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

4.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,911 Ratings  ·  107 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&#821
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Victory Belt Publishing (first published February 10th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 18, 2014 Samantha rated it it was ok
Shelves: health, non-fiction, 2014

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
May 08, 2013 Doug rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 02, 2013 Kim Pallister rated it really liked it
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
Jul 30, 2013 Tayvonne rated it it was amazing
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'
Nov 12, 2015 Claire rated it really liked it
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
Apr 06, 2014 Rian rated it did not like it
crossfit noise
Jan 04, 2014 Greg rated it liked it
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
Jessenia Kahn
Jun 01, 2015 Jessenia Kahn rated it really liked it
I love to work out with my main areas being Crossfit, Olympic Weightlifting, and general weightlifting in the gym. My coach recommended this book very early on into my Crossfit journey. I thank the heavens for Kelly Starlett, his books and his website MobilityWOD. There are so many people that come into the box dealing with previous injuries, mobility issues, or are currently dealing with injuries. I've spent a lot of time observing individuals and one big difference is the amount of time people ...more
Sep 08, 2014 Rebbecca rated it did not like it
Shelves: text-books
When I first finished this book and implemented its techniques, I had absolutely zero idea about anatomy and physiology. Now after delving into how the human body works, receiving formal training, I cannot endorse this book at all. It follows the older line of thought that it is muscle and tissue that controls everything, and that it can force change through outside influences.

Going into that further later, I will explain what exactly is wrong with this book, from someone who works in rehabilita
May 12, 2013 Thomas rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 01, 2015 Bethany rated it it was ok
This book is intimidating. It is big and thick, with very little white space on its pages. The amount of information and the number of exercises and techniques provided is overwhelming.

Writing about movement in a way that is clear and concise is extremely tricky. Starrett does okay, but not great. The book provides lots of pictures, but they do not all bring clarity to the movements being described and would be enhanced with better captioning.

The author does take tremendous care to explain how
May 15, 2013 Piotr rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crossfit
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 really liked it
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.
Jan 23, 2016 Jason rated it really liked it
First off, there is a 2nd edition of this with some updates. I would suggest this to anyone trying to improve mobility and understand the fundamentals of movement. Kelly Starrett lays out picture demonstrations and it's fairly easy for even the beginner to understand, however it would help to know the rudimentary terminology of human anatomy/mechanics, as he does use terms like: "external rotation, thoracic extension, etc." I took a physiology class, which led me to reading this in the first pla ...more
May 15, 2015 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
This book is such an incredibly rare gift - I really can't think of anything else like it. It's basically an owners manual for your body - specifically your muscular-skelatal system - and it teaches you correct movement patterns so you can avoid pain and injury. But my favorite part by far is that it recognizes that nearly any injury or athletic limitation can be overcome and healed - and this book is the defacto manual in my opinion for the specific steps on how to do so. I love that this book ...more
Jan 12, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it
Recommended to Andrew by: Strong Swift Durable
This book has been hailed as the Holy Grail of movement literature in strength conditioning, bodybuilding and CrossFit communities. There is a huge market demand for explaining physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and Kelly Starrett does exactly that in bro-speak.

At times, exactly who the auidence is never clear. It assumes the trainee, however, providing advice about movements is worthless without the guidance of a coach or therapist. Being able to critique forms is not innate and the general publ
Oct 18, 2015 Jon rated it really liked it
Sitting down and reading this one was a little intense. I had to read a chapter at a time and then switch to some fiction.

The information is fantastic and at just the right depth level. Starting Strength was so anatomical it felt like a biology text book and my eyes glazed over.

BSL gave me just enough info that it was useful. Things that seemed like little tips and broscience actually made sense on a larger scale. For instance I'd always heard that I should avoid flaring my elbows out while ben
Jun 12, 2014 Angelina rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 27, 2014 Alec rated it did not like it
Not impressed. There appears to be a fairly new movement (market) for this sports rehab/pre-hab/'movement' material. Everything from rolling a foam roller over your muscles to 'functional movement' exercises.
I am skeptical. It screams marketing and sales to me. I've received no real measurable benefit from this category of 'fitness' I'm a marathoner with 7 under my belt so far, to give you an idea of where I'm coming from.

I'll stick to light jogging and dynamic stretching for 10-15 minutes befo
Jan Weitzel
Nov 03, 2014 Jan Weitzel rated it it was ok
This book is overhyped. Big time.

Now, you want to get mobile? Stretch your ass after working out. You want to be prepared for crossfit? Do heavy lifts. You want to perform good in crossfit? Do heavy lifts, not crossfit. There is a reason why lifters do a pause between the sets and don't run trough the gym to do olympic lifts to failure. You'll snap your shit up with that sooner or later, believe it or not. No mobility work will help you with a dishorniated disc.
Is crossfit fun? Yeah. Does it ma
Jan 28, 2016 Nick rated it it was amazing
This husband and wife team has thought more about how to stand, walk, sit, lift, bend, squat, and so on than any two other people on the planet. The book is full of pictures and insane detail about how to move your body in space in order to maximize its potential and minimize injury. It's a godsend for anyone with chronic body movement issues, repetitive motion injuries, and athletic injuries and problem areas. It's best used as a resource guide when you need to refer to a particular kind of mov ...more
Oct 06, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing
As someone who's only starting to pay attention to his body, I've been dealing with a bunch of issues due to the sports I play: shoulder, wrist, hip, knee, feet issues.

This provides a good guide to paying attention to everyday motions (such as sitting in a chair / standing up) as well as more complex motions (jumping) as well as an extremely detailed, full body repair guide, from the neck to the toes.

Obviously, do your own research as well, there's so much research out there that proves / dispro
Sarah Clement
Nov 08, 2015 Sarah Clement rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-purchase
This is less a book to read from cover to cover, and more a coffee table (or gym, more accurately) resource. I learned a lot from this book in terms of both movement and mobility, and I will return to this as a resource time and gain. I think the beginning chapters are certainly worth reading, however, and I tried to cheat the system by skipping right to the mobility bits and found myself returning to read them. I understand that the format of this new edition is much improved since the previous ...more
Feb 16, 2015 xDEAD ENDx rated it liked it
The mobility work is useful stuff, but I'm left feeling a little bit limited since I don't have a lot of the equipment here at home (boxes, a stable pole to tie bands onto, barbells, etc.)...

The other half of the book is just silly. There's minimal references to works that would justify what is being said, and there seems to be a lot of contradictions. For instance, one of the trainers Starrett claims to be indebted to specifically says to turn the feet out at about 30 degrees when squatting --
Jan 05, 2014 Tim rated it really liked it
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
Oct 10, 2013 Danielle rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 26, 2013 Angela rated it it was amazing
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
Ryan Clayton
Aug 24, 2014 Ryan Clayton rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 20, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
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
Aug 30, 2015 Jeff rated it it was amazing
I ironically bought this book before a serious ankle sprain and boy, was I glad I did. The irony behind it is that this book provided me with a new modality of treatment for ankle swelling (voodoo floss) and it worked like a charm. There is not much else to say about this book other than that it provides a wealth of information for preventing injuries and improving mechanical performance.
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