Book Review: Stretching Anatomy – 3rd Edition

Stretching Anatomy – 3rd Edition by Arnold G. Nelson and Jouko Kokkonen

It is great to read a book dedicated to stretching and the benefits associated with stretching. Stretching Anatomy is a wonderful resource as the information is accompanied with great illustrations that are easy to read and follow.

The benefits of stretching are endless, including improved flexibility and stamina (muscular endurance), reduced muscle soreness, improved body alignment and posture and a great warm up and cool down during an exercise session. Also, it feels good to stretch!

A particular topic of interest is the author’s note that stretching exercises included in daily activities can improve balance as we age. “As we age, we all start losing balance. Adding stretching exercises to your daily activities will improve your balance. To make changes to any of these areas, you need to be involved in a regular stretching program, preferably as a daily routine. Improvement will not come in a day or two, but rather after a dedicated effort of several weeks. You can perform these programs with or without another kind of exercise routine. Stretching on a consistent basis, even without another exercise activity, can bring about changes that not only improve flexibility but also increase strength and strength endurance and improve balance.” When teaching a wide demographic across the community it is good to know that, something that feels so good as stretching, can also be very beneficial.

The highlight of the book for me is the daily stretch programs. In-depth stretching programs are provided for many different levels including beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert. The list of stretches is in easy to read tables, along with the page number in the book that the stretch can be found. As a Pilates instructor, the stretch list provided for tight or frozen shoulder person is very handy, as is the stretching program for desk sitting jobs and vehicle travellers. Very common in this day and age.

Overall, Stretching Anatomy is laid out very well with chapters relating to stretching the major joint areas of the body. The first chapter begins with the feet and the subsequent chapters work their way up the body, finishing with the neck. A great resource for any Pilates instructor!

Reviewed by Kerri Cafcakis, PAA Member


Where to buy

Stretching Anatomy – 3rd Edition was generously supplied for review by Human Kinetics and is available at Booktopia with an additional 10% PAA member discount (check under Resources in your membership area for the Human Kinetics discount code).