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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 11 October 1999
This is a good book if you're interested in what stretching is all about. If you just want to know what stretches to do, half the book will be useless to you. If, however, you want a deeper knowledge of what stretching can achieve and how it will achieve it, this is the book for you. The only reason I didn't give it 5 crowns is because it doesn't suggest programmes. It presents you with the stretches, but then leaves it up to you which ones to do.
I'd say if you can handle technical information, get it, otherwise, don't.
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on 31 May 2004
This book tries to be two different books. The first part is how muscles work, how forces interact with muscles, bones and joints. There's an interesting chapter on posture and stretching nerves (didn't know you could do that!) Basically the first 80 or so pages are biology and science.
The second part is the actual exercises. There lots to look at but they are technically termed such as "trunk lateral shift" and "lateral flexion (with overpressure)". They are nicely illustrated but do not indicate what is being stretched.
I have given this 3 stars because it is not really what i was looking for. I'm a casual gym user and cyclist commuter so i don't need to know the science. On the other hand, if you're an instructor, professional or lecturer then this book will probably be very good for you (5 stars).
If you want something for the casual user in simple terms, check out "Stretching" by Bob Anderson.
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on 26 December 2007
This book is a personal treasure and the last reviewer was right, its not just a book with stretches in, it has theory to it too!! Its really just a great book, if like me you would like to understand why youre doing certain stretches then this is the book to get.

I dont like buying books that just take advantage of your impulse "to get into something healthy" at the start of the new year. So this book is really a breath of fresh air. It has pages and pages worth of basic/intermediate and advanced stretches. As well as theory to explain why they are essential to everyones wellbeing. If you want to buy a book on stretchig, get this one! It will be the only one you need!
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on 16 October 2013
As an exercise professional, we get sent adverts and referrals for the books within the Complete Guide series and I have purchased several of them.
Hoping to gain a more indepth knowledge of stretching and practical application tips and for the book to serve as a reference post qualification, I purchased this book.

However, this title is very disappointing, especially when compared to the rest in this series. As other reviewers have noted, the first half of the book has little to do with stretching, and it's almost as if they were padding the book out.

Unfortunately there are many issues such as;

somatotypes - which were disproven in the '50s
diagrams with muscles labeled as bones and visa versa
stretches without names, or listing what muscles they are designed to stretch
flexibility tests without names, why they are performed or what they affect
PNF stretching, an advanced and more complicated technique has only one tiny paragraph near the front of the book

I honestly can't trust this book as a reference to learn from, as some of the topics I already I have qualifications in covered in the book with complete nonsense and outdated myths. Those which I am unfamiliar with have precious little information on them and as such are completely useless for exercise prescription.

I've given it two stars as I have been able to use some of the stretch illustrations to remind me of exercises forgotten and found some I can use for suggestions for alternatives for regression.
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on 16 January 2010
If I had the opportunity to preview the book in a store, I probably would not have bought it.

My primary objection is that there are generally no anatomical illustrations of which muscles are being stretched, to accompany the illustrations of how the exercises are performed. I wrongly assumed there would be pictures like those stuck onto weight exercise machines at the gym.

I found Anita Bean's "The Complete Guide to Strength Training" brilliant, and was probably expecting too much of this publication.

PS: And no, the pretty girl on the cover does not demonstrate the exercises in the book.
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on 24 June 2010
I was very happy with this and actually enjoyed reading it rather than just using it as a reference. The sports science is involved enough to be interesting to someone who already has some idea about it. Lots of very diverse stretches grouped by type rather than by body part (e.g. static, dynamic, nerves, etc). Would be improved if each stretch listed the muscles being stretched. There were also a few editing errors, with descriptions not matching the pictures. Despite this, I'm still very happy I bought this. I also got 'The Anatomy of Stretching' which is fine as a quick-flick reference but not nearly as detailed as 'The Complete Guide...'. Recommended.
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It's unfortunate that this book wasn't reviewed by a proof reader and a good editor prior to publishing as there are good points within the technical sections. However, those technical sections have the appearance of presentation papers that have been configured as a text book. Whilst the book does not claim to provide a comprehensive range of stretches, it would have been useful to have a range of supported stretches on Fit Balls.

Some of the stretches will be familiar to people who have read running and cycling magazines, or have been to Pilates, Yoga, or Body Balance classes.

This book does have potential, but it needs the clarity and flow of Anita Bean to make it a worthwhile purchase.
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on 5 January 2013
Disappointed that the 'complete' guide to stretching doesn't cover PNF!!! Other sections are OK, but to me, this is a fundamental flaw in the book!
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on 19 April 2014
Having the scientific basis explained was a major plus for me. Trolling thru textbooks was simplified by the explanations given.
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on 26 April 2013
Great book offering a good guide to stretching. The complete guides range is great and the books are worth their weight in gold.
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