Do you remember Gumby, the versatile claymation star, and his pony pal Pokey? Gumby was a “little green slab of clay” who could morph into any shape or figure and did so through 233 television episodes from 1957 to 1968. I don’t remember much about the series, but I do recall that Gumby was freakishly adroit at bending and stretching, talents that I do not, unfortunately, share.
Last week Coach Stacy provided the foundation for a healthy stretching regimen. Here are additional resources for you to explore, whether you’re interested in stretching for improved posture and health or you’re hoping to better your golf swing, back hand or race time. Read on – find your “inner Gumby.”
Stretching by Bob Anderson
According to Coach Stacy, Anderson’s classic is considered the “Bible” of stretching books. And I can see why – dozens of stretches are presented with simple and straightforward illustrations and explanations. Originally published over 30 years ago, more than 3 ½ millions copies of this book have been sold worldwide and it’s been translated into 23 languages.
Stretching for 50+: A Customized Program for Increasing Flexibility, Avoiding Injury and Enjoying an Active Lifestyle by Dr. Karl Knopf
This book’s not particularly glossy or sleek. Its 112 pages feature black and white photos of people who look like – well, me – doing a variety of stretching exercises designed mainly to maintain a healthy range of movement and flexibility. I like it – no handstands or “double-jointedness” required.
15 Minute Stretching Workout by Suzanne Martin P.T., D.P.T.
This stretching book is eye candy compared to Stretching for 50+. And no wonder – it’s published by Dorling Kindersley. The book, which includes a demonstration DVD, presents four stretching sequences: Wake up the Stretch, Flexibility Stretch, Posture Stretch and Strength Stretch. The author provides a concise and easy to understand explanation of stretching for flexibility and posture, as well as modifications and relaxation tips. Word of warning, though, some of the stretches are quite advanced. To wit: on page 105, one of the stretching models is engaged in a full split. You won’t see me doing that……
Stretching Anatomy by Arnold G. Nelson and Jouko Kokkenen
This is my favorite stretching book. It’s divided into seven chapters, each focused on a different anatomical “region,” such as knees and thighs and feet and calves. There are two reasons that I love this book: 1) Each stretch’s technique is described in detail, and 2) Each stretch includes a diagram of the muscles that are being worked during the stretch. The stretches included are “accessible,” meaning I can do them – but they’re not easy, meaning they’re also worthwhile.
AM and PM Stretch with Madeleine Lewis
The participant is led through two 35-minute stretch routines – the AM routine designed to energize and invigorate in the morning and the PM routine, designed to calm and realign the body at night. Good stuff, this DVD – and particularly for beginners and those with flexibility issues.
Perfect in 10: Stretch – 10-minute Workouts with Annette Fletcher
Perfect for any fitness level, this DVD is helpful for those hoping to gain more flexibility, decrease pain, and de-stress. Five 10-minute stretching sequences are included. You can do one – or just keep stretching through all five if you have the time and the inclination.
Stretching for Sport and Athletics: Helpful Links