Review: A Guide to Better Movement + Interview with author Todd Hargrove | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Review: A Guide to Better Movement + Interview with author Todd Hargrove

I recently finished the A Guide to Better Movement, one of the best books I have read in a while. If you are a PT, DC, ATC, MT, strength coach, fitness enthusiast, or you are alive and moving, you should stop reading this blog, and go and get the book here.

What is my one sentence review of A Guide to Better Movement? - "All of the knowledge, with none of the pretentiousness."

I have been following author/blogger Todd Hargrove's work since I started blogging 3 years ago. He was one of the first who made me start thinking about stretch/movement tolerance and the influence of the nervous system on movement and manual therapies; this changed the way I educated patients on both. I had the opportunity to interview him recently which is below.

In the meantime, I cannot recommend his book enough, and it will definitely make my next Top 5 Friday's list for recommended reading. It takes the best of Modern Pain Science, gives you a review, and relates it to all kinds of movement from sport, to ADLs, flexibility, balance, agility, and strengthening and conditioning.

If you are new to Pain Science, or even if you've taken one of the original Explain Pain Courses with Butler in 2002 (like I did), you'll still come away with great explanations for patients, metaphors, and educational quotes that will undoubtedly assist you in practice and life in general.

Below is the interview google hangout, click here to download the audio only, 20 min, great for a commute!

Quotes from the book...

"For the most part, great movement is not about how large your range of motion is, it's what you do with the range you have."

"In general, inhibition of muscular activity is a higher order skill than activation, which tends to spread or irradiate from place to place without any help. Put another way, it is relatively easy to activate a muscle - the hard thing is keeping it relaxed when its neighbors are working."

"Great balance is not just about staying upright while walking a balance beam. Even in situations where falling is not a threat, optimal balance is required to preserve the ability to move in any direction with a minimum of preparation."

"When we mobilize our spines into movements we haven't made for a while, we might imagine that any resulting benefits are related to physically breaking through the areas that are "sticky" or adhered together. But a better explanation might be that we are simply reminding the brain of the places it can move."

I don't want to spoil it with more quotes, suffice to say, Todd wrote a much better text than I would have. The bar has been raised! It's great to go outside of your discipline and learn from others, and their take on Modern Pain Science and movement. I guarantee you will learn something novel for yourself and/or your patients/clients.

Keeping it Eclectic....


  1. I'm about 25% through it and absolutely agree with your review. Todd takes complex concepts and somehow makes them easily understandable and interesting at the same time...that's not easy to do! It's a great read. I'm
    am already recommending it to patients...

  2. Thanks so much for the kind words and the interview Erson, it's a real honor.

  3. No problem Todd, it was great speaking with you. You deserve every sale and accolade, I hope this blows up for you!

  4. Absolutely! It's a great balance for both clinicians and patients!