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221 of 228 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Two Best Single Volume Stretching Book for Back Therapy
If you wish to be a martial artist, there are other stretching books that teach maximum flexibility: e.g. Stretching Scientifically by Thomas Kurz. or yoga books such as YOga: The Iyengar Way by Mira Silva & Schyam Mehta. But if you've hurt your back or other body parts (e.g. legs, shoulders, etc.), then this single volume is a gold mine. I've written several cover...
Published on July 1, 2007 by Dr. Ervin Nieves

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for beginners, but...
This book gives a great introduction to different schools of stretching and some relevant biology and bio-mechanics. Neither of these are really integrated into the remainder of the text, and the illustrations of the biology relevant to muscle firing are inadequate. Much more helpful and relevant would be an address of nutrition and stretching (drinking water isn't even...
Published 5 months ago by Jon Ludbetter


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221 of 228 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Two Best Single Volume Stretching Book for Back Therapy, July 1, 2007
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This review is from: The Anatomy of Stretching (Paperback)
If you wish to be a martial artist, there are other stretching books that teach maximum flexibility: e.g. Stretching Scientifically by Thomas Kurz. or yoga books such as YOga: The Iyengar Way by Mira Silva & Schyam Mehta. But if you've hurt your back or other body parts (e.g. legs, shoulders, etc.), then this single volume is a gold mine. I've written several cover stories in Inside Kung Fu and Kung Fu Wushu magazines, and have practiced martial arts since a very early age. I have had perfect splits in life, but became less flexible via neglect. Trying to get back in shape, I hurt my back three years ago and sometimes had trouble bending down (on very bad days) or would rehurt my back when trying to resume running and shaolin kung fu. Fortunately, I taught at a college that had a Ph.D. program in physical therapy so I got free physical therapy for a year. All of the therapy exercises I learned for free are included in Brad Walker's Anatomy of Stretching. In addition, Walker's book contains dozens of wonderful exercises to provide therapy for hurt body parts, and to obtain general flexibility. I visited bookstores to compare the texts, and Walker's book provides wonderful schematic drawings on how the muscles are involved at the very moment of each specific stretch. Unlike other stretching anatomy books, Walker's provides a specific itemization of how to do the exercise, what body part is affected, what injury it treats, what sport it's good for, and when to avoid the stretch if you have a particular injury. It's the best diagrammed text around. I would recommend buying this book with a couple of other texts that are equal to Walker's in many respects (and sometimes better, sometimes worse):

Two books by Kit Laughlin:

1. Stretching & Flexibility, and
2. Overcome Neck & Back Pain.

You can order DVDs from Australia from Laughlin's website. Kit even emailed me to answer my stretching queries.

3. Back Care Basics by Mary Pullig Schatz, M.D. Dr. Schatz combines knowledge in injury science with expertise in Iyengar yoga. It's a wonderful text for injured practitioners.

4. The Stark Reality of Stretching, by Dr. Steven D. Stark. Dr. Stark presents a wonderful theory of stretching that argues convincingly that the best way to stretch is to avoid any stretches that load the specific muscle groups you are trying to stretch. He also demonstrates how we injure ourselves unwittingly: e.g. by running with a stride that is either too short, or too long. His research is a bit dated, but logical and convincing.

5. Yoga: The Iyengar Way (authors mentioned above).

Remember NEVER TO BOUNCE HARD WHEN STRETCHING, ESPECIALLY IF YOUR BACK IS INJURED. As long as you stretch everyday, you should gently heal your back.

Stretching one's back using a "half therapy roll" available at medical supply stores is useful if you have lower lumbar injury, but get diagnosed by a top notch physical therapist. Unlike general medical practitioners, they know the body much better and know the excercises to heal the back. The function of a regular medical doctor is simply to authorize x-rays to ensure you don't have unusual injuries: e.g. spinal/skeletal, herniated disks, torn muscles, dislocated ligaments and torn tendons, etc. Once you've excluded extreme abnormalities, a good stretching book can do wonders for your back and other body parts.

Back pain is due to muscle imbalance and slight injuries. Scarred muscle tissue gets tight and one needs to stretch those tissues to prevent spasms. These books, written often by medical doctors, are a great adjunct to qualified medical care.

For general back care, buy:

6. the Second edition of Mike Hage's THE BACK PAIN BOOK, REVISED 2ND EDITION.

Hage covers everything from how to bend properly when picking up objects to sitting correctly on a toliet to prevent reinjuring or weakining one's back. We cause injury to ourselves gradually until that single extra straw one day breaks our camel's back.

Without question, Walker's ANATOMY OF STRETCHING, is one of the best in the market. There is no single perfect book, but the relatively short list I've constructed is all you need. They might save you thousands of dollars on professional physical therapy and provide you with healthy restful flexibility and relief from unnecessary pain.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Detailedand informative guide to stretching for sports or rehabilitation, August 21, 2009
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This review is from: The Anatomy of Stretching (Paperback)
A light weight book, 165 pages which cover 114 stretches. There are 200 detailed sketch style pictures of men and women in different stretches. There are 15 color coded chapters with good sized illustrations on nearly every page. Pictures are sketched very accurately in black, white and shades of gray and arranged in chapters by body area. They show the primary and secondary muscles that are being worked, muscles are colored in shades of pink and red and really pop out from the page. An instant understanding of the body part being worked can be gained with a glance.

Brad Walker's "The Anatomy of Stretching" has much more detail and information than a similar book "stretching Anatomy" by Arnold G Nelson and Jouko Kokkonen. I bought both books and I like the Nelson book well enough, but for an additional $5 or so I would suggest Walker's book is a better buy, like a grown up version of the Nelson book. More bang for your buck, much more information, a very detailed index describing every stretch which saves time locating the info.

Each stretch is broken down into 5 paragraphs. "Technique; Muscles being stretched; Sports that benefit from this stretch; Common problems and additional information for performing this stretch correctly". Lastly "Complimentary stretch". This just gives a page number to refer back to for a complimentary release stretch. There is a 3 page glossary of medical terms for injuries ranging from Ankylosing spondylitis to Trochanteric bursitis. An Appendix of sports and page numbers to access relevant stretches, Similar to Bob Anderson's book on "Stretching".

A very nice book to have in your personal library for fitness professionals or yogi's looking to stretch out any physical imbalances, (for all yoga students and teachers out there, I would suggest an excellent book, "Yoga anatomy" by Lesley Kaminoff). For athletes or anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of their body. A good tool for Massage therapists educating their clients or describing where work will be done, I like to show the client the illustrations of the muscles that will be worked on so they gain a deeper understanding of how to free up any physical restrictions.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anatomy of Stretching by Brad Walker, August 7, 2007
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This review is from: The Anatomy of Stretching (Paperback)
This is an incredible book. It has simple pictures that show all the muscles that are being stretched. This is a great book for teaching anatomy and a great resourse for massage therapists.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anatomy of Stretching, August 19, 2007
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David Waden (Qld, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Anatomy of Stretching (Paperback)
After having been in a desk job for too many years, I became overweight and lost all my flexibility. So I decided I needed to do something about it.
I didn't want to injure myself from taking things too fast, so I decided to try doing some stretching first. But I didn't know where to start. So I bought this book to find out more.

I was really impressed, there is so much detail and lots of illustrations in this book. Most importantly it has a list of sports that the stretches can be used for, which was a real bonus for me.
Best of all, they work.
Bottom Line get this book!!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Anatomy of Stretching, February 7, 2009
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P. T. Bolin (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Anatomy of Stretching (Paperback)
This book is fairly comprehensive and the drawings are very well done.

I would, however, recommend this only to someone who has some knowledge or experience with anatomy/physiology, as the explanations are very simple, if not non-existent. It also dwells on the major muscles, when most of us, especially those with a bit of background or experience, really should know how to do them already, so some extra time spent on the more obscure muscles, and/or stretches, would have been well received.

Best suited to someone with a bit of experience who's looking for a bit more. Not for newbies.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who would seek better health through stretching exercises., May 3, 2008
This review is from: The Anatomy of Stretching (Paperback)
There are over one hundred key stretches that the human body can do that directly enable better physical health regardless of age or gender. "The Anatomy of Stretching" outlines these with fundamental facts and explanations to help the reader do the stretch and understand why they are doing it, divided by each and every area of the body. With over 200 full color illustrations, glossaries, appendixes and more, "The Anatomy of Stretching" is highly recommended to health & fitness community library shelves and for anyone who would seek better health through stretching exercises.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep limber as you age, January 10, 2010
This review is from: The Anatomy of Stretching (Paperback)
I bought this book after scanning through many similar books and found this one to be the most complete for my needs. I wanted clear explanations with illustrations of both the positions and the muscles involved and a cross reference of how each stretch related to others. This book does exactly this in its presentation. It has enough information to really understand what is going on but not so much that the average person couldn't use it. The book is probably written for the professional trainers but I found it very valuable for my own routine. I got interested in the benefits of stretching after seeing a physical therapist for months who was very good about explaining what she was doing and why. The stretching routine I use from this book gives me relief from lower back pain and when I am diligent about it I am pain free. Basically it is now part of my daily routine and refer back to the book often to learn and understand so that I don't injure myself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for beginners, but..., March 27, 2014
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This book gives a great introduction to different schools of stretching and some relevant biology and bio-mechanics. Neither of these are really integrated into the remainder of the text, and the illustrations of the biology relevant to muscle firing are inadequate. Much more helpful and relevant would be an address of nutrition and stretching (drinking water isn't even mentioned).
Walker shines in his personal experience, which can weigh in heavily against laboratory research from scientific journals. His expertise on how long to hold stretches and the benefits of different kinds of stretching is won over years of experience. Walker is a genuine synthesist, taking from everything useful. While he shows some familiarity with contemporary scientific studies, he's not engaging with a depth or aptitude that warrants the title of the book. For example, he cites a 1970's study of muscle firing and ignores contemporary work of fascial tension altogether. It would be wonderful to team him up with a scientist more abreast of recent directions in the literature.
The practical section is straight-forward and clear. Particularly helpful are the pointers to complementary stretches for muscle groups, but it's curious that he didn't include antagonist stretches given their importance.
The real disappointments of the book for me are as follows. 1) Details, man! Despite emphasizing the importance of a number of approaches to stretching, he doesn't emphasize dynamic or muscularly engaged stretching in his examples. He rarely mentions engaging the muscles being stretched. This leaves us with yet another book of largely passive stretching. The angles of the stretches are often not specified enough to target the muscle groups, nor does he give adequate proprioceptive cues to alert you when you are or are not accessing the sweet spot. 2) There is no choreography for a sequence that would hit all major muscle groups. Walker does give a small chart of important stretches depending upon the kind of activity you do, which is of some use. 3) The stretches do not blow my mind. There are very few that I've not seen before, and he'd do well to borrow more from yoga. 4) I'm left wondering whether his reliance on passive stretching will render muscles that are indeed elongated but not integrated.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed with great pictures, September 16, 2009
This review is from: The Anatomy of Stretching (Paperback)
This book is great for students of health and fitness related professions and or enthusiastic individuals learning about fitness and exercise physiology for their own benefit. This book provides plenty of quality illustrations and detailed stretching techniques. This is a great resource for teaching and learning human musculoskeletal anatomy and a must read for sports trainers.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stretching a must at any age, May 31, 2009
This review is from: The Anatomy of Stretching (Paperback)
There is never enough training given to the sports person in regard to stretching. This book helps everyone understand the types of muscles used at each stretch and clearly shows the benefits of a good stretch. The older we get, the less stretching we do yet it should be the reverse.

I am grateful to those who take the time to educate us all in correct procedures.
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The Anatomy of Stretching
The Anatomy of Stretching by Brad Walker (Paperback - April 10, 2007)
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