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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 13 April 2007
I have read several other books on stretching and whilst there are ones that are probably better for sports scientists this is the best I have read for athletes or anyone who wants to improve their general fitness by adding a flexibility routine.

The theory of stretching is covered clearly but briskly, hence why sports scientists may want to look elsewhere. However the bonus of this book is the clear depictions of every suggested stretch showing how to execute the stretch, the anatomy involved, which sports and injuries the stretch is beneficial for and any related stretches.

This has made it really easy to put together some routines I can complete in about 30-40 minutes whilst watching TV. The illustrations are really clear meaning you can check your form whilst performing the stretch.

For those interested in flexibility more as a means of relaxing and relieving stress in addition to fitness conditioning I would recommend The Supple Body: The New Way to Fitness, Strength and Flexibility by Sara Black instead as you may find this a bit stark. Athletes may also want to consult Black's book to complement this one with some refresher routines.
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on 22 February 2009
I have to say that this is one of the best books regarding anatomy that I have seen,
I work as a Physio Assistant and I am also a Sports Massage Practitioner so I have seen a few!
It's pictures are clear and the breakdown of the stretch is concise and helpful. I also like that it links stretches so if you done one for hamstrings it will link it with another useful hamstring stretch.
I was so pleased with it that on showing it to my Senior Physio he made me buy another one for the team!
A very good book and a useful edition to anyone who needs to review stretching!
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on 19 April 2008
I use some aerobic DVD's and often find that the cool down is not long enough, leavng me with the obligatory soreness the day after or so. I also hold some tension in my neck and was looking for a book that showed a range of stretches for various body parts. Have to say that I love this book. The best thing about it is that it shows a range of stretches for each body part (see the contents page on Amazon) - each stretch shows a diagram with the affected muscle highlighted so you can clearly see what muscle should be stretched. There are also pointers on how to perform it correctly, and the sport injury that each stretch can help with. There is a brief section on different types of stretches which was very useful. Only downside is that it does not show a workout programme but as I brought it to stretch isolated areas, not a real problem, plus it is easy to compile your own workout with a bit of thought. In my view, this book is ideal for the average person - not technically complicated, clear diagrams and easy to follow.If you want more technical information, I would advise looking elsewhere but if you are like me and just want to stretch after a workout or to alleviate tension, I don't think you can get much better.
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on 20 May 2010
I was a bit disapointed with this book.
The other reviews here are all very good - so my expectations was high:

I expected drawings in the same quality as in Frederic Delavier's books on anatomy in strenght training - while the illustrations in The Anatomy of Stretching shows the involved muscle rather well - the artistic level of the drawings are not nearly as good as in the Frederic Delavier books.

I also expected if not all stretches in the world - then a good selection of all know stretches.
Here the books is disapointing in 2 ways:
1. There are a lot of known (to me) stretches not inclueded and some areas like how to stretch the latisimus dorsi is not covered very well.
2. some stretches are repeated up til 4 times - the stretch where you sit with your legs apart and stretches down between them is covered under 4 sections - back, bouttocks, hamstrings and calves - even the text is almost identical. Besides using up page space and pumping up the number of claimed stretches - it would also be better is the 4 uses ogf the same stretch was covered in the same place.

Another gripe is that the actualy technique invovlved in each stretch is very shortly described - while there is a rather stupid list of sports the particular stretch will benefit - repeated over and over.

Also the first chapter dealing with the good and bad of stratching is VERY short and doesn't go very much beyond "stretching is good if done right".

After reading the book I concluded that I can't use it as my only source for stretches - but I'll have to rely on the web as well as other book.

When this is said the book is usefull and holds a lot of good stretches and information.
Its just not fantastic.
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on 26 January 2009
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I am not an athlete, just an older person who is determined to stay as fit and flexible as possible. I've learnt more about stretching and gained more benefit from using this book than I've ever got from any of the trainers I've worked with over the past couple of years.
A picture is worth a thousand words and the anatomical illustrations in this book are just superb, providing a real insight into how stretches impact in terms of anatomy. It's an excellent guide to stretching effectively and safely. The text complements the illustrations perfectly, telling you everything practical you'd want to know without bogging you down in too much technical detail.
My only criticism is that the binding is poor and because I've been using the book so regularly some of the pages have become detached from the spine. To avoid this, I'd recommend copying the pages that you need and working off the copied sheets. But that aside, you won't make a better investment in maintaining your fitness than to buy this book and put its information into practice.
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on 12 November 2008
Excellent book on stretching, if you're after well presented diagrams on stretches for the body this is perfect. It doesn't bog you down with a lot of technical information which is exactly what I was looking for.
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on 10 August 2009
This is a great book. It has a wide variety of stretches for all the muscle groups, with detailed anatomical drawings so you can see exactly where you should be feeling the stretch. I like the way the information is presented. Rather than long paragraphs, the key information about each stretch is kept concise and arranged each time under a serious of headings. So you could read everything you needed to know about how to do the stretch in a few seconds, leaving you more time to get on with the stretching. There is a great section at the beginning explaining how to structure a stretching programme and how long you should hold each stretch for. The more specialist information is there is you want it. I'm really glad I bought this book - I will get a lot of use out of it.
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on 25 January 2010
This is a very good book for anyone who is serious about the body. Whether it is a masseur who wants to recommend stretches for muscles that need work, a sports person who wants to know what muscles to stretch for best performance, or anybody who wants to know what's happening when they stretch.
The illustrations might do with a little retouching. Sometimes they are a little vague and could use some directional arrows for example. The text however is very detailed and well organized and supports the images very well.
We recommend it. :)
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on 9 March 2010
I have spent 35 years successfully avoiding exercise, and all its related pain and suffering.
Now though I have decided to change all that.
All I remember from P.E. at school is "stretch before and after exercise"
So having no idea of what to do I went on the reviews of this book.
Having read through it, I find the diagrams and instructions easy to follow, and nothing has snapped yet.

the Book keeps things simple, but gives plenty of variations to keep you from loosing interest.
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on 22 January 2010
I bought this book for my boss who is a doctor. He was so impressed he went and bought another copy for a friend.
I think that sums up how good this book is. The instructions and the diagrams are easy to understand. The format is laid out, again, in an easy to understand manner. Overall a great book if you want to learn the basics of stretching and how that stretch works on that particular muscle group.
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