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3.8 out of 5 stars16
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 27 August 2012
I specialise in weight loss, addiction, relationships and a few other things and this (daily stretching) is another simple thing that most people overlook until it is either too late or they get a health scare.

This book was recommended to me by one of my health mentors - who also happened to be an ex British martial arts champion - and was his "bible" on stretching...

Like most specialised books, it has too much information for the novice and may rub up a few "experts" the wrong way because it doesn't cover what they want to know or may even contradict their way of doing things...

Thomas Kurz opens the book with some amazing testimonials and photos of people doing the "splits between two chairs - so it seems the information contained in the book works wonders...

The book has eight chapters - beginning with theory and is very helpful if you're a professional sports person or interested in the "How, What, Why, When" type of questions.

Chapter 2 covers how to stretch in more detail and includes information specifically for avoiding injury and also a couple of pages about children and flexibility training.

Chapters 3,4,5 and 6 covers the four main areas of stretching - dynamic, static active, isometric and relaxed. It also has photo's to show you the "how to".

Chapter 7 has sample work out plans and also has illustrations rather than photo's. This chapter is also sport specific - so if you are a tennis player or practice Judo for example there are specific stretching plans.

Chapter 8 is a Q&A and is quite in depth and worth glancing through before you actually read the rest of the book.

Taking 5 or 10 minutes every day to stretch is something so simple that most of us overlook how beneficial to staying well and being able to "keep" our full range of movement.

And being able to extend and stretch and move "better" is another reason books like this are so important to own...

Setting a goal to "learn how to do the splits" seems quite inconsequential and not worth the effort - until you realise - that you're so out of shape - you can't even bend over to tie your laces...

So - add this book to your list of "getting better" books and read it now and again for a refresher - and practice stretching for a wee while every day...

Simple stuff that works...
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on 4 May 2003
Revealing some secrets of Eastern European training techniques (remember their Olympic triumphs), Thomas Kurz brings you them from the personal perspective of both athlete and qualified coach. Starting with the theory on muscle make-up and why some people are fast and others can run forever, you also learn to test your own maximum flexibility. Kurz then moves on to the four types of stretching - fully explained with photo examples - and which one or combination will suit you and your sport best, and how to arrange a training program.
Included is instruction on how to, and how often, to stretch, and which exercises to avoid as they are detrimental to maximum flexibility, as well as how one quick set of exercises in the morning will maintain your maximum flexibility throughout the day, by teaching the brain and muscles that capability so they automatically remember it.
And best of all - the author states his method, if followed correctly, will help you reach your maximum flexibility within one month.
As a martial artist I found the information in this book gave me an immediate improvement, without the pain for gain principles usually expected from normal stretching methods in that sport.
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on 15 August 2014
After being frustrated with 7 years of different types of yoga not fixing my spasmic psoas and tight hamstrings, and having started karate 2 years back at the unthankful age of 42, it would seem that after combining some kettlebell training and some wushu type dynamic exercises to karate - with the invaluable aid from this book telling do's don'ts and how's I'm finally making serious progress. I am extremely pleased with the practical, straightforeward, no shortcuts, facts only, how not to break but fix things- type of approach on stretching.
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on 28 October 2009
I'm sure the information I need is contained within this book and it was recomended to me by my doctor (a sports specialist) but its just so badly written I found it impossible to gain the information I required. The author has a patronising tone and a waffling style that made me want to find him and kick him in the shins (I can't kick higher than that as I still know nothing about stretching). Having owned this book for a couple of months I have tried to read it on several occasions and given up - if you have a normal attention span don't bother.
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on 11 August 2014
Despite some of the negative reviews describing it as confusing, I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend and after reading Dr Kurz's blog. I wasn't disappointed. It gives a very detailed description of four main types of stretches, when to do them, what they're for, depending on the sports you're into etc. It also explains how to prevent injuries and what to avoid to make stretching the most effective.
To me, it's a very useful book for those who don't know anything about stretching - so they start with the right kind of technique for the word go, and for those who know some stuff already, it may add some crucial nuances to their knowledge.
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on 4 December 2012
All previous books I have been reading about strectching lacked methodology and in-depth explainations, but this book has it all. whether you just want a quick method to fit efficient strectching sessions into your work out schedule or you want all the physiological details about stretching, everything is laid out clearly. I have been using it for a few weeks and I have already seen some improvements. This book is especially usefull by advising specific stretching techniques depending on the sport praticed by the reader.
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on 10 April 2009
I had high expectations for this book given the amount of hype that continues to surround the book. I was disappointed when I later noticed that a lot of the hype appears to have been manufactured by the author himself.
Overall I found the book to be poorly written and extremely confusing. It appears to contain a few simple messages hidden by a lot of jargon and hyperbole (to make the author sound more important and clever than he is?).
It was a real chore to get through the book and I had to read and re-read sections to find the point being made - often without success. By the end of the book I felt like I had wasted a lot of time and knew very little more about stretching than when I started.
The very lenghty FAQs section at the back is a clue to how confusing and unhelpful the book can be. Many of the questions (from people who had read the book and been as confused as I was) mirrored my own questions after reading the book. Most often I found the answers in the FAQ section to be patronising and dismissive "this will be obvious if you just read page XX in the section on YY again" was a typical response. My thoughts were "if it was obvious after reading this section then we wouldn't be asking the question".
I eventually threw the book away. If I still had it I would send it to you for free so that you wouldn't have to waste your hard-earned money on another copy.
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on 11 March 2010
The Thomas Kurz book on strtching is a very good book.
It is well written and it explain various aspects of the stretching.
Static, dinamyc,Isometric are very well explained. A must reading for martial artist

Gianfranco
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on 27 July 2014
This is the updated version of the last book I had bit more info in it but its still very vague as to which stretches to do and what strength execises
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on 30 March 2010
Go's into a lot of detail to address the way in which our bodies can adapt through stretch training.
It will help your gains!
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