Go to the next chapter.
This document is a modest attempt to compile a wealth of information
in order to answer some frequently asked questions about stretching
and flexibility. It is organized into chapters covering the following
Physiology of Stretching
Types of Stretching
How to Stretch
Although each chapter may refer to sections in other chapters, it is not
required that you read every chapter in the order presented. It is
important, however, that you read the disclaimer before reading any
other sections of this document. See section Disclaimer. If you wish to
skip around, numerous cross references are supplied in each section to
help you find the concepts you may have missed. There is also an index
at the end of this document.
I (the author of this document) do not claim to be any kind of
expert on stretching, anatomy, physiology, or any other biological
science. I am merely attempting to compile information that I have read
in books or that has been presented to me by knowledgeable sources.
The techniques, ideas, and suggestions in this document are not
intended as a substitute for proper medical advice! Consult your
physician or health care professional before performing any new
exercise or exercise technique, particularly if you are pregnant or
nursing, or if you are elderly, or if you have any chronic or recurring
conditions. Any application of the techniques, ideas, and suggestions
in this document is at the reader's sole discretion and risk.
The author and publisher of this document and their employers make no
warranty of any kind in regard to the content of this document,
including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of
merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose. The author and
publisher of this document and their employers are not liable or
responsible to any person or entity for any errors contained in this
document, or for any special, incidental, or consequential damage
caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the
information contained in this document.
In other words: "I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV!" I can not be
held liable for any damages or injuries that you might suffer from somehow
relying upon information in this document, no matter how awful. Not even
if the information in question is incorrect or inaccurate. If you have
any doubt (and even if you don't) you should always check with your doctor
before trying any new exercise or exercise technique.
Thanks to all the readers of the `rec.martial-arts',
`rec.arts.dance' and `misc.fitness' newsgroups on Usenet who
responded to my request for questions (and answers) on stretching. Many
parts of this document come directly from these respondents. Thanks in
particular to Shawne Neeper for sharing her formidable knowledge of
muscle anatomy and physiology.
Other portions of this document rely heavily upon the information in the
Sport Stretch, by Michael J. Alter
(referred to as M. Alter in the rest of this document)
Stretching Scientifically, by Tom Kurz
(referred to as Kurz in the rest of this document)
SynerStretch For Total Body Flexibility, from Health For Life
(referred to as SynerStretch in the rest of this document)
The Health For Life Training Advisor, also from Health For Life
(referred to as HFLTA in the rest of this document)
Mobility Training for the Martial Arts, by Tony Gummerson
(referred to as Gummerson in the rest of this document)
Further information on these books and others, is available near
the end of this document. See section References on Stretching.
I am not an expert in anatomy or physiology! I do have over
6 years of martial arts training, and over 20 years of dance training
in classical ballet, modern, and jazz. However, my primary
"qualifications" to write this document are that I took considerable
time and effort to read several books on the topic, and to combine
the information that I read with the information supplied to me
from many knowledgeable readers of Usenet news. I have tried to
write this document for all audiences and not make it specific to
any particular sport or art (such as dancing or martial arts). I
have also tried to leave out any of my own personal opinions or
feelings and just state the facts as related to me by the real
I am always interested in hearing about any new information which
would be appropriate to add to this document. If you have any such
information about a stretching technique, a book, or anything else
you can think of, please feel free to contact me. All I ask is that
you be prepared to provide me with at least one reputable and
reliable source for your information.
Go to the next chapter.