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4.7 out of 5 stars55
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 20 August 2002
This book is great. I used to go to yoga classes, primarily because I was interested in the stretching exercises. But time and time again I'd wake up the next day sore of with pulled muscles. I tried lots of classes - all the same. Then a gymnast friend showed me some stretches and I did those. Then I saw a review of this book in a cycling magazine. It was described as 'the bible' of stretching. I bought it right away and have been stretching since. Bob Anderson's approach to stretching is spot on. He warns of the dangers of over-stretching and points out how even most athletes don't stretch correctly. Now I'm addicted to stretching and feel much much better for it. If you do sport (or even if you don't) you NEED this book.
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on 31 May 2004
I've purchased several books on stretching. My flexibility is pretty poor. This book is at the top of the pile. There's not too much science. Just simple instructions as what to do or not to do.
The diagrams are simple and very effective. The shaded parts represent what is being stretched. There's a good bit about not over stretching and why you may cause damage.
The best of the book is the second half, where it lists stretches for every common sport and the time taken to do all the stretches. There's much more than sports stretches though. There's computer desk, everyday, blue-collar, gardening over 60's, TV and kids stretches (and more too).
Overall, if you dont need too much science then this IS the stretching book for you.
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on 14 March 2004
Only thirty and with grumbling joints, I groaned when I sat down, and groaned when I stood up. I had to give up running in my early twenties due to the pains in my hips. I knew I had to improve my flexibility and had tried yoga which I found far too difficult (and a little dull). This book really has changed my life. Every day I do the Every day stretch routine. It was hard at first but is getting easier and I really enjoy it. After just a few days I was walking with a spring in my step. After two weeks I started jogging again, doing the running-specific routine in this book before and after jogging. I'm even contemplating training for a half marathon. I also do some of the other routines in the book now and then and I get a real buzz from doing it. I suppose some sort of chemical gets released when I stretch as it is really addictive and I feel full of energy. If I get up a bit late and have a rushed morning, I always take time to do the routine even if it means getting to work late. The difference this has made to my life is too great for me to skip my stretch in the morning.
The first half of the book explains how to do all of the stretches. The second half of the book is a load of routines for general flexibility or sports specific flexibility. The routines are easy to follow line drawings of a stretch, each with a page reference to the text description from the first half of the book. The first couple of times through a routine there is a lot of flicking back and forth to check the technique is correct but they are quickly mastered.
Ten minutes per day is all it takes. This may be the best book I've ever bought!
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on 5 March 2001
I bought this updated edition after reading the glowing reviews of the original 1981 edition. It is a truly excellent guide to stretching. It starts with introduction to stretching and the varied reasons why it's good for you. After this it falls into three sections: a set of detailed descriptions of stretching by area of the body; stretching routines for everyday activities; stretching routines for sports.
The routines are the real gem. Clearly designed, and fitting easily onto an A4 photocopy, they refer by page number to the detailed description in the book. After a few runs through, you remember the exact way to do it without the book. I have 'Computer and Desk Stretches' and 'Hands, Arms and Shoulders' pinned up by the desk at work. There's also stretches for kids, stretches for over-60s, stretches for travellers, stretches while watching TV .... this is a really accessible way of giving your body the gentle stretching it needs.
Apart from the clear descriptions and diagrams, the book is also excellent for driving home the message that stretching is all about what *you* as an individual can do, not competitive. It also gives the reasons why you shouldn't be competitive about stretching.
Overall this is a great, clearly written, informative and accessible book for anyone who wants to know a bit more about looking after their body. I loved reading it, and it's very easy to build the exercises that *you* need into a daily routine that suits *you*.
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on 30 September 1999
A good introduction to stretching with simple, informative diagrams and descriptions that let you know where you should be feeling the stretch. Some of the leg stretches may put undue pressure on the knee but if you do as you as is suggested, and stop before it hurts, there shouldn't be a problem.
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This is a brilliant book to work from. It has clear diagrams, informative and precise instructions and many different routines for both everyday and specific sports activity. A fantastic introduction to stretching and it's benefits.

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on 22 October 2002
The diagrams in this book are clear and easy to follow with a commentary on "do's and don't's" along with hints and tips.
The first half of the book shows each individual stretch in detail with a short paragraph of text, the second half of the book shows these stretches grouped in routines, for example:
- complete stretch routine on waking up (total time 4 mins)
- stretches for travellers
- for swimmers
- hands and arms
- legs
- back
- before going to bed etc
Most major sports are also covered with their own custom routines.
Pick and choose what you need, when you need it. Either do a routine, or pick the 3 or 4 stretches as needed
Only a few minutes are needed for most of them and you'll probably feel a lot better afterwards! :o)
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on 2 January 1999
Easy reading, easy exercising with this A4 paperback. Some exercise books seem to be aimed at olympic athletes or supermodels - this one is for mortals. Every stretch is illustrated with drawings showing the areas concentrated on. If you've ever spent time stretching and got bored with what you know buy this book - you'll learn new moves and gain new inspiration
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VINE VOICEon 12 July 2009
I was cantering through Amazon to find a good book on stretching and this came up on the recommendations.
The edition I have got is the 20th anniversary revised edition. I do a lot of Yoga and pilates but I had not read about stretching.

The yoga teacher says stretch don't strain which is really what this book says. Our pilates teacher an ex dancer is a bit more robust and works us harder. As you get older your range of movement starts to get less.

I notice in the classes that although I cant touch my toes even after three years practice there other activities that I can do that otherwise very fit people cant do.

The most common one they can't do is squat. I used to squat a lot in my early teens as I lived in the far east.

Also when I was teenager and I used to read about yoga I sued to sit cross legged and I find I can still do that more than forty years later.

I notice on the front cover of the book he shows lying on your side and bringing your leg up and gripping your foot with a fairly straight leg. I cant do that at all and I looked through the book and as far as I can see unless I am suffering from some sort of dyslexia that it is not shown in the book.

I am dangerously close to touching my toes but I now try every day even when I am not doing the classes to stretch as you feel a lot better afterwards.

I also notice in most gym classes such as spinning that they have a starting and ending stretch. I am now a lot better at it whereas previously i had not thought it necessary.

My copy says three million copies sold and I can see why. I have no hesitation in recommending it.

There is an easy to follow guide called stretching prescriptions which sets out specific stretches for rehabilitation programmes. There are set out specific stretches for individual sports.
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on 12 August 2002
This book is a big must for anyone who cares or is starting to care for there body.
Stretching is a must in everyday life, and this book is simple to understand thanks to "Rob Anderson". This book includes great everyday stretching rountines plus sport specific routines and has made me change certain ways I stetch.
This book is not an indepth study of muscle fibre's and microscopic reactions of fibres but a bloody good guide to taking care of tight and tired muscles.Very beneficial. Get a copy NOW !!
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