Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance
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Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  782 ratings  ·  59 reviews

Join the movement that has reached millions of athletes and coaches; learn how to perform basic maintenance on your body, unlock your human potential, live pain free…and become a Supple Leopard.

Improve your athletic performance, extend your athletic career, treat body stiffness and achy joints, and rehabilitate injuries—all...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Victory Belt Publishing (first published February 10th 2013)
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The first 20% of this book is just stupid and almost entirely unnecessary. I'm not exaggerating when I say it could have been condensed to two pages and the book overall would have been the better for it. To save you the trouble of reading a fifth of the book, I'll just sum it up for you. In one sentence: The way that I stand is the right way, and everyone should stand like me.

This point of view is distinctly different and separate from the sentence: I like to stand the right way. It's also...more
The absolute best reference on keeping your body pain-free while getting fit. Kelly not only knows his stuff, he makes it understandable to the layperson.

The detailed pics & descriptions make this book a must-have
Kim Pallister
I finished the book a while back but am just getting around to posting a review.

Kelly Starrett is really well known in the Crossfit community. As a Crossfit gym owner and Doctor of Physical Therapy, he has carved out a really niche of expertise as being the "joint, form and mobility guy" of crossfit. In addition, he has posted a ton of really useful videos to youtube over the past couple years that have made him a well known name. So, when he announced the book, many people pre-ordered and I wa...more
Highly recommended if you are an athlete, trainer, coach, or someone with a physically strenuous job. I don't really fall into any of those categories but the book was for me too.

If you weight train, I'd call this book essential. You need to know you're performing your lifts correctly to both maximize your potential and to prevent injuries that can be exacerbated by repetitions over time. The book is full of photographs demonstrating a variety of exercises and common faults to avoid.

How does thi...more
crossfit noise
I love Kelly Starrett and so I was excited when I first learned about this book. I pre-ordered it as soon as I could. I was expecting to see his helpful Mobility WODs in book form, with lots of illustrations and descriptions.

The book does have a lot of great photos and explanations, but a lot of it deals with the various Crossfit movements, like lifting and even rowing and wall ball. That's helpful stuff indeed, but I'm fortunate to have great coaches at my gym to teach me that already, and ther...more
I kind of want to give this book four and a half stars instead of five because even though I absolutely love this book and its easily my most useful I feel it has a few flaws.

1. Starrett seems to have gone commercial completely siding with Rogue making his website something you have to pay for and this book showing a lot of product placement.

2. I feel even though this is 400 page it could have been longer and more stuff could have been put into it. I remember WODs present on the site that aren'...more
Fundamentally, this book is an organization and systemization of the material that Kelly Starrett has posted on It covers his axioms of human movement, applies those axioms to teaching correct form on fundamental strength exercises, and provides a set of techniques to address mobility issues preventing you from moving correctly. There's a lot more here than just a bunch of 'stretching exercises'- it's really treating the human body as a complete system and provides a manual for...more
By the first look at the book, this is truly amazing. Loads of images, hints and explanations how to do the various exercises right. It also contains a load of information how to fix common problems like immobilities.

If you are into CrossFit this is the ultimate guide. If you want to become a better athlete, this will help you in many ways.

I am seriously blown away by the book! After reading and viewing my expectations were pretty high, I was not disappointed!
Jan 27, 2014 Jeremy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Coaches, Athletes
Recommended to Jeremy by: Kelly Starrett
Supple Leopard is basically the course notes to Kelly Starrett's Mobility and Movement seminar.
Takes a while to get through this book but it has a vast amount of knowledge that I now use each time I am at the gym weight its just doing some deadlifts or I am doing some recovery.

Every athletic should have this book.
This book is an incredible tool. I was familiar with Kelly's approach through the mobility WOD, and had used his techniques to great effect in keeping my running on track and injury-free. The information on the WOD was kind of scattered though, and it's great to have a well organized reference. I can use the time I save to work on more mobilizations.

It's a little odd that a book like this doesn't have an index, though I've managed to get along pretty well without one so far. Still, it would allo...more
This book is basically an encyclopedia of human movement, what the bio-mechanically correct positions are and how to correct for incorrect positions. I have always had problems with my knees and ankles, and now I have a plan to fix some of those problems. It feels good knowing what the problems are, and why my knees hurt me after exercise. It is a bit daunting- this is going to be a lot of work, and I will have to scale back on my squatting weight and work on form for a while. However after one...more
Are you tired of being told that your aches / paints / injuries / etc. will go away if you "just do more yoga / strength work / stretch more"? Do you feel like you're just cobbling together a mix of common sense & pseudo-science & hoping for the best without any clear idea of what is *actually* causing your problems and what is *actually* likely to fix things?

If so, you might at the very least find this book interesting. Starrett's philosophy is that “All human beings should be able to p...more
Ryan Clayton
A book by Dr. Kelly Starrett about athletic performance and injury in sports. One of the most informative and functional books I have ever read. The book teaches proper movement mechanics, patterning, techniques, for many athletic endeavors that I enjoy and do often. The book has helped me work my way through nagging injuries, aches and pains. I have since eliminated my back pain, shoulder discomfort and prepped my body for football season.
Excellent resource for improving form on popular weight lifting, etc. exercises. There is also a large part of the book dedicated to improving mobility, increasing performance, and preventing/recovering from injury.

I gleaned some great tips from the step by step instructions for each exercise. It really made a few things click into place. There is a strong emphasis on perfect form, the use of torque, and proper setup.

The author's background is with Crossfit. This is pervasive throughout the boo...more
Rory Sparshott
This book changed the way I look at functional fitness. My legs feel better, I'm stronger, and I can function. I owe my legs to this man.

I am not a crossfit junkie (due mostly to the people who do crossfit), but this book is one of those that will always have a place on my shelf, however old I am.
Feb 03, 2014 Liz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fitness
This is a great book to own if you are human. Humans have pain, and you can't go to the physiotherapist/massage therapist every time your shoulder feels a little stiff! I'm using the ideas in this book to supplement my current physio/massage/yoga/strength training routine to handle the combined stresses of running and an office job. If you know your trouble spots - core, hips, rotator cuff, you name it - you can mark the corresponding pages in the book, and go back to them any time. (You'll need...more
Alex Strick van Linschoten
Awful for beginners / non-professionals or non-athletes. It's pretty poorly written, so much so that I had very little idea what was going on throughout. All the pictures etc are nice, but I had no idea how to use it. Disappointing, to say the least.
This book is a tale of two halves. I have serious issues with some of the movement cues and instruction given in the first half, but the mobility section has been worth the price of the entire book, and will become part of my practice with my patients as well as my own bodywork.
Teresa Castagna
Detailed movements that address body mechanics. Learn key mobility exercises to keep your body supple. I refer to this book often and I benefit daily from reading it.
Absolutely vital reading for coaches, trainers, strength athletes, or anyone who is serious about their sport or general fitness. While a very basic working knowledge of the principles of biomechanics is necessary, Dr. Starrett breaks his tutorials down into fairly digestible terms. Supplement "Supple Leopard" with his Mobility WOD YouTube videos and you're on your way to pain-free mobility bliss.
Great reference for motor control and mobility issues. Will continue to reference it constantly.
David Ranney
The most thorough, no-nonsense book on the body that I have ever picked up. Essentially for re-setting the body back to its natural, optimized state. I am not a serious athlete, but I have been using the mobility hacks as a compliment to my morning yoga, and already I have seen returns in overall range of motion, especially in my squat depth and injured shoulder.

The body is a complex machine of muscles and joints, and it takes more than simply stretching to perform safely and effectively.
Amazing reference book for movement as well as a stand-alone for anyone who really wants virtuosity. I hope to work with coaches who either have read and are working to implement the concepts inside, or someone who is already functioning from a place of understanding the concepts in this book. Anyone leery of Crossfit's "dangerous" prescriptions (too fast, too heavy) can take heart when they realize there is concern over quality of form/movement.
I would describe this book as a must read. On the surface you'd think it's contents will be suited to people who lift weights and work out. However, Kelly's advice on posture and every day movements applies to everyone.

The book is perfectly laid out and the images that go with the descriptions in each section make it simple for anyone to follow.

It may seem like an expensive purchase to some, but it's well worth the money.
If you are looking for a guide for mobility and corrective exercises, this the the book for your home library! The text is at the right level for the average non-professional user, if a little chatty. I happen to like that myself but some might not. The exercises are very clear and well documented, you can't' go wrong with this reference! I am an older woman who enjoys intense exerciser and this book has been invaluable to mo
A bit high level for anyone new to the area of "mobility" in fitness/sports. Lots of info here and I'll definitely go over some of the sections multiple times as well as view some of Starrett's online videos. Kind of expensive for a hardcover but as a training tool, to reverse a joint inflammation without the need for a physical therapist its well worth the cost.
Kelly knows a thing or two about human anatomy and training. Even though there are parts most strength coaches do not agree on (the foot pointed straight forward thing when doing squats) it is a book I recommend to anyone who is part of the strength business.

P.S: The band stretches were the best part. They are awesome.
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