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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Stretching Resource I've Encountered
This book provides:

1. A systematic approach for identifying your movement restrictions and designing a program to resolve them

2. Clear instruction on effective stretching, with a focus on developing the right combination of mobility and stability

3. Specific guidelines for incorporating soft tissue work with a therapy ball into your...
Published on April 25, 2007 by Scott Styles

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Others may find this useful but I was disappointed
Others may find this useful but I was disappointed. It doesn't go into detail in the areas that are of interest to me. It also needs better pictures.
Published 2 months ago by Stephen G. Vajda


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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Stretching Resource I've Encountered, April 25, 2007
By 
Scott Styles (Darien, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Stretch to Win (Paperback)
This book provides:

1. A systematic approach for identifying your movement restrictions and designing a program to resolve them

2. Clear instruction on effective stretching, with a focus on developing the right combination of mobility and stability

3. Specific guidelines for incorporating soft tissue work with a therapy ball into your exercise program

My personal experience applying just the stretching guidelines has been the following:

1. My hips have opened quite a bit. I can comfortably drop into a deep squat.

2. Foot pain I have had for almost a year is quickly going away

3. A shoulder problem I went to physical therapy for but never quite finished fixing is rapidly improving

I've got the recommended equipment for the trigger point therapy on the way (a $10 Footsie roller and a $15 Fitball). If it does as much for me as the stretching has, I'm going to be a very happy person.

On a professional basis, I've been certified by the ACSM as a Health / Fitness Instructor since 2002. I was certified by ACE as a Personal Trainer in 2000. I've read a number of other stretching books and watched several DVDs. This book is the clearest out of any of them, and is one of the few to recognize being overly flexible is just as bad as not being flexible enough. It's also one of the few to address the concept of promoting soft tissue quality to reduce risk of injury.

Considering the price relative to other fitness products on the market, everyone should own a copy and apply the guidelines. Diligent attention to a sound program of mobility work will have more immediate impact on quality of life and ease of movement than just about any other form of exercise.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Next gen flexibility training, April 11, 2011
This review is from: Stretch to Win (Paperback)
I see this as a later generation book about stretching compared to such books as (the highly recommended) Thomas Kurz' 'Stretching Scientifically', Pavel's 'Relax Into Stretch', 'Stretching Anatomy' and 'Ultimate Flexibility'. What the book opened up for me was the need to get beyond stretching linearly, even when using advanced forms of isometric stretching, and work the body in 3 dimensions. It also introduced the work of Thomas Myers (Anatomy Trains) whose ideas on the fascia was a big influence on the authors.

Prior to reading this book, when I wrote a rollup of what I'd learned about flexibility training I came up with the following...

1. Increasing strength and flexibility is relatively easy. However, most people are hampered by the wrong approach. (See e.g. McGuff, Body By Science, and Kurz).
2. Flexibility and strength are two sides of the same coin and should be considered together. Proper strength training, which takes movement through a full ROM, enhances flexibility. "When in doubt, strengthen."
3. Intense stretching aimed at improving flexibility should be treated as a form of strength training and should include a full recovery period. Twice, or even once a week, is adequate for most people.
4. Warm ups and stretching are two different things. Intense static stretches do not prevent injury and in fact can indirectly lead to injury in the next phase of activity if used as a warm up. Intense static stretches should not be part of a warm up routine.
5. The surest and safest way to increase flexibility is to learn the advanced versions of static, isometric stretching (PNF, CR and CRAC techniques). Isometric stretching builds strength in the extended position while improving flexibility.
6. Stretching should never be painful, especially in the joints. Your muscles should not be sore after a stretch session. If they are, you need to recover and adjust your program.
7. There is a difference between dynamic stretching and ballistic stretching. Ballistic stretching, using the body's momentum to force an increase in the stretch, should be avoided. Dynamic stretching is controlled and raises the level of flexibility available without a warm up.
8. Other risky stretches should also be avoided. Good stretchs provide leverage, specifity (or isolation) and a low risk level. Avoid:
* Compressing the neck (e.g. neck bridge, and even head stands, for most adults).
* Overloading ligaments or tendons (e.g. hurdler's exercise, hero's pose).
* Holding forward bends with weight of trunk supported by spinal ligaments using straight legs.
* Using a partner. If used, a partner should be entire passive, an intelligent prop.
9. Flexibility is an ensemble of specific flexibilities. You can be flexibile in one position and stiff in another.

Nothing in Stretch To Win contradicts the above (except for a few apparent contradictions re partner-based stretching and frequency), but seeing their writeup on the undulating wave approach helped me catalyze a couple of points that I'd been thinking about. I've used my own variants of the wave and have also experienced traditional martial arts flexibility work (which is often criticized as too 'bouncy' or ballistic) and believed that it can work very well, given a student with a sufficient level of strength. To some degree, Stretch To Win explains why. I'm also very intrigued to explore the Thomas Myers 'Anatomy Trains' material.

The only drawback to this book that I can see is that it's hard to learn this stuff from a book without expert guidance.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new way of thinking about stretching, July 21, 2007
This review is from: Stretch to Win (Paperback)
Over the years it has become a standard mantra that people should "stretch" to help performance and prevent injuries. On the other hand, recent research has cast doubts on the usefulness of "stretching."

This book provides a good resolution to the stretching dilemma. It recasts "stretching" as a series of fluid, wave-like activities for improving mobility opposing the old "stretch and hold" protocol that so many of us have struggled with for years. The movements are performed in synchronization with breathing and at varying tempo for different purposes.

One interesting aspect of this approach is that it takes a big step toward bridging the fluid, rhythmic emphasis of traditional Eastern practices like Tai Chi and Yoga with the Western functional methods.

The biggest weakness of this book from my perspective was that while it emphasizes the importance of sequence, it did not really give enough detailed examples to help me sequence my own flexibility routines, I found myself guessing in various places. The book suggests working from the core outward but does not indicate how to relate each movement to how far it is from the core, and so on. As a result, I have enough information from this book to know how to do the movements and roughly how to structure my stretching, but it leaves me having to do a lot of experimentation on my own.

Still, the approach in this book is heads and shoulders above the previous generation of "stretch and hold" poses, and I highly recommend it for all athletes and martial artists.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Nonsense Guide To Stretching Optimally, July 18, 2009
By 
This review is from: Stretch to Win (Paperback)
Stretch To Win certainly delivers a very comprehensive overview on why and how to stretch using the Fredericks' Stretch To Win system. The book opens with chapters relating the anatomy of stretching to the basic fundamental principles of the system. It then offers the reader a chance to assess their own personal flexibility imbalances prior to describing how to correct imbalances and how to perform each stretch appropriately.
As a Personal Trainer, I have used the principles of undulating stretching with success on clients and myself. The book is geared towards athletes, but anyone who wants to improve their overall flexibility and joint health would do well to follow the instructions in this guide.
Two things I think they could have included more on however are: 1) A more indepth explanation on why it is important to stretch using different velocities surrounding practices & games, and 2) An emphasis that the practitioner learn more about basic anatomy and physiology as some of the knowledge given assumes an understanding of which muscles are which and what their function is.
Overall, this guide (although primarily intended for athletic competitors is usable by anyone) provides a clear, well-researched program for developing a flexibility program that suits the needs of anyone looking to enhance their own pain-free range of motion. It is useful for people looking to form their own program as well as trainers, doctors, and therapists who wish to use the techniques given on their own clients and patients.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on stretching, February 6, 2010
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This review is from: Stretch to Win (Paperback)
I read many stretching books in college while getting a Exercise Science/PE degree. Each one was absolute garbage and a waste of time. Until I read this book I pretty much dimissed stretching as a waste of time and a proper dynamic warm-up would be just fine. This book changed my my opinion on the importance of stretching.

It explain why most stretching routines are outdated and can make you more tight. This book goes into great detail about how to find tight spots in your body that might be limiting your performance. The limits could be caused by injury, age, overuse etc. It also goes into great detail to explain tightness and pain at one point might be caused by from another point in the body. Case in point is I'm a competitive powerlifter. My hip has been very tight and has limited my squating. I did the self diagnosis testing and foudn out I had knots in my glutes which caused tightness in my hips. I took time and did a warm-up and some sport specific stretches before lifting as well as throughout the week when i was not lifting. Made a huge improve in my ability to squat without pain and allowed me to set up better on the bench press.

I will say do not buy this book if you cannot think on your own. If you are the kind of person that follows workouts blindly from a magazine than you won't like the fact you have to think on your own. You will find plenty of ineffective stretching books out there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Research and experience talks in this book, October 3, 2007
This review is from: Stretch to Win (Paperback)
I found myself being the guy doing always the same boring and not always so useful old-school stretching routines. This book had enough science and experience in its background, so it was a thrust-worthy starting point to read. The presentation covers in an understandable way stretching principles, self-evaluation, sport-specific needs and different techniques. And of course, how to customize your own program. As a jumper (high, triple) I have got a lot of new tips in adding flexibility in my problematic areas like low-back and hips. The series of photos are so clear that it is easy to do the routines as they should be done.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, March 22, 2010
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This review is from: Stretch to Win (Paperback)
As a physical therapist I have found the techniques in this book to be extremely helpful in treating ALL my patients, not just the athletes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great stretching book for ALL flexibility levels!, February 23, 2009
This review is from: Stretch to Win (Paperback)
I like this book because it is very informative. The stretches are great for all flexibility levels- but especially for men. There is very specific information in this book about myofascial release and increasing flexibility through stretching techniques. I found this book very helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stretch to Win--is a winner, April 4, 2013
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This review is from: Stretch to Win (Paperback)
Well written, very informative and educational. Learned a lot and have added several of the exercises they recommended to my exercise routine.;Anyone who exercises and wants to increase their strength and performance should read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive, April 24, 2013
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This review is from: Stretch to Win (Kindle Edition)
I read this book while on a long international flight. I am already incorporating some of the stretches into my cool downs. Very nicely done.
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Stretch to Win
Stretch to Win by Ann Frederick (Paperback - June 1, 2006)
$19.95 $12.79
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