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Delavier's Stretching Anatomy (2010)

by Frédéric Delavier, Jean-Pierre Clémenceau (Author), Michael Gundill (Author)

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Overall a solid book, full of interesting and useful information. The book does a good job describing each exercise and what it is helpful for, and provides many illustrations to help readers visualize what needs to be done. Particularly noteworthy are the illustrations that show the anatomy associated with each stretch or exercise; they are clear, easy to understand, and have a nice gender balance (unlike some books where all the illustrations are male). There is a wide range of stretches, addressing parts of the body literally from head to toe, and interesting sidebar information (like an illustration showing different forms of femur shapes and how this anatomical feature affects an individual's ability to move their leg).

I have only three complaints about the book, two minor and one substantial. On the minor end: the range of models is very small; there are two men, two women, and all of them are young, white, and fit. Given that this a book directed at athletes, the last is understandable, but it would widen the audience of this book if it included a greater diversity of physical types. On a related note, because the book is directed at a presumed audience of athletic readers, there are fewer accommodations or modifications of the poses for less-flexible people. So those are the minor complaints. A greater one is that this book does not have an index. While the table of contents is reasonably detailed, it doesn't provide enough information to find out, for example, which stretches target the psoas, nor does it give any indication of the existence of information like the femur anatomy mentioned above. Users should expect a fair amount of hunting around if they're looking for help with something not specifically mentioned in the table of contents. ( )
  ranaverde | Apr 17, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book provides a large number of stretching exercises to work on flexibility, agility, and toning. I thought it interesting that the book was translated from French and only first published in 2010 (in Italy), given how many there are on stretching already.

I got a a very strong first impression. Although in paper, it is on very good quality paper with a sewn binding. The images are of high quality, and the translation is done professionally, it is not readily apparent that the book is not originally done in English.

The book has three sections, an introduction to stretching that includes some basic anatomy, details of the stretches including anatomical drawings and varying difficulties, and last program suggestions.

The introduction talks about the value of stretching, how to breathe, risks, injuries, and such. It is the kind of stuff you find in a lot of exercise books.

Most of the book is in the stretch descriptions. Each stretch has a basic and advanced version. It starts with a basic description of the stretch and muscles. All of the stretches have a version that can be done alone, some include using a partner or some kind of equipment, such as a bench or ball. The stretches are described in good details so that it is clear what you are doing and what you are trying to accomplish. They are accompanied by anatomical drawings that show the targeted muscles and includes labels for the different muscles.

The last section describes exercise programs. There are three generic programs, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Then includes expert programs that are tailored for a variety of sports.

Overall, I was very impressed with the book. However, there is one glaring omission. That is anything about the authors and why they are qualified to write such a book. They are easy to find on the internet, though.

Interested in discussing this book?
http://books.randolphking.com/?p=758 ( )
  Nodosaurus | Feb 23, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Overall, this is a useful and attractive general guide to stretching. The core of the book is a guide to over 100 stretches, arranged according to the muscle group they target. Each exercise is illustrated with both color photos and diagrams indicating which muscles are stretched. Additional diagrams and general background and advice about stretching are included. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced stretching programs, as well as several aimed at specific sports, are also included.

I believe this book could meet the needs of almost any amateur athlete or bodybuilder. In particular, versions of stretches with different levels of difficulty are provided where appropriate, so even someone just beginning a workout program will find stretches they can execute safely. Unfortunately, using the book while stretching is not as easy as it ought to be. Had a spiral binding been used, the book could lay flat on the floor or exercise bench. Instead, you'll probably need a weight to hold it open. Also, because the stretches are grouped by purpose, executing any of the suggested stretching programs will require searching through the book for the next exercise. It would have been more useful to present a sequence of stretches for beginners up front so folks who are just starting out can proceed through the program in order while learning the exercises. ( )
  szarka | Jan 30, 2012 |
Such great, easy-to-use stretched--for someone who sits at a desk all day this book is a godsend! ( )
  sueo | Jan 24, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
If you think stretching is a natural, simple activity, you are correct. If you think you do not need training to stretch safely and effectively, think again.

In Delavier's Stretching Anatomy, Frédéric Delavier, Jean-Pierre Clémenceau, and Michael Gundill provides us with 130-plus exercises that will increase flexibility, agility, and toning. This means you will move better, look better, and perform better in leisure or professional physical activities. It also means you will be less likely to injure yourself by tearing muscles or falling due to your body's inability to keep you in balance and recover from uneven steps, floors, or ground. If your body is accustomed to proper stretching, it will serve your better and enhance every aspect of your life.

Once again, Human Kinetics has chosen top author, photographers, and illustrators to produce a physical fitness book that is among the best in its field. The photographs and illustrations will impress you with their beauty and efficiency. No guessing which muscle or muscle group is effected by a particular exercise or set of exercises. No wondering how the muscles are connected and work with your bones and tendons. It is all there in beautiful detail. The writing is clear and succinct. No wading through unnecessary commentary. You are told what you need to know: how to do the exercise and what to avoid. There are hints for increasing your effectiveness and for avoiding injury.

For example, you will learn that why wearing shoes is important during stretching, why you are shorter in the evening than in the morning, and even why it is important to make sure your hands are held in various positions for different exercises.

As with all exercise programs, and stretching is exercising, you do need to check with your physician and physical therapist, particularly if you have been injured or had major surgery. For instance,some of the hip and buttocks stretches may not be suitable for everyone, particularly people who have had hip replacements. That said, this book is designed to help prevent injury whether you engage in sports or just move throughout your normal daily routines.

However, if you do engage in sports, the authors have tailored specific programs for you at the end of the book. Delavier's Stretching Anatomy will help you enhance your performance in any of 13 sports as well as empower both athletes and non-athletes reduce stress and improve the tone and movement of their bodies. This is user-friendly book that will give you the sense of having a highly-skilled trainer at your beck and call. I highly recommend it and thank Library Thing for the opportunity to use and review it. I can honestly say I am feeling better already because of the information I've gleaned from this book. I think you will benefit from it as well. ( )
  kssunflower | Jan 17, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Delavier, Frédéricprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clémenceau, Jean-PierreAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Gundill, MichaelAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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SPORTS TRAINING & COACHING. "Delavier's Stretching Anatomy" is your guide for increasing flexibility, improving range of motion, toning muscles, and relieving pain and discomfort. The very best stretches for shoulders, chest, arms, torso, back, hips, and legs are all here, and all in the stunning detail that only Frederic Delavier can provide. With over 550 full-color photos and illustrations, you'll go inside more than 130 exercises to see how muscles interact with surrounding joints and skeletal structures and learn how variations, progressions, and sequencing can affect muscle recruitment, the underlying structures, and ultimately the results.… (more)

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