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BOOK REVIEW: Modern Art and Science of Mobility
Title: Modern Art and Science of Mobility
Author: Aurelien Broussal-Derval and Stephane Ganneau
Publisher: Human Kinetics, ISBN: 9781492571216
Details: Paperback, 352pp
RRP: AUD $73.99 OR $59.19 when you use the code HK20 to SAVE 20% at the checkout HERE.

Reviewed by Tony Boutagy, PhD, AEP, AES

This book took longer to read than any other I have reviewed, due largely to the fact that I kept getting up off the lounge and trying almost all of the exercises, drills and stretches! There were numerous movements that I will be adding to my gym toolbox. Aurelien Broussal-Derval has produced another classic book, which perfectly complements his earlier The Modern Art of High-Intensity Training. Beautifully illustrated, thoroughly researched and full of highly practical information, there is no one who would not benefit from this book.

Drawing upon the worlds of exercise science and pain physiology research, physiotherapy, weightlifting, yoga and the martial arts, Broussal-Derval has weaved together a system of looking at the body in four parts: (1) what pain teaches us, (2) the importance of correct breathing patterns, (3) how the body moves from a muscle chain perspective and (4) functional training from the perspective of mobility.

In section one, Broussal-Derval covers the role of pain in movement and mobility and how pain alters posture and movement patterns. He covers trigger points, how to find them and the common places people experience them. The next part is devoted to self-massage techniques for all the typical trigger point locations, using a number of tools (from small, medium and large balls, rollers and other implements). The information contained in this section alone is completely invaluable, helping pain sufferers to diminish their discomfort and to learn the correct way to disable trigger points. In addition to the techniques on self-massage, I found the ‘self scans’, which assist the user in precisely locating the trigger point in each muscle group to be of great practical help as well.

Section two discusses breathing. This is a topic that is extremely important but rarely gets the attention that it deserves. Broussal-Derval discusses the benefits of correct breathing and the many patterns of dysfunctional breathing. He includes many helpful breathing drills and progressions to make them more challenging over time. This section is a very welcome addition to personal trainers’ assessment tools and corrective exercise arsenal.

The final two sections complement each other – movement and mobility – and form the major bulk of the book (over 150 pages). For each body part, Broussal-Derval begins with several tests to assess movement and mobility and then provides a number of solutions to each issue with a variety of tools, devices and stretches to increase mobility and corrective/functional exercises to strengthen weak muscles. Over 300 exercises are covered in the book but they are presented in a highly useable and logical manner: starting at the ankle, and working up to the neck and the extremities, there are several tests to assess mobility, movement and weakness.  Then several solutions to the joint mobility or muscle weakness are outlined in the order of difficulty.

Given the territory of topics covered in this book, from identifying and treating trigger points with self-massage techniques, to breathing drills and then to assessments for mobility and movement with solutions to every problem that can be identified, The Modern Art and Science of Mobility is easily my pick for ‘Book of The Year’ and a very worthy addition to the library of personal trainers and serious fitness enthusiasts.

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