Walkout
Coloring Workbook

Whether you are an athlete, taking an anatomy course, a sports science one, or are an allied health worker you’ll love this manual. The large number of full-color, detailed illustrations are particularly impressive. At first glance, I didn’t think much of the “coloring workbook” until I took a closer look. This workbook has an overview of several body systems, including the muscular, skeletal, and nervous ones. The pages have blanks where the student can fill in the names of muscles, bones, and nerves, something that will facilitate one’s knowledge of the body.

The fifty exercises that are gone over in depth have one sidebar that explains the “how to,” its variations, and active muscles. Another sidebar gives cautionary notes or tells one how to perform the exercise correctly. Step-by-step labeled visuals accompany the illustrations. In the back is an index and a thorough glossary. This is an impressive and interesting addition to the Barron’s anatomy series, one that anyone interested in any facet of exercise or sports medicine should add to their list.

Quill says: Whether you are a student or simply a person who wants to know more about your body, this superb exercise manual will help you understand just how your body works!