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Stretching Anatomy 1st Edition

127 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0736059725
ISBN-10: 0736059725
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Editorial Reviews


Stretching Anatomy is the most complete guide to stretching I've seen. Its illustrations, tips, and explanations inspired me to stop procrastinating and start getting limber.”

Janet Lee
Deputy Editor, Shape

”The beautiful, highly detailed illustrations in Stretching Anatomy are the best I've ever seen, and the book's advice and exercises are simple, clear, and easy to follow. It's an invaluable resource for anyone—from novice exercisers to fitness professionals."

Sara Kooperman

Owner and Executive Director of SCW Fitness Education

About the Author

Arnold G. Nelson, PhD, is an associate professor in the department of kinesiology at Louisiana State University. A leading researcher on flexibility, he is considered one of the top authorities on how stretching affects muscle performance. Nelson is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and earned his PhD in muscle physiology from the University of Texas at Austin. He resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Jouko Kokkonen, PhD, is a professor in exercise science at Brigham Young University in Hawaii. For more than 20 years, he has taught anatomy, kinesiology, exercise physiology, and athletic conditioning, and for 35 years he has coached track and field. Kokkonen's research has revolved around the acute and chronic effects of stretching. He earned his PhD in exercise physiology from Brigham Young and now resides in Laie, Hawaii, with his wife, Ruthanne.

About the Illustrator

Jason M. McAlexander, MFA, founded Quail Ridge Studios in 2004, where he specializes in scientific and medical illustrations in both traditional and digital media. Previously, he served as art director and chief illustrator for a multinational publishing company based in Portland, Oregon. McAlexander received his bachelor's degree in biological and premedical illustration from Iowa State University and went on to receive his master of fine arts degree in medical and biological illustration from the University of Michigan.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 147 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics; 1 edition (November 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736059725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736059725
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

170 of 174 people found the following review helpful By Loren W. Christensen VINE VOICE on February 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have been a martial arts teacher for 42 years and have authored over 20 books on the subject. So I know a little about stretching. Stretching Anatomy is a wonderful guide that is concise, yet somehow amazingly complete.

The book isn't written for one particular sport, but the savvy reader will quickly see how the many easy-to-do stretches (and a couple hard ones) will improve their performance within weeks.

Each clearly demonstrated exercise includes simple how-to-do instruction, when to do it, and which primary and secondary muscles are being stretched. The book provides three levels of difficulty, including light movements to warm-up and to help you recovery quickly from an injury or post workout soreness.

A real plus are the anatomy chart-like illustrations that show via colored shading which muscles are being affected by the stretch.

This is an excellent book that I recommend to my students.

Loren W. Christensen author of Fighter's Fact Book 2.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Teresa on July 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have used this book to not only show and teach clients and patients proper stretching techniques, I have recommended it as a tool for the Physical Therapist at my job, and used it for myself. Illustrations are detailed with specific muscles described in each stretch and are very helpful in understanding the anatomy of each stretch - great book for ANYONE, especially pre- and post-workout for athletes! I also recommend "Stretching" by Bob Anderson in conjunction with this as a teaching tool.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By K. Bauman on September 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've been a runner and athlete for over a decade, and even having learned dozens of stretches along the way, this book was well worth the money. It's very comprehensive - contains stretches for every muscle group and even describes the supporting muscle groups you're using when doing a particular stretch. The visuals are clear and helpful as well. The explanations are very easy to follow, and I love that it gives tips within each stretch for increasing the intensity or stretching slightly different muscles with a slightly different motion.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Annie MacKenzie on August 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stretching Anatomy has lovely color illustrations of men and women performing the different stretches. The chapters are uncomplicated and it is easy to quickly reference all of the muscles and their actions. I really like the chapters on Arms, wrists and hands and also knees and thighs. Every illustrated stretch has a box beneath with a detailed color picture of the anatomy, all muscles are labeled clearly. You can quickly sort out any confusion you may have between similar sounding muscles. I get my Teres Major and minor muscles mixed up for example or my Flexor carpi radialis brevis and longus. A quick look in this book will set you straight in a short space of time.

Generally 2 pages are dedicated to each stretch, one page has the illustrations the other page has three short paragraphs, no more than several lines in each paragraph though. "Technique", "Muscles stretched" (most stretched and least stretched), and "Commentary" which gives you modifications, variations and various tips on deepening the stretch. The information is very brief. If you need more detail on muscles involved, or origins and insertions, this is not the book for you, explanations are limited to muscle action and pictures.

This is a very nice, simple and uncomplicated book, if you want a little more detail I would suggest spending around $5 more and getting "The anatomy of stretching" by Brad Walker (very similar titles)or at least review both books before buying to see which suits you best.

At the end of each chapter of "Stretching Anatomy" all muscles are listed down the left side of the page and the actions across the top of the page. Ticks symbols show the action of each muscle.
Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By fitnessprincess on February 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I wished this book had more stretches for just legs, hips, and lower back. There were a lot of stretches for the arms, hands, lower legs, and feet. The book is decent. The great thing about this book is the fact it points out the greater stretched muscles and lesser stretched muscles in each demonstrated stretch. I would of liked if this book had more major muscle group stretches.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kristin on August 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I checked this out at the library on the advice of some bellydancing friends, and I found it so handy I made sure to order my own copy.

It's wonderfully clear and concise: No treatises on theory, just brief descriptions of what the various muscle sets do, and the excellent, large, totally clear and well-labeled diagrams of every stretch (and then later of the various muscle sets at rest).

It makes it ridiculously easy to understand what's happening when I stretch or dance, and also to identify the aches and pains I sometimes get as an active person.

Each section handles a different part of the body i.e. neck, hips, knees and thighs, arms, wrists, so the stretches are easy to find -- you don't have to remember the names of the muscles you want to stretch, just flip through the appropriate section. Each stretch lists which muscles it acts primarily and secondarily upon. Each stretch has any appropriate warnings or other notes, such as positions to enhance the stretch or make it easier for your limitations.

In no part of the book are the stretches limited to contortionist's poses or advanced yoga-type positions. Stretches are offered on the most basic level for every body part as well as more advanced options. You're sure to find a simple, accessible stretch for any muscle group.
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