By Sue Shekut, Licensed Massage Therapist, ACSM Personal Trainer, Certified Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage
Some say knowledge is power. And knowing how your body works and which muscles help you perform an activity can help you avoid injury and maintain optimal fitness. If you want to know more about your own body and how your muscles work in different exercises, Human Kinetics is the place to go. It’s a health and fitness education company that publishes a variety of books with detailed muscle anatomy illustrations. Books by Human Kinetics show how your muscles work in weight training exercises and when you do specific exercises like stretching, yoga, cycling and swimming. Each book shows the primary muscles you use in a particular exercise in color which makes it much easier to pick out individual muscles you wish to target. We recommend several of these illustrated anatomy books for corporate wellness libraries and for your home!
You can buy these books from the Human Kinetics site directly or from Amazon (where you may be able to get copies of used books for a bit less).
Example of Human Kinetic’s Strength Training Anatomy Dumbbell Lunge
Strength Training Anatomy-2nd Edition
By Frederic Delavier
The detailed artwork in the Strength Training Anatomy book showcases the muscles used during each exercise and delineates how these muscles interact with surrounding joints and skeletal structures. Like having an X-ray for each exercise, the information gives you a multilateral view of strength training not seen in any other resource.
This book also contains new information on common strength training injuries and preventive measures to help you exercise safely. Chapters are devoted to each major muscle group, with 115 total exercises for arms, shoulders, chest, back, legs, buttocks, and abdomen.
Women’s Strength Training Anatomy
By Frederic Delavier
With information on strengthening and toning the legs, buttocks, abs, and back, Women’s Strength Training Anatomy provides full-color, detailed anatomical illustrations of exercises for these hard-to-shape areas. Readers can see the muscles at work during each exercise, like an X ray of the body in motion.
By Arnold Nelson, Jouko Kokkonen
Each exercise in this book includes detailed instruction on how to stretch, when to stretch, primary and secondary muscle emphasis, and which muscles are activated for support. Stretching programs provide three levels of difficulty, including light stretching that can be used as a warm-up or to aid in recovery from soreness or injury. And summary movement tables show how to customize stretching programs to focus on key problem areas.
By Shannon Sovndal
Cycling Anatomy features 74 of the most effective cycling exercises, each with clear, step-by-step descriptions and full-color anatomical illustrations highlighting the primary muscles in action.
Cycling Anatomy goes beyond exercises by placing you on the bike and into the throes of competition. Illustrations of the active muscles involved in cornering, climbing, descending, and sprinting show you how the exercises are fundamentally linked to cycling performance.
By Leslie Kaminoff
With clear, expert instruction and full-color, detailed anatomical drawings, Yoga Anatomy depicts the most common asanasto provide a deeper understanding of the structures and principles underlying each movement and of yoga itself.
From breathing to standing poses, see how each muscle is used, how slight alterations of a pose can enhance or reduce effectiveness, and how the spine, breathing, and body position are all fundamentally linked.
Swimming Anatomy (available in October, 2009)
By Ian McLeod
See how to achieve stronger starts, more explosive turns, and faster times! Swimming Anatomy will show you how to improve your performance by increasing muscle strength and optimizing the efficiency of every stroke.
Swimming Anatomy includes 74 of the most effective swimming exercises, each with step-by-step descriptions and full-color anatomical illustrations highlighting the primary muscles in action.