Stretching Ebook

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Full stretching, back care and warm up advice for all your muscle, fully illustrated.

Transcript of Stretching Ebook

  • Welcome to this stretching ebook provided by the fitness team from

    The content from this ebook has been taken from the 1,000s of pages created in our members area, which also includes hundreds of videos, to help you achieve all your fitness goals - please take a look to see what our site can offer you -

    The first section of the book, deals with a selection of different types of stretches for each main muscle group and also the theory behind stretching.

    The second section gives you a selection of main stretches and exercise movements to

    help you warm-up your muscles.

    The third area provides suitable stretches and warm-up advice for a multitude of sports.

    The final section gives suitable stretches and advice for everyday life, from back care to stretches at work.

    Intro and Index 1 - 2 Bicep and Triceps (Arms) 46 - 50

    Why Stretch 3 - 6 Buttocks and Hips 51 - 56

    Warm-up Advice 7 - 9 Calf and Toes 57 - 64

    Mobility Exercises 10 - 13 Chest 65 - 68

    Techniques 14 - 16 Hamstrings 69 - 77

    Physiology 17 - 23 Neck 78 - 82

    Range of Motion 24 - 25 Quadriceps 83 -86

    Abdominals 26 - 31 Shoulders 87 - 92

    Adductors (Inner Thigh) 32 - 39 Wrists 93 - 95

    Back 40 -45

    Warm-up Stretches 96 - 103 Dynamic Stretches 111 - 120

    Cool Down Stretches 104 - 110 Foot Drills 121


  • American Football 122 - 123 Martial Arts 159 - 160

    Athletics 124 - 129 Netball 161 - 162

    Badminton 130 - 131 Parachuting 163 - 164

    Baseball 132 - 133 Rock Climbing 165 - 166

    Basketball 134 - 135 Rugby 167 - 168

    Bowling 136 Running / Jogging 169 - 170

    Boxing 137 - 138 Sailing 171 - 172

    Cricket 139 -141 Skiing 173 - 174

    Cross Country Skiing 142 - 143 Squash 175 - 176

    Cycling 144 - 145 Surfing 177 - 178

    Football / Soccer 146 - 147 Swimming 179 - 180

    Golf 148 -149 Tennis 181 - 182

    Gym 150 Volleyball 183 - 184

    Hockey 151 - 152 Walking 185 - 186

    Horse Riding 153 - 154 Water Skiing 187 - 188

    Ice Hockey 155 - 156 Weight Lifting 189

    Inline Skating 157 -158

    Back Care 190 - 195 Quick Stretch 200 - 202

    Manual Work 196 - 197 Relax 203

    Office 198 - 199 Traveling 204 - 205

    Page 206 has a screen shot of some of the videos we have in our members area.


  • Stretching should become a regular routine for everyone, not just for professional athletes who already understand the benefits associated with performing a sequence of stretches.

    Some of these benefits are physically apparent, such as a greater range of movement; while others cant be seen, but are felt from within, such as an increased feeling of relaxation and general well being.

    Stretching is not like going on a diet, where you may find yourself feeling bad for a while because you are restricted to certain foods. Once your target weight is reached, you then stop your diet and, for many, begin the negative phase again, eating the same foods that made you overweight in the first place. Stretching, once done properly, can become an unobtrusive and enjoyable part of your daily routine, which you will find yourself doing naturally, and reaping the benefits permanently. It can become a new way of life for many people-just look at the recent boom in Yoga and Pilates classes, which are based upon correct breathing, and stretching, and alignment. Numerous celebrities have recognized the positive effects of stretching, along with the feel good factor, and have seen the benefits in helping them cope with their stressful lifestyles. Some have even gone on to promote the techniques in their own exercise DVDs.

    Once you can see and feel the benefits of something, it is much easier to stay motivated and to continue with it.

    Resting Heart Rate

    The best time to take your heart rate is when you first wake up in the morning, as this is when your body is at rest. If you can take recordings over three days to find an average, you will get a more accurate reading.

    For example, readings taken on three consecutive mornings might be 75 BPM (beats per minute), 72 BPM, and 72 BPM. The average is then calculated by taking the total number of beats and dividing it by the number of mornings tested.

    Answer: 75 + 72 + 72 = 219 219 3 = 73 BPM


  • To take your heart rate, place two fingers on either your wrist (radial artery), or neck (carotid artery). Avoiding pressing too hard, count the number of beats during a minute.

    Perform this simple test over the next three days, and then after one month, three months, and six months.



    3 MONTH

    6 MONTH

    9 MONTH

    12 MONTH

    Body Awareness

    Stretching enables you to become more aware of your bodys proprioception, i.e., having an internal awareness of any part of your body.

    Try this simple test, first using the index finger of your writing hand, then the index of your weaker hand. With your eyes closed, choose a number of precise points around your body, and aim to slowly place the index finger onto each point in turn. Score the test yourself by putting a tick in the box if you place your finger onto the body point, or a cross if you miss.

    NB: Avoid choosing the eyes as one of these points (in case you poke yourself in the eye by mistake), and dont select moles, scars, or tattoos, as these will have no sensory paths to them, and as such you will be working purely on memory.











  • Flexibility TestFlexibility Test

    The hamstring muscles (located at the back of the upper leg) are tight in most people, especially men and football players.

    While sitting on the floor, shoes removed, place the soles of your feet flat against a wall and aim to take your fingers toward the wall.

    Do not bounce, or force your body into the stretch, but make sure that the movement is controlled and pain-free.

    Aim to keep your back straight, bending at the lower back/waist, keeping your legs straight and in contact with the floor.

    Focus on trying to touch the wall with the tips of your fingers. You may need to do this test with a partner, so that they can use a ruler to measure how far away you are from the wall.

    If you can touch the wall comfortably with your fingers, then you may want to try sliding your fingers along a coffee table, again keeping the legs and back straight, and, for accurate progression results, aim to use the same table each time you try this test.

    The distance you measure will be either be the distance away from the wall in the first method, or the distance over the end of the table in the second method. You may even wish to measure your flexibility both before and after your stretching routine, so you can see your increase in flexibility.



    3 MONTH

    6 MONTH

    9 MONTH

    12 MONTH






  • Why Warm Up?

    Imagine your muscles to be like a piece of clay. When you first pick up the clay it is dry, hard, and non-pliable. You can aim to bend it into the shape you want, but will soon find that it splits and eventually breaks in two. After adding a little water, and some warmth from rolling the clay in your hands, the same non-pliable piece of clay quickly becomes soft and pliable and you are able to mold it into a whole array of shapes.

    The same can be said for your muscles: when cold they can be stretched, but muscle receptors restrict you from over-stretching them, and in turn prevent muscle damage. Basically, this means that you cannot achieve a full stretch when a muscle is cold, and equates to insufficient muscle stretch, especially if you are aiming to place high levels of stress upon the muscle, i.e., when you are about to exercise.

    As with clay, in order to achieve a greater level of stretch within the muscle, aim to spend time warming up,. A gradual increase in the heart rate will enable the warmth of the blood, passing more and more rapidly through the muscle, to steadily improve the muscles pliability.

    Look upon your warm-up as a sequence of logical events that will aim to give you the following benefits:

    A reduced risk of injury to the joints, muscles, and tendons.

    A reduction in muscular soreness and tension.

    An increase in heart rate, blood flow, body temperature, nerve impulses, metabolic rate, and oxygen utilization.

    Greater body awareness and mental alertness.

    Improved range of motion and enhanced physical ability.

    Sport specific stretching and focusing on the task ahead.


  • The warm-up is one of the key elements to a successful stretching program, and, as such, you should allocate an adequate amount of time within your workout or stretching routine to enable your muscles to become adequately warm. Muscles can only achieve maximum performance when all their blood vessels are dilated, enabling sufficient blood flow. At rest, muscles only utilize 15-20 percent of blood flow, compared to 70 percent, or more, after only 10 minutes of activity.

    The warm-up can be both passive, using an outside influence such as hot shower, bath, heat lamp, massage, extra clothing, sauna and so on. Alternatively, it can be active, using body movement to generate warmth. During the active phase, athletes should aim to concentrate on imitating the movements that they will be performing when in full flow, for example, controlled punching prior to actually boxing or taking a Boxercise class.

    Runners tend t