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Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention
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Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,244 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Tired of getting the same treatments from doctors that didn’t heal his joint and muscle pain from running, Jay Dicharry decided to combine different fields of clinical care, biomechanical analysis, and coaching to help you avoid common injuries and become the best runner you can be.

Running has become more and more popular in recent years, with thousands of people entering
Paperback, 1st, 320 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Skyhorse Publishing
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  1,244 ratings  ·  121 reviews

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Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: runners of all abilities and ages
What prevents me from giving this book 5 stars?

Not the anatomical information. Very enlightening.

Not the inspiration. I'm pumped to use these techniques to avoid injury and finally be able to compete again at the distance-not-to-be-named.

It was the repetition. Dicharry has 3 or 4 important points to make. So he does. Repeatedly. I mean very repeatedly.

Related to the repetitiveness of the text: the first (approximately) 3/4 of the book is words and the remainder is photos of the self-tests and r
One month ago, I started training for a 5k race, which I signed up for, one month from now. 8 weeks to turn a non-runner into a person who can run for 3 miles without needing a medic.

One week ago I started having fatigue pain and cramping in my lower left leg. In my day job, I do remedial massage for just these conditions, but you know what they say about troubleshooting your own "chassis," to borrow an expression from the book.

Blinders on.

I've spent the last week treating the area of pain, w
Jana Light
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
An excellent, scientific overview of how the human body responds to running and how runners can adjust their mechanics to ensure running longevity. I picked it up because I was experiencing potentially-prohibitive shin splints, but after making tweaks to my form throughout my reading of the book, today I ran 12 miles and had no pain -- neither during nor after my run. This is a great resource for people who love running but are not "natural" or particularly intuitive about gait (like me!).

I took
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book contributes greatly to my understanding of the biomechanics of running. The author uses several visual and mechanical analogues to make convincing arguments for better running forms and corrective drills. This book is not about sample training plans nor human anatomy. It is a highly stylized and effectively simplified book to educate general readers about running mechanics.

A few highlighted points:

(1) running requires stabilization in the lateral and rotational planes in order to move
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was really, really good! I thought it was going to be boring, but it's well-written, interesting, funny at times and with good illustrations/pictures! It made me understand injuries and what to do if you get them (hint: it's not always what you might think) AND, best of all, helped me understand what to do to prevent them and become a better runner. Also, it had just good information on efficiency and how to improve speed/endurance. This book should really be required reading for ALL r ...more
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Finally! This excellent book covers the physics of running and what your body is designed to do when you are an efficient strong runner. But it's also extremely practical because there are tests to perform so you can evaluate yourself and then exercises to do so that your can correct the imbalances you have. I am on my way to becoming a stronger runner with much less risk of injury! Thank you Jay Dicharry! ...more
Mar 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Useful information, though the authors tone is a bit grating
Jeni Enjaian
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for every runner especially if they've been injured in the past. Dr. Dicharry gives an excellent technical description of how the body should work, how to test for weaknesses and most importantly how to fix them and become a stronger runner. ...more
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very informative. Sometimes it's a little hard to understand and sometimes it's repetitive, but overall, it makes a lot of sense. This book has already helped me find some of my own weaknesses and I believe it will help me fix them too. Only time will tell. ...more
a comprehensive look at the biomechnics of running, along with plenty of exercises and drills for prehab and rehab. dicharry is considered one of the authorities in running PT. i bought a hard copy of this book for my library.
John Adamski
Apr 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Some good, practical knowledge for runners. But really, this book should have been a 30 page pamphlet.
James Nance
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for runners. I learned a lot about my body's anatomy and physiology, and it provided me with the tools I need to identify and correct my muscle imbalances and weaknesses. ...more
Daniel Schulte
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, ebook
I can't deny that I learned some things about what muscles are composed of and how tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones all work together to help us run (and do everything else, for that matter). So I don't have any complaints about this book as far as the information itself is concerned.

However, this book definitely has other issues working against it. First of all, this book seems to place itself somewhere between a reference manual and self-help book for runners. I say it felt like a refere
Maciej Jablonski
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
Having started running year ago at age of 40 and little prior exposure to sports I have been slowly coming to realisation how big an undertaking this is. And how hard it is to find reliable and coherent source of information that can explain process of becoming a runner and what it involves.

The book separates running into two major components:
* the engine that takes care of oxygen, energy, metabolism, waste removal;
* the chassis that channels the energy into propelling motion (neural pathways,
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I learned A LOT from this book. As an endurance coach, this was an invaluable read in terms of what I could take away from it to help the athletes who I work with. I plan to implement several of the things I learned ASAP with many of them.

It's a bit technical (my background from other training and as an endurance coach was extremely useful and allowed me to understand the content presented in the book more). However, I liked the way that the author narrated the book (it feels like he's truly hav
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I suffer from knee pain when running, this notes helped:

1. Run from the butt. Think bring your heel back with glutes+hamstrings, not bring knee forward with quads. Likewise, do not step overly far forward, think skipping rope, not forward lunges.
2. Don't sit back on your hips while running/walking.
3. Optimal running cadence hovers around 180bpm. Find yours with a metronome and skipping rope until you find the "bounciest" jump cadence.
5. Prevent internal rotation. Imagine your kneecaps are flash
An Te
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Coming to this book as a once injured runner, it is refreshing to consider Jay's holistic approach to running. It's all about stability through the foot and maintaining good form and movement. Once these are mastered, then one can proceed to achieve one's goals (track, marathons or casual running). Critically, his philosophy underlines the importance of sound biomechanics and form for injury free running.

Most importantly, I understand running form and biomechanics better, which has enabled me to
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mandatory reading for any runner

If you have any interest in pursuing running on a long term basis, you cannot afford to practice your hobby or craft without information contained here. The author provides sensible and practical advice, data, and exercises. The book opens one eyes to looking at running as a holistic activity of the various body parts. The main lessons that this book delivers and constantly reiterates are: 1) running is more than about how many miles that you put in, and 2) a symp
Mark Zodda
May 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Interesting, but possibly dated. Lots of books are written by physical therapists that talk to the best way to train. Most of these books don't agree with each other about how to achieve a specific result and almost always point to a study that shows something different from previous conventional wisdom. Dicharry's book is from 2012 so there are almost a decade's worth of new studies completed since it was written, which makes it hard to assess if Dicharry's approach is up to date. However, the ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
As someone coming back from injury and tying to do "all the right things" I found this book both fascinating and helpful. It discusses the anatomical reasons we are told to do the things we know we should do as runners: core strengthening, foam rolling, active release therapy, gait optimization, higher cadence, etc. I've spent the last 3 months working on all of these things and his book helped solidify the reasons I've doing it as well as motivated me to continue them - to be become a stronger, ...more
Jana Viktoria
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Currently recovering from a running injury I was both reluctant and excited to start. Weird feeling... but as the book says: NOW is the right time to start...

And I did.

And it did not disappoint.

You do not need a medical degree to understand what’s going on in the body while running, how injuries occur, how to prevent them and how to get better at your sport.

Read this book.

Do the assessments.

Do the exercises.

Do it now.

Must read for anyone who is even only a little serious about running...
Mike Parkes
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended, especially for runners who are injury-prone. I've seen books with similar titles that are nothing more than diagrams of muscles and a laundry list of exercises. This book is not like that at all - it explains in layman's terms how the body should behave when running and reasons why things might go wrong, and then takes a forensic approach to helping you determine and understand what might be causing you pain or injury problems when running. ...more
Benjamin Torres
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is a great tool for understandings how the body of a runner should be developed.
It explains the most common injuries of runners, what are the causes and most importantly how to avoid them and cure them. It also gives vey good tips for developing strength, speed and endurance.

The one thing I only have myself to blame is that I could not grasp or get all the information, because as I listened to the audiobook while running, the lack of pictures and images made a huge difference.
Louise Valentine
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite actionable running books of all time! I love the clear instructions on how to test for our running-related weaknesses and essentially help to design our own preventive physical therapy program (though, of course, always heading to our PT when we have true concerns/injuries is the best option). I've recommended this book as a go-to tool to many exercise physiology, strength training, and massage clients. ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yes, it's a bit repetitive. Yes, the author's sense of humour may not be to everybody's taste. And yet, the information contained in this book is gold for every runner out there, very especially for those that started running late in life and didn't grow up barefoot in Africa.

Fix your body first.
Work on your imbalances.
Running is the easy part.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running
Very informative. If you have problems with injuries, this might be the solution you had been waiting for. It made clearer what I have to do to heal my tendinosis, and what are the weaknesses in my body that need to be addressed. The book does need some tighter editing, as the parts don’t connect together smoothly, not all exercises have a previous reference, and the ones that do are not indexed.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is way more technical than I expected. There's a lot of deep anatomical knowledge contained within, probably a lot more detailed than I needed. It's great for what it is, but it wasn't necessarily good for me. I could have done with a lot less anatomy and a lot more higher level running discussion. ...more
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting to gain a better idea of the anatomy of runners. Besides a solid background on the different parts of running and the reasons why you need to pay attention to them, it has great practical value with test to find out your own weaknesses and exercises to improve them. The book is very accessible for anyone without a professional background in anatomy.
Kaspars Koo
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fitness, best-of-2019
Excellent! A bible for runners - you should be able to find most answers regarding the runner's body here. It does 3 things:
1. Describes how your body works while you're running
2. Gives you tests to show which muscle groups are ready for running and which need more work
3. Prescribes you exercises to train those specific groups which need it.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent ...

...for physical therapists who want to know more about evaling and progressing athletes. Would highly recommend to fellow PTs and anyone who leads any active lifestyle.
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Jay Dicharry, MPT, SCS, is the Director of the SPEED Clinic and the Motion Analysis Lab at the University of Virginia. Originally from New Orleans, Jay received his Masters of Physical Therapy degree at Louisiana State University Medical Center. He is an instructor in the Sports Medicine program and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency at the University of Virginia. Jay is a Board Certif ...more

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