It’s a little ironic that in the middle of reading this book, I sprained my lower back and had to forego all other training to focus on core activation and strength for rehabilitation. That should be the first indicator that the elements of this book are important. Core strength is a little bit like insurance. You can get by without it, but sooner or later, at a time that you cannot dictate, you will wish you had it. This is one of those times I wish had invested in premium core insurance.
I have read a lot of books. A lot. But “Master your Core” by Dr. Bohdanna Zazulak is not a book that you so much read, as it is a book that you do. It is not a training guide per se, but it does walk you through an extensive series of concepts, steps, and exercises to get your body (and mind) in the right condition to perform. It took me longer to get through than I originally expected because I followed Dr. Zazulak’s request to do things that illustrated her points.
“Take a ten-minute break from reading to assess yourself for imbalances…. Observe your motion in front of a mirror… Look for any noticeable side-to-side differences: are your kneecaps “kissing” each other by collapsing into a knock-kneed position? Does your trunk learn or rotate on the way up or down?”
I know how important core strength is, but I never thought about just how much and how detailed it can be until reading this book. Dr. Zazulak breaks down concepts such as Open vs Closed Chain Kinetics, sex-based differences, and even pandiculation. I had no idea what that term meant. Do you?
There are a lot of fitness/training books on the market that are written by trainers who try to teach you what they do with their clients. While this book still offers specific training routines, it stands out in that the entire basis for the book is from peer-reviewed research — much of it by Dr. Zazulak herself. She dives directly to the source and explains not only what to do, but why to do it, and how she knows that it works. There is a lot in this book that you are not going to get from a trainer — specifically when it comes to some of the finer details of deep core activation, stability, balance, etc. She approaches all aspects of the core with precision.
Here’s my final comment. I’m not putting this book on the shelf like the many others that I’ve read. No, it is staying out for awhile as I re-read (and re-do) some of the tests and routines. It’s time for me to re-build and re-calibrate my core strength so that I’m not going through another extended period of rehab…..because quite frankly — recovering from injuries just plain sucks.
Note: I was provided a free copy of Master your core: A science-based guide to achieve peak performance and resilience to injury. There was no expectation of a positive review and I wrote this post as if I had purchased the book myself.