BOOK REVIEW: Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy by Frédéric Delavier, Jean-Pierre Clémenceau, & Michael Gundill

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.

Final Score:

2.5 out of 5 stars – it was OK.  Nothing about which to write home.

6 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy by Frédéric Delavier, Jean-Pierre Clémenceau, & Michael Gundill”

  1. I’m trying to read a Shakespeare play alternating with a non-fiction/reference. The last one I attempted I didn’t finish. It was All’s Well That Ends Well. I got bored with it and annoyed at Bertram who’s a snobbish ass. I’ve loved others of the Bard’s plays so it’s not like it’ll be the last one hehe. I have his complete works, too on Kindle. I believe it was free 😀 If you know it already, what’s your favorite Shakespearean play? So far mine is still A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t blame you, at all, for not liking “All’s Well That Ends Well!” It’s a bit of a s— show. That’s probably putting it too mildly. Don’t worry – there will be others I’m sure you won’t like! If you get to the “histories,” it starts to draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag.

      Oh yeah, I’m sure it was free! There’s a great library of books that are out of copyright. A lot of people would classify them as “the classics.” If you haven’t found it yet, I could send you a link! 😀

      Even after reading them all, my opinions didn’t change much. I have many favorites, but I’d probably say “The Tempest” is still up at the top, followed closely by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Romeo & Juliet,” & “Hamlet.” Oh, & “Merry Wives of Windsor” is pretty good. But, “The Tempest” is one of the places from where my name originates (it’s also a Hebrew name meaning “Lion/Lioness of G-d”), plus it makes a pretty interesting reading when considering it from a colonization point of view.

      Right now I’m working on “Shakespeare: An Oxford Guide.” I really should have read it first; it gives me such great ideas on ways to approach the different plays & poems!

      If you aren’t, I strongly suggest reading Shakespeare with SparkNotes or a similar side-by-side “translation.” It makes life a lot easier!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One thing about DNFing Shakespeare is you can always find an explanation of the plot online so it’s not like I’ll miss much lol. I haven’t read The Tempest, Taming of the Shrew, or Merry Wives yet. They’re some of the classic Shakespeare I want to catch up with.

        I’m actually pretty good with the language! I believe the copy I have on my Kindle explains the more obscure stuff, but it’s not as difficult as I remembered it being in high school for some reason lol. We had the Folgers versions that had Shakespearean English on one side with a modern “translation” on the other. What really amuses me about Shakespeare is people dress up and act all pretentious to see his plays when they were originally made for the commons :p

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      2. Oh, absolutely! You can find multiple explanations about a plot to a Shakespeare play; there are so many interpretations! A lot of it has to do with how the director & actors choose to represent the work too. One of the neat things about Shakespeare is he didn’t put a lot of stage directions in his work. Actors & directors have to stage a lot of the work based on what they say, not what the author told them to do.

        Taming of the Shrew, specifically, is one of my favorite plays. But, like all Shakespeare’s work, it’s problematic. There’s description of serious mental abuse & showing a strong woman becoming “an ideal wife.” But, I just read a really good explanation of how the actors/directors can make the “change” more sarcastic on Katherine’s – the “Shrew” – part, or like it’s a power game in which she & Petruchio enjoy engaging.

        I’ll admit, I struggled with the language in some plays/parts. I think it was harder in high school because I didn’t want to read it most of the time. That, & I read a copy that didn’t have any sort of “extra” information – then & again recently. Still, it’s so easy to find what I missed. But, sometimes the information I find online is one way of reading the work, but not necessarily the “end all, be all” interpretation.

        Shakespeare has become “high art” since his time. But, it wasn’t just for the common people in his time. Commoners stood in the “pit” area, for which they paid lower prices & often didn’t have a roof overhead, while people of means had covered seats – some of the more expensive even had cushions!

        Many critics spoke out against the whole idea of theater for many reasons, so some wealthier people would avoid the public theater for fear of shame. Royalty & noblemen could afford to bring actors to their manors/homes/castles to act out their plays, so they wouldn’t go to the public theater & interact with the riff-raff, but wealthy people would still go! (All of this useless information brought to you courtesy of Shakespeare: An Oxford Guide LOL)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m not surprised at all that more Shakespeare plays are problematic. He was a white guy writing in the 1500s :p But there’s definitely value there. I love his formula of rising action and comic relief and how that balances out narratives.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Even though, yeah, Shakespeare played to his audience & time’s prejudices/biases, he does subvert them sometimes. Looking at his plays through our modern lens gives us so many different ways to pick apart his work. I think that’s one of the main reasons it’s still relevant. There’s always something new to find! 🤓

        I agree, though – his comic bits are really funny, even 400+ years later! 😄

        Liked by 1 person

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