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on 2 March 2014
If you are looking for a guide to take you to extreme levels of flexibility, although you could get there with this book, it isn't aimed at your people. Instead it is aimed at the people you'd expect, those training in extreme calisthenics who also need to add in some flexibility training ... sort of like the title implies!

It was only the day after reading one of Al’s other books that I purchased this book. Although I have a fairly good idea about stretching from my martial arts background I had learnt so much from his previous book so I wondered if perhaps he had some other gems in this book. It was Al’s progressive approach to bodyweight exercise which I hoped he also did in this other book was what attracted me mainly to the book.

What’s the big deal about these progressions anyway?

Well if you have ever attempted to do an exercise or stretch that is way beyond you and had that horrible moment where you realise you don’t stand a chance … progressions is how you get from where you are now to where you want to be, be that full splits or human flag!

Well out with it man, did Al disappoint?

Did he hell as like! As suspected this book takes some rather difficult stretches and breaks them down into easier stretches that you can slowly work your way up through … a dream come true!

Although this review is a little premature, having not implemented Al’s stretching routines into my life yet (A detox and alchemy course are currently in the way, but soon!) I am certain they are going to be a great help in helping me work through different areas of my body.

That was another thing, there were stretches of the body in here that I had never really done before, and some I had been doing slightly wrong. Knowing where to feel the pull and having a better idea what stretch is easier or one harder really helps when you are stretching.

Yes, before you ask at the end of the book there are some sample workouts which you can start out with but as in normal Al style he wants you to experiment and change it up and most of all keep it fun.

Another factor is keeping your mind on the stretch, and although I 100% agree with this and find it really helpful I am also a believer in passive stretching, which isn’t a topic covered in this book which is perfectly fine. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with getting into a position and relaxing into it over a period of time, perhaps sit in a stretch whilst watching your favourite TV show or Film. Find it too hard to sit in one position for an hour or more, well then mix it up, either in time with adverts (which if you are in some countries it basically every 5th minute it seems).

All in all this book is a good read, and definitely one for reference for many years to come! 5 Stars Al and well deserved.

Check out Al’s YouTube channel too, if I recall there is a video on it of him performing some stretches!
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on 24 June 2017
I've never been good at remembering to stretch after exercises and can certainly improve my flexibility. This book ir book is really helping. Like Al's other books clear easy to follow descriptions and pictures of all the stretches and how they relate to some classic calisthenics move.
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on 21 February 2014
If you've read any of Al's books before, you'll know what to expect. If you haven't well here it is. Expect an amazing amount of information, presented in a totally accessible and non intimidating way aimed at any level of gym user, bodyweight athlete, or fitness enthusiast.
The presentation couldn't be clearer in this book and includes sample routines for different parts of the body to give them a full stretch and manipulation.
The book is divided into 3 sections.
Section 1: The Stretch Manifesto.
This section clearly outlines the theory of stretching, the history, and why we do the stretches we do, and how the body best reacts to different styles of stretches. This is no short section and provides a welcome explanation of what we can do to best improve the efficiency of the time we spend stretching.
Section 2: The Stretches
A huge selection of different exercises and stretches to best get the increase in range of motion that you are looking for and the flexibility that you desire
Section 3: Sample Routines
This section compiles several different stretches for different parts of the body so you can immediately get to work on your specific problem area.
All in all this a great resource for anyone with an active interest in exercise and mobility. It complements Al's other books, Raising The Bar, and Pushing The Limits perfectly, to be a very complete set of health and fitness manuals.
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on 19 February 2014
Excellent books (this and Pushing Your Limits) for beginners and experts alike. Takes the user through CORRECT technique for stretches and calisthenics and has plenty of levels of progression. I will definitely get my money's worth out of this book and it's gone straight to the top of my list of all the exercise and training manuals I've got (and I've got many!).

The only thing stopping me from giving it 5 stars is that its not particularly kindle friendly as there's quite a lot of toggling back and forth when you're using it for a workout which I find interrupts the flow; not exactly what I want when I'm stretching before or after a workout.

BUT I can tell the difference already from following these exercises in my posture and I've only had it a week. I will be trying to make a little bit of time each day to work through at least a handful of these exercises.
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on 17 March 2014
I stumbled upon this title after taking an interest in body went exercise and calisthenics.
I used to be a gym goer, but time and finances conspired against me and I ended up spending some considerable time away from doing any meaningful exercise with the obvious net results to my body.

After reading Al's previous works, alongside the convict conditioning books, I have embarked upon rediscovering what my body can do (much to its displeasure at times, I think the sofa has de-friended me)

This book makes an invaluable companion to the strength training, and is well written

Give it a try, you may be surprised, I was :)
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on 31 July 2015
I'm a great fan of Al's work referring frequently to his YouTube videos for instruction and inspiration. His knowledge and expertise is obvious, as is his ability to break the advanced techniques down to sensible and achievable progressions.
The bulk of the book provides descriptions of numerous stretches that have clear explanations. My disappointment is in the section of the book that pulls these together into sample programs. Quite frankly it offers little more than 'do the stuff explained earlier'. Al offers little of his expertise here. Most of the groupings could have been worked our by the reader from the information already provided in the previous section. The internet has losses of information on individual stretches, I was hoping a book on flexibility training would focus more on how to put these into a progressive program.
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on 12 April 2014
For the price, it's a pretty good deal and there's some interesting info inside. Currently, I cannot decide whether to give the book 3 or 4 stars, so I shall err on the lower end.
Good: Al writes in a very accessible style; there are some lovely images; an explanation of the functional usage of varying stretches is provided.
Not so Good: Discussion of the varying factors can be a bit brief; sometimes the comparative exercises are stretching the boundaries of tenuous linkage.
All in all, a pretty good text, although not up on a level with "raising the bar" and "pushing the limits".
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on 1 September 2014
Everything I wanted to know about increasing my mobility. Al's attitude of 'here's information you need. Go play with it and find what works for your own body' is precisely what is required in a trainer. I bought this to compliment the progressive calisthenics program Convict Conditioning as I work toward getting my fitness back after injury.
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on 16 January 2015
How to make the impossible possible, with the right progressions. Whether new to calisthenics (like me) or experienced these teachings are invaluable to all. The man an his brother are a huge inspiration to anyone an everyone with an interest or passion on how to get the job done!
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on 5 June 2015
Defiantly for the beginner and the intermediate I'm sure will take a few things from it. Not the most technical book out there on stretching but then again it doesn't need to be complicated.
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