After taking over two years to finish reading The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (I checked Goodreads – it took me from September 21, 2016 to June 1, 2018), my brain needed a break.
Luckily, a dear friend bought me Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy & Delavier’s Women’s Strength Training Anatomy Workouts for my birthday this year.
Since I’m still typing up my notes for an epic Shakespearean review (I know you’re all excited for that one!), I decided to review Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy first.
It was either that or put it off until I can put my opinions on Shakespeare into words. That might take another two years for all I know.
Enough babbling! On to the review!
SPOILER-FREE. (Kind of hard to spoil a book on how to stretch.)
Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy is a short 143 pages. If you took out the color pictures & drawings, I’m pretty sure the text would take up 40 or fewer pages. Just what my fried synapses needed!
Frédéric Delavier, Jean-Pierre Clémenceau, & Michael Gundill put their skill together to craft this book. They use it to show people, of all experience levels, how to stretch their muscles.
They also explain benefits many people get from stretching:
- Releases tension, which is many people have due to our sedentary & stressful lives.
- Increases bodily awareness, like yoga or meditation, & improves movement control.
- Helps you handle “emotional disruptions & improve your concentration.” (pg. 7)
- Improves confidence & comfort in your own skin.
- Relaxes your muscles, improves circulation, & eases pain.
What I liked best about Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy were the anatomical pictures. The drawings highlighted which muscles & tendons each stretch works. This lets us see how they affect the surrounding area – very important to someone with all-over aches & pains like myself!
However, the authors focused a lot of attention on stretching’s benefit for athletes. Even though they gave advice to novices, like myself, I still felt somewhat alienated.
The authors also claimed that stretching was good for fitness, toning, & weight loss. Don’t get me wrong – I know that stretching is key to a healthy lifestyle. But, I don’t think it’s enough, by itself, as a fitness regimen.
I think holding stretching up as an exercise program in & of itself is, pardon the pun, a stretch.
Overall, the book was a great break from thought-inducing reading material. A relaxing read, but the authors played up the benefits of stretching a little too much.
2.5 out of 5 stars – it was OK. Nothing about which to write home.