Stretching, 20th Anniversary Revised Edition

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Product Description

When Bob Anderson first published Stretching in 1980, the fitness movement was new to most Americans. The term aerobics had just been coined in 1968, and few people outside bodybuilding circles had heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger yet.

Now, fitness is such old hat that it's even had a backlash or two. Lots of the original ideas have been called into question, including the preeminence of aerobic exercise. But flexibility is bigger than ever; Pilates and yoga are two of the fastest-growing fitness programs in the U.S. in the early 2000s. The type of stretching Anderson recommends--called "static," meaning you sit in one place and hold the stretch for a specified amount of time--isn't exactly trendy, but it remains the most accessible way for entry-level exercisers to improve their flexibility. (Or, perhaps more important, to keep from losing whatever flexibility they have as they get older.)

Those who already have the version of the book that's been put out by Shelter Publications since 1980 won't find a whole lot that's new in this 20th-anniversary version. Some of the simple drawings by Anderson's wife, Jean, have been updated to show athletes in sport-specific outfits doing stretching routines, and there are more routines than before. The new edition includes routines for children, stretches to do in front of the TV, and some exercises to do before and after gardening. Plus, the old staples remain--stretching routines for all muscle groups, and pre- and postplay sequences for common sports (football, baseball, basketball) and a few uncommon ones (equestrian, motocross, rodeo). He's also created routines for sports that barely existed in 1980, such as snowboarding, triathloning, and inline skating.

The constant in Stretching is ease of use. Anderson doesn't need a lot of complex explanations because the drawings are so easy to follow. He makes it clear that stretching should make you feel better, not worse, and that it's not a competition. Any little bit you can do is better than not doing anything. That's a timeless message, which is why his book has been such an valuable reference for the past 20 years. --Lou Schuler

Customer Reviews:

  • Stretching, 20th Anniversary Revised Edition
    This book is great because it is comprehensive. It covers all types of stretching for every part of the body. It also shows specific stretches for various activities such as running, snowboarding, etc. This book was recommended to me by a man who is in his sixties and it made a big difference in his life. I feel better after using this book for about two weeks. Any exercise routine should include stretching. I swear, the next time you need to pick up a dime off the street you'll either be happy you have this book or wish you did. ...more info
  • Essential to workout injury free
    It you enjoy running, walking of jogging you must stretch. If you like weightlifting you must stretch. If you play any kind of sport,.. again you must stretch. And guess what if you are not currently engaged in any physical activity, still will benefit a lot from stretching.

    This book is a complete, fully illustrated reference on stretching exercises. You will never know how flexible or stiff you are until you try the exercises.

    A word of caution. Stretching is as matter of fact beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing, but perform your stretching following the advice of a trainer or a authoritative book, since you could also get injured from a bad performed stretch....more info
  • Very Comprehensive
    This book is a very comprehensive overview of stretching. It's indexed very well and covers virtually every stretch imaginable for every part of your body. It also has tons of stretching routines for all walks of life and professions such as travelers, martial artists, office workers, etc.

    I highly recommend this book for anyone as stretching is so important for you whether you work out or not....more info
  • Great Book
    This book has very clear instructions and easy to understand illustrations. I began to benefit from this book the very first day I had it. The book has short stretching routines that are tailored to different sports. The instructions are in plain English and never left me guessing. Outstanding!...more info
  • The book to have
    Since I've started using the exercises in this book, I am rarely stiff, hardly ever have the shoulder or back pain I used to have and just feel more lenient in general. This is a very good review of the basics everyone should have in their home....more info
  • THE STANDARD in stretching books
    as a massage therapist i come across many books on health. this is the basic STANDARD so to speak ... a great book on stetching, even if it isn't 'high tech' on illustrations. the drawings are clear, and show you where you should be feeling the stretch .. and if you don't.. maybe you should actually READ THE INSTRUCTIONS :)haa. clear and well written. i often copy a page for personal use and paste to the wall to remind me what to do, until it becomes routine. instructions for basic do and don'ts, as well as for trouble areas of the body, and then detailing stretching for activities from skiing, golf, TV:) , even rodeo!!...more info
  • Stretching: 20th Anniversary (Stretching)
    The illustrations of the different stretches are easy to understand and do yourself. The author explains things easy. The stretches are divided by body parts and activities that people do. If you have not stretched in a long time, this is the book for you!...more info
  • Excellent instructional book
    This book clearly shows the stretching moves, postures and techniques necessary for safe and effective stretching. It then follows up with sports and body specific stretches to help you do the proper stretching for the activity you will be performing....more info
  • Nice reference but not instructional book.
    Very good illustrations, but pretty poor content, nothing revealing, no new ideas, just the same classical stretches.
    It does not even make any difference between a stretching to flexibility training.
    I do stretch my facial muscles but I dont really intend to make them more flexible, so author's instructions about "easy stretch" phase and the building phase are not relevant in the case of simple stretching designed to warm up your muscles.
    Nice reference but not instructional book....more info
  • An Exercise Classic
    You can look at the pictures in this book and in one glance tell which muscles get stretched performing different types of stretches. It is great for someone like me who has some muscle imbalances and needs to stretch some muscles and strengthen others. It is also a good book to have to look up stretches to do for times when you have tight muscles in just certain spots as the stretches are grouped by body part.

    I have had this book for years and refer to it all of the time. ...more info
  • Stretching: 20th Anniversary
    We are implementing stretching on the job and a copy of this book was purchased for each supervisor. It is simple to follow, organized by activity and will be very helpful with the implementation of our program....more info
  • Very good book.
    I'm an aging athlete. I know I should stretch more and this book is exactly what I need....more info
  • Good Reference Book for the Health Concsious
    This book is very informative and has stretching excercises to cover most sports. The illustrations aren't very high tech but they are still very useful. Had many stretches I hadn't seen in years. ...more info
  • The Best EVER!!!!
    I'm an ancient, creaky registered nurse who works with an increasingly ancient, creaky population of inmates in a state prison. Not that inmates have ever been known to demonstrate poor judgement, bravado, or an overinflated sense of how to cope in a limited world, but STRETCHING is written in language they understand and has the best diagrams and instructions I have ever seen in a "How-to..." book about exercise. Without being preachy, it recommends moderation; without being childish, it emphasizes care, conditioning and attention to body messages. It is gentle, generic, and non-aggressive. It was recommended to my by a physical therapy student and I pass along that recommendation wholeheartedly. No matter what one's physical fitness level, restrictions or circumstances, STRETCHING is a "must have."...more info
  • A beautiful odyssey, brilliantly told
    Whether you start with the Book of Genesis or the Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, we humans have long loved tales about creating a new world--or building one from scratch. Lloyd Kahn's new book, Builders of the Pacific Coast, is primarily an account of builders and hand-crafted structures dating from the 60s to the 80s. Yet the rugged coastal setting of his odyssey--a blue and green world from Point Reyes Peninsula to Vancouver Island--invokes a simpler, more pristine time, an Eden of sorts. When forests grew down to the sea, building codes were few, lumber was plentiful (often free) and anyone with skill, a strong back and the courage to try could create something beautiful and enduring.

    On every page of this book is something shocking and delightful. A boat with legs. A roof like a leaf. A caravan with eyes. A split-cedar woodshed shaped like a bird. Stair rails so sinuous and snakey they might come to life and grab you. Sculpted earth walls. Round windows and arched doors. Roofs curved like seagull wings. Grottos choked with ferns and flowers.

    Not that there's any shortage of creatures and fantastical characters. Just off-camera lurk orcas, eagles and bears. And then there are the builders themselves. There hasn't been a cast of characters this colorful since Ken Kesey packed up his Underwood.

    Builders of the Pacific Coast rolls on, mile after mile, in an odyssey so firsthand and vivid that you feel every rut in the road. And come to know, as Lloyd Kahn did, the soul of the place. The strong hands and big hearts of the people, the staggering abundance of the land and sea, the leaping joy that such a place still exists.
    ...more info
  • Great sets of exercises, organized sport by sport
    This book was recommended to me 20 years ago by a friend. At the time, I was a weekend warrior playing on a softball team, and my friend was a very experienced weighlifter and martial artist. The sport-by-sport organization is really useful, and the illustrations for each stretch are simple but easy to follow. I also like that the part of the body where you should feel the stretch is covered with dots, making it easy to identify. I recently gave the book as a gift to a couple I know: a police officer in his late 30s who plays rugby on the weekends, and his wife, a runner who has also taken up horseback riding. They both love it. I highly recommend STRETCHING for anyone who plays or trains for any sport--especially if you are just getting into the sport, know you should stretch more than you do, or you just really can't risk injury. ...more info
  • Stretching your way to better health
    My mom was told to start stretching because of her long work commutes were taking a toll on her back. She has started using this & her back she says feels better already....more info
  • Must Have Publication
    For anyone in the healthcare profession(s), this is a must for getting clients into proper home care or self care, as well as anyone wanting to improve their own range of motion and flexibility...more info
  • Classic
    This book has been offering people stretches forever!So many to choose from and the reader is able to hit every major muscle group in thier body. Easy to follow and useful for all fitness levels. Sports related stretches for all types of events so you will never get bored. Also recommend The Backsmart Fitness Plan by Dr.Adam Weiss- great stretches, dumbbell workouts for a full body workout, I combined these two books for great results....more info
  • Doctor's Favorite Pick
    As an arthritis doctor, I have suggested this book to probably over 200 patients in the last 5 years. It is like "Ibuprofen on paper" but MUCH healthier. Don't be intimidated by the index, simply look at each page that offers stretches for your area of pain...then follow the ones that show the shaded area where your pain is. I use it myself daily! KH, MD...more info
  • Stretching everyday lengthens your life.
    I swear by this book. I have used it for years and am now giving copies to friends who, as they age, would benefit by the step by step stretching exercies illustrated and described in this book. ...more info
  • Great Book
    Great book that I was first introduced to at work. I am a Massage Therapist and this book assists me to give the best home-care for my clients. It has many different stretches for all activities, as well as isolated stretches for particular parts of the body. An inexpensive addition to a home or professional library....more info
  • Great Book
    This book was exactly what I was looking for. I play softball regularly and am approaching the age of 50, and I was looking for specific stretches to help me prepare to play. The book contains specific instructions and illustrations and is easy to folllow. Their are specific stretches to help with all kinds of activities, and the author has a long history of working with athletes....more info
  • Stretching by Bob Anderson
    This is an excellent book. It gives very clear and simple illustrations for how to stretch. There are outlines of general stretching routines as well as stretching for specific areas of the body or for specific activities (cycling, running, etc.). I love the simplicity of this book - it is very easy to pick up and use....more info
  • Excellent Guide
    For beginners, this book has thorough instruction on hundreds of different types of stretches, and even goes into detail about a certain set of stretches perfect for ANY activity.
    I HIGHLY recomend this book for people that are wanting to gain flexibility but are not quite yoga material (yet!)...more info
  • Classic stretching book
    This book is a classic when it comes to stretching, one of the first to catalog a good set of stretches for various sports. In fact, I think it was the first stretching book I ever bought and I've recently updated my worn out copy. If you want a quick reference or organized stretching workouts for any of the most popular sports, this is a good book to have on your shelf. For some more in depth instruction, more unusual exercises and the "why" behind stretching and flexibility, I would also recommend Ultimate Flexibility. Between the two, you won't really need another stretching reference....more info
  • This is a great stretching book!
    This book has been so valuable to me. I have had some shoulder, back, and arm problems due to my occupation and repetitive motions, and since I use these stretches every morning, I am no longer in pain. It is very easy to locate the stretches you need for any of the muscle groups, and it is written in a concise manner with great illustrations and just enough explanation. Highly recommended!...more info
  • Stretching
    This is an excellent resource guide to stretching different muscle groups before exercising or vigorous activity. Many people are "weekend warriors" regarding exercise, thus incurring preventable injuries trying to participate in strenuous activity without proper warm-up. This book has it all! Specific stretching exercises designed for 35 different sports plus a variety of every day stretches. This is a book for everyone who desires to stay in shape, reduce muscle tension, prevent injuries, increase range of motion, maintain flexibility and FEEL GOOD. I highly recommend it....more info
  • Stretching
    Stretching by Bob Anderson covers all aspects of stretches for many different sports and needs. Excellent drawings to show you how to do each stretch correctly, for both men and women to use....more info
  • The First and the Best
    I purchased this book back in 1988 London England. I have used this book on and off for almost 20 years. The drawings are clear, the text informative. The stretches are broken into activities, such as stretches for running, hiking, biking, swimming, sitting at your desk. Its really very useful.

    Because of this book I have not injured myself exercising. Stretching is now a part of my life, and I owe it all to Bob and his fantastic book.

    I was just asked about stretching and so recommended this book (as I have done many times over the years), I noticed a 20yr anniversary version is available. I'll probably get it, as my copy is pretty dog-eared now.

    Great book for beginners, and as a reference....more info
  • Simplistic & Thorough
    Having worked as a personal trainer, I am always searching for books or manuals which do the best job at explaining health, exercise, (or in this case) stretching, and nutrition. I found this book to be very helpful.

    There is a lot of information, exactly what I was looking for: a picture book which graphically illustrates stretches as well as which stretches apply to certain sports & other physical activities. This is a must if you are seeking a thorough book on stretching....more info
  • Love it - I would only change one thing...
    I LOVE this book! Great stretches, great diagrams. The only thing I would change (and I thought they did this at one time) would be to add a spiral bind so that the book lies flat when you open it. ...more info
  • Excellent Book
    I recently purchased the book "Stretching" by Bob Anderson. It is great a book for any one that has back problems, sore hamstrings or that just needs to stretch the body from soreness. It is extremely informative and easy to follow. ...more info
  • Good for body and mind.
    All I wanted was to learn how to properly stretch to increase my flexibility and to prevent injuries. This book not only did that, but it hammered home the message that you shouldn't compare your flexibility to that of others, and that stretching has a multitude of practical benefits, besides flexibility. This is not a book for extremists trying to do the splits on two folding chairs with a child perched on their shoulders. I've never been able to touch my toes, but this book has shown me what stretches to do to get my hamstrings more limber and it's also shown me that stretching is beneficial in many more ways than just flexibility. ...more info
  • Stretch
    I bought this book because i hate to stretch. I am liking it so far, because it is helping me with many Stretches
    and my flexable.
    ...more info
  • Great reference books for stretching
    The book is great for looking up stretches by either body regions, or muscle groups, or sports related etc. The little pictures help somewhat also....more info
  • STretching by Bob Anderson
    Just as described and received in a timely manner. Thanks...more info
  • Stretching made simple!
    This book has great drawings of showing you the correct and incorrect ways of doing the different stretches. I only wish this version (20th anniversary) was put in a spiral binding, so the pages would lay flat when you're trying to do the exercises!...more info
  • Stretching Review
    Bob Anderson covers a tremendous number of stretches of all sorts. The descriptions are very good, and the line drawings are excellent. I have two quibbles though:
    1) Bob has quite a few stretches that involve extreme folding of the knee joint, a very difficult positions for anyone with knee problems. I wish he would have optional stretches that didn't involve the knee being bent so much.
    2) Bob categorizes his stretches by the area of the body that is stretched. It would be helpful to consistently list the muscle(s) stretched in the index so, for example, if one needed to stretch out her/his psoas muscle, one could simply look up the stretches that will do that.
    In spite of these, I use the book every day, it is well worth the purchase price....more info
  • Couldn't Live Without It
    This book has really added to my flexibility and lessened my soreness after a rigorous sports activity. When I finish a bike ride, for instance, I pull out this book and do the stretches recommended for biking. I like this book so much, I gave it to almost everyone in my family for Christmas....more info
  • Want to avoid injury and feel 100% better?
    Stretching is a workout all by itself, and you'll love the benefits of increased movement, blood circulation and reduced risk of injury. This books is written by an expert and written well and very well illustrated....more info
  • This book is excellent, but buy his dvd, as well.
    The book is very thorough and if you want something to review or study if you're away from home this would be an excellent source book. Does a great job of breaking down the exercises for each body group or part. Well written and illustrated, easily understood. But, that said, I find myself watching the Anderson's dvd, rather than the book, and following along. He's a first rate instructor and you can't really go wrong whichever you decide to choose....more info


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