Dynamic Stretching and Kicking Paperback – 1 Sep 1979
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However, when I finally got hold of the book I was very diasppointed. It is very sparse and very basic, to say the least. The detail on muscle functions that the other reviewers commend is interesting, but ultimately not that significant when, like me, you are simply looking for some truly innovative stretching techniques in order to eventually achieve the wonderfully high kick Wallace is pulling off on the cover. Unless you are a physiologist or are interested in such detail, these descriptions seem to be just padding.
The book is very well illustrated, though, but this is let down by the very sparse descriptions covering the manoeuvre. Contrary to a previous review, I found Wallace's super-flexibility an encouragement, often saying to myself "I want to kick like that!" - however, Wallace neglects the processes involved in getting to that stage of flexibility, beyond "take it slowly". My favourite example of this was for "Leg Stretch #2":
1. Stand erect with right side facing the wall. Your partner holds your left leg.
2. Your partner begins pushing up on your leg
3. Relax as your partner continues the pressure
4. Eventually your foot should touch the wall
That's about as exciting as the descriptions get I'm afraid.
But what disappointed me most was that the exercises that are most effective must be done with a partner. Of course this is very necessary, but not what I was looking for I'm afraid. Also, about half the book is taken up with very very simple warm-up and stretching exercises that you will be doing in your martial art school anyway, and seem to be here just for padding or the sake of completion, but for me seemed to be wasting space.
Looking back over my review I find that I have been a bit too critical - Wallace's book is indeed very good for those wanting to attain super-flexibility, or for those wanting a thorough record of every trivial stretch - but for amateur enthusiasts like me who are looking to simply *build up* my flexibility from a partially-flexible starting point, this book wasn't right for me: the basics are too basic and the advanced are too advanced (and need a partner). I have found L. Christensen's excellent book "Solo Training" perfect for this purpose.
In all it's best to try and get your hands on someone else's copy before you buy to see if this book is for you.
Good tool to get you thinking about things but it's nothing you can't get form a bit of research on the net these days! Any good class/club will be able and should be going through proper stretching, just stick with it and continue to push yourself!
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