Book review: Anatomy Trains

Anatomy Trains is not a new read. It’s first edition hit the stands in 2001. 17 years later, it remains a fantastic and consistently thought provoking text. For anyone involved in delivering fitness and healthcare, it should be on the ‘must read list’. 

Why? Because it delivers fabulous insight into the connectivity of human soft tissue and the way humans move. 

Myers ‘tensegrity’ concept that sees muscles, bones, fascia, tendons, ligaments and capsules as components of a continuous environment is highly compelling and has massive implications for the way in which practitioners approach movement programming and manual therapy interventions. 

Back in the day, we all learned about how muscles worked independently. And how we could isolate them, overload them and end up with big pecs and guns right?

Well, when you read Anatomy trains, you are going to have this perspective turned on its head! Goodbye local, isolated focus and hello global, interconnected appreciation of our graceful, flowing anatomy.

The concepts are complex and at times it will tax your brain to its limit. But Myers offsets this dense information with easy to understand diagrammes and pictures.

Anatomy Trains is one of those books, which, when you read it, you think to yourself, ‘Based on my knowledge, this all makes a whole lot of sense! Of course everything is connected. How could I ever have thought anything different’? 

And don’t expect to finish this book overnight! If you are anything like me, you will ‘dip into’ this text on a regular basis, process the information, try it out in practice and then come back to it. So there is months of knowledge growth here as you voyage through the myofascial landscape.

And what I really like is how Myers then relates the myofascial lines to exercise and sport – it is the perfect way to put it all into context.

Those of you who lay great store around functional biomechanics and the influence of gravity, ground reactions and momentum on the skeletal system will find the ideal conceptual partner in this book. It dovetails perfectly with the joint loading and kinetic chain concepts which you know and love.

From a practical perspective, my clients see significant changes to their mobility when we construct exercises based around triplanar movements, but they also gain significant benefit from the Sports Massage treatments geared to supporting those smooth, efficient and powerful movements.

Read this book not because you want to catch up on the latest fad, but instead to inspire you to think differently about human movement. It will invigorate your own sessions and transform the way you deliver exercise programmes and hands on manual interventions for your clients.

Click here to buy the text.