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Gray Cook  

Author; Lecturer; Internationally Recognized Physical Therapist

Gray Cook is a practicing physical therapist and orthopedic certified specialist, and is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a kettlebell instructor. He is the founder of Functional Movement Systems, which promotes the concept of movement pattern screening and assessment. His work and ideas are at the forefront of fitness, conditioning, injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Gray Cook is an influential figure in both rehabilitation and exercise. His career started with an undergraduate degree in sports medicine and exercise science with minors in athletic training and psychology. His interest took him to the University of Miami where he studied physical therapy and furthered his strength and conditioning development. It's no accident that he became a certified strength coach and licensed physical therapist in the same year because his work has targeted fundamental errors in the way that exercise and rehabilitation have been practiced. Gray has introduced a systems approach to understanding, training, and rehabilitating movement.

Professional evolution is often geared toward specialization but most highly specialized professionals hit a plateau and adopt an approach that incorporate systems that protect the user against fundamental errors. This historical trend can be seen in aviation, medicine, and education. Fitness and rehabilitation are approaching a critical tipping point where fundamental systems are necessary for improved outcomes. This is because our current knowledge and scientific advances have not reversed the downward turn in the health and fitness of our culture. Fundamental systems minimize logistical errors that will improve communication between the many disciplines that exercise and rehabilitate the masses. Cook contends that we must map movement patterns and consider movement as a behavior and not simply as clean mechanical data. We must also develop better understanding of how movement is learned, maintained, and restored.

Cook's work cuts to the core of problems like low back pain, obesity, and the general physical decline of a modern culture. By revisiting the natural developmental principals that all infants employ as they learn to walk, run, and climb, Gray forces us to rethink motor learning, corrective exercise, and modern conditioning practices.


Mountain River Physical Therapy Physical Therapist, Gray Cook, Featured On Golf Channel

Gray Cook, MSPT, OCS, CSCS, RKC, physical therapist at Mountain River Physical Therapy (MRPT) in Chatham, Virginia, was featured on the Golf Channel’s Golf Fitness Academy on June 6, 2011. Cook, who is known for the development of the Functional Movement Screen with Dr. Lee Burton of Averett University, is a Titleist Performance Institute Senior Advisory Board Member...

Movement Screening to Increase Assessment Efficiency

Testing is not the same as assessing. Screening is essential for sports injury management and risk assessment in athletes of all ages. It should be performed by a licensed and trained individual to ensure reliability. Patients can tell when structure is lacking and therapists are testing rather than assessing. This is an important distinction. Screening guides intervention to improve outcomes for patients and mitigate injury risk...

Body Needs an Upgrade? Surrender to the Higher Powers at Exos

My brief, blissful life as a pro begins at age 49, on a September morning at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. I arrive looking like a grayer, gimpier version of the other athletes, many of them members of the LA Galaxy soccer team. Flashing my ID badge at the security guard, I head to a subterranean complex, where a company called Exos will oversee my workouts for the next two weeks...

Getting to the Core: 4 Myths About Strengthening Your Abs

What exactly is the core? When I asked this of my 92-year-old mother-in-law, she said it had something to do with her abdominals. When I taught anatomy for a Pilates certification training, I decided to survey fitness and health professionals on what they felt the core muscles were...

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