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Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts [Paperback]

Sang H. Kim
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.50
Price: 15.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts + Speed Training: How to Develop Your Maximum Speed for Martial Arts + Anatomy of Martial Arts
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Product details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Turtle Press (1 Mar 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880336839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880336830
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 20.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Ultimate Flexibility is the book you've been waiting for. More than a collection of exercises or an explanation of technique, Ultimate Flexibility is a complete guide to stretching for martial arts, from the very basics of why you should stretch to detailed workout guidelines for every style and level of martial arts practice. Written by acclaimed author and martial artist Sang H Kim, Ultimate Flexibility is your guide to achieving maximum flexibility in your training. Begin with an in depth look at the hows and whys of flexibility and stretching. Learn about the many types of stretching, which methods are best for beginners, when to graduate to advanced techniques and why you should completely avoid certain types of exercises. You'll also find information that you wont find in any other martial art book, including a detailed exploration of how your body works for or against you in your training and how flexibility can make you stronger and faster. Building on this foundation, Sang H Kim teaches you nearly 200 flexibility exercises that he has personally used to achieve the highest levels of flexibility.

You'l get detailed instructions, workout planning guides, goal setting tips, difficulty levels, injury prevention and recovery, and over 400 photos to guide you. Special bonus sections: 10 Tips for Full Splits, 20 Tips for High Kicks and 10 workouts for specific martial art types.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Before we get into specifics about stretching and flexibility, let's take a moment to orient ourselves. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
105 of 111 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as Flexible as originally thought 21 April 2005
I thought this book was very basic. All the exercises have been performed at some point in my martial arts training. Anyone that has done some form of martial arts or even physical exercise at school would have performed these exercises to some degree. I was surprised NOT have learnt any new techniques. The 10 steps to doing splits are the same exercises your instructor would go through in the dojang/dojo. This book is only for those that have never done warm ups/cool down exercises or do not attend any physical/martial arts classes. The 10 steps is only a selling point and purchasers should not be fooled into buying this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book on stretching 24 July 2012
By Splossy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not quite sure where the rave reviews come from on this book. It's by no means a bad book but it's no masterpiece either. After a bit of blurb about the types of stretching and some general advice you get what you'd expect from a large book on stretching - lots of stretches described in pictures. At the end you get some suggested stretching routines that are supposed to be suited to various martial arts. In all of that, it's a good book.

Where it falls down in my opinion is in two areas:

1. Detail - having been taught certain stretches by physiotherapists I now know how very small differences in posture and and technique can make or break a stretch's effectiveness and how they can turn a potentially dangerous one into a safe one. These little differences and the cues you need to develop them are just not in the book.

2. Full teaching on more advanced stretching - stretching can be made very much more effective by use of PNF, clasp-knife, extended-relaxation and other methods. Some of these are mentioned in brief but never taught. Other books DO teach them and teach them quite safely and so the results are more dramatic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bendy Wendy 2 Mar 2010
As an aspiring martial artist with very tight hamstrings I found this book to be excellent with very clear photographs and text. The best part I find is it often provides beginner and expert variations of an exercise, some other books require a certain level of flexibilty just to do the exercises which is frustrating. Well worth buying.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was after. 14 May 2010
By Zen10
I can't fault it. It's comprehensive and user friendly. This is an aspect of physical training that's often over-looked, but a good grounding in this is important if you want to avoid injury and develop your overall conditioning - especially as you get older.
I've had alot of bad advice -some of it resulting in injury- over the years, as I'm sure many people have on this topic. This book gives you all the basics, good advice, as many exercises as you will ever need, has answered all my concerns and corrected all my bad habits; such as, the important distinction between light, aerobic type stretches for warming up, and deeper, progressive stretches after the muscles are well warmed. This book divides the two simply.
I've also been surprised at how stress-reducing and pleasurable a regular routine can be - unkinking knots and improving circulation.
I'll be referring to this for many years to come.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT IS VERY GOOD!!! 6 Jan 2012
Hi all,

I have practiced Kickboxing and Kyokushin Karate for years, and anyone who knows or does either of these arts knows how demanding and grueling they are. I needed to improve my flexibility after a layoff between the two and found this book to be a gold-mine of advice and practical techniques. I'll have none of the comments already made by fellow martial artists that this book only covers what you find in an average class, it's far more complex, detailed and challenging than that!

Whatever sport or art you're into this book will be very useful.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Ultimate here 20 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is very disappointing in several ways. Firstly, the content is pretty standard. Nothing you won't get in a basic martial arts class. Secondly, the pictures and descriptions are not that clear. On several occasions I found myself questioning the instructions. My final moan is about the Kindle version. Hardly any links! It is very hard to move around the book. At this price there should have been some serious effort put into this. Do not buy. Just look the exercises up on the net.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for martial artists 19 April 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I brought this book as I want to increase my flexibility. I'm not a martial artist and basically use exercise DVD's so was a bit hesitant. I headed to this as I have been using the Billy Blanks Tae-Bo DVD's (great!) that involve roundhouse and side kicks and wanted to increase the height of my kicks. However...the book is written in very plain language - no jargon and not intimidating. It talks about what influences your flexibility, and the different types of stretching. It then has sections on different stretches for each body part. The most useful section for me were a range of suggested workouts - each one working all body parts. These ranged from a basic core workout, a warm-up and cool down workout (and I have noticed a difference in my flexibility using these)and a range of suggested workouts for different types of sports. Even better, there is a section focusing on each body part listing page numbers for those exercises to respectively begin, maintain and increase flexibility in each part. This also includes 'shortcuts' for those body parts where you are experiencing short-term tension i.e. in the neck.that have also helped me. Whilst some of the pointers may be said to be basic, as I have forgotten my school days I found these extremely useful. There is also a good section on how your body works and the muscles and how increasing flexibilty works. I think the details in this book can be applied to anyone regardless of their sport, from complete beginners, to those more experienced. If there are any downsides to the book, I was personally not overkeen on the pictures for the stretches - these consisted of two black and white photo's with a brief description on how to perform it with a picture of how to start and how you should look when the stretch is performed, but that is such a minor quibble. I have not regretted buying this book as I think it is relevant, useful, and I am beginning to notice a difference having performed the core workout (15 mins)each day.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Can turn a creaking old wreck into Mr Supple!
Published 11 days ago by A. Coatesworth
3.0 out of 5 stars Same as all the others
I was expecting something a little more specific to Martial arts , its basicall the same as all of the other books out there . Read more
Published 3 months ago by K. P. Charlton
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Flexibility
Flexibility is not only a very beneficial thing for martial artists but for everyone. I have a number of books written by Master Sang H. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Fabrizio Poli
4.0 out of 5 stars The bible of Martial Art flexibility
To be honest, there is not much new in this book if you have practice any form of sport. It is the way it is presented that makes this book amazing. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Johan
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the job.
If you want martial arts related stretches this book is for you.
Includes diagrams / photos and is easy to understand
Published 4 months ago by Greg Parslow
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
As a 40 year old beginner this is exactly what I needed. The book has a range of stretches for each body area and progresses from simple/basic through to more advanced so that as I... Read more
Published 5 months ago by R. J. Mycroft
3.0 out of 5 stars where's the table of contents..
Difficult to navigate. Very frustrating. How am I suppose to concentrate on a group of exercises with such a degree of difficulty with everyday use. No excuse for this.
Published 5 months ago by GinnyStarr
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
absolutely fantastic comes highly recommended buy a copy. for the martial artist who has become stuck on that plateau this book will show you how to break through and go further... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cliff Goldthorpe
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical/user friendly.
Very well written, hugely helpful, I personally am an avid exerciser, and have found it excellent in improving my running and cycling, I am also a 1st Dan Karate, so I know the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by mr k.s.j. preston
5.0 out of 5 stars maddie
excellent book just what i needed also explains reasons for all stretching exercises

anybody taking up martial arts should buy this book
Published 17 months ago by maddie
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