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on 24 July 2012
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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on 8 March 2017
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on 16 December 2012
My family & I all work out in a martial arts sport. Found that I needed to be more flexible, so thought I'd give this book a try.
Really great so far for stretching, outside of training classes. There is a good introduction and guideline in regards to the exercises. Plus the stretches are graded from beginners to more advanced. Using the core stretches has helped with flexibility, especially with turning kicks, etc.
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on 14 May 2010
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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on 2 March 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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on 6 January 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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on 17 August 2012
First of all I am a beginner martial artist and own a few books stretching. This is by far the most complete book I own on the subject. This book focus's specifically on stretches for martial arts, there's no jibba jabba relaxation stretches. The book contains tons of stretches, the stretches are split into beginner,maintaining flexibility and advanced which ensures this book is suitable for all levels of flexibility. There is plenty of information about each stretch, it will tell you the benefit of the stretch for martial arts, such as the author may say this stretch will increase the height of your round house kick, or this stretch will prepare your wrists for grappling. Each stretch will be described in detail to ensure you are doing it properly to avoid any injury. One piece of advice I would give is to write out a stretching plan with exercises from this book and stick with it and you will see results, I did. Highly recommended for all martial artists but specifically for people like me new to the art.
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on 20 December 2012
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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on 19 April 2008
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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on 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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