It’s common to do a little stretching before we do our workouts, and perhaps a few afterward to cool down. But, stretching is a form of exercise in itself and will keep us flexible as we age. My newest book Anatomy of Stretching, A Guide to Increasing Your Flexibility, shares the profound benefits of stretching.
The Stretching Session
Foam Roller Stretches
The Quick Stretch Program
Anatomy of Stretching was created by renowned fitness trainer and former Broadway dancer Craig Ramsay. He points out that stretching is a key component in building a healthy, supple body. The book starts out with ‘Building a Stretching Routine’. I know, I can hear the groans, but honestly, once you start, it feels awesome. There are different types of stretches, and you want to incorporate a healthy mixture of all of them. There’s static, dynamic, isometric, active, passive, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), and full body stretches.
There are more than 300 full-color images showing every pose and every muscle in detail. Each muscle has two full-color photos; one with an actual person in the pose in the correct posture, and the other is a detailed animation drawing of the muscles that you will be using in that particular exercise. The graphics are spectacular. Each stretch shares which muscles are targeted, as well as do’s and don’t’s. There’s also ‘Expert Tips’ perforated throughout the book.
Being that a lot of us spend the majority of our day in an office, I enjoyed going over the recommended stretches. There are thirteen different exercises, and they talk twenty seconds or less to do each. You feel great and revitalized after doing them.
The back of the book has a Quick Stretch Program that you can follow if you don’t want to create your own. It’s an ensemble of 20 different exercises that target your main muscles. The book comes with a poster featuring these 20 quick stretches.
Bottom line, if we want an agile and energetic body, we have to love our bodies enough to stretch our muscles. Stretching also elongates muscles, burns calories, relieves stress, boosts energy, and improves coordination. You owe it to yourself to stretch!
Disclaimer: I received product to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own, yours may differ.