The “Flexible Stretching Strap Workbook” by sport scientist and former professional tennis player Dr. Mark Kovacs provides step-by-step techniques for maximizing flexibility and range of motion. The book is divided into 3 sections:
1. The introduction reviews the benefits of stretching and different techniques. Dr. Kovacs provides his experience in providing stretching programs for various Olympic and professional athletes.
2. Types of stretching and terminology are presented, as well as outlines of specific programs and stretching activities for 15 sports and various body part
3. Individual body part stretches from neck to foot.
Dr. Kovacs shares the benefits of using the flexible Stretch Strap, including multiple loops that permit gradual stretching and the ability to perform “contract-relax” (PNF) and “active isolated” stretching that eliminates the need for a partner. According to Dr. Kovacs, the Stretch Strap allows greater range of motion, less discomfort, longer lever arms, and is more portable and cost-effective than other stretching devices. He also notes that without a Stretch Strap, individuals may not be able to reach their stretching goals.
The book includes 24 programs for general stretching and sport-specific activities. Recommendations are provided for beginners, intermediate, and advanced individuals. Specific stretches are included for the neck, shoulder, forearm, hip and leg. Each stretch has 3 photos (start, contract, stretch) with written description.
I recommend this book for anyone, including athletes, who want to incorporate a more effective ‘contract-relax’ stretching technique into their routine. I really liked the sport-specific stretching routines, and easy-to-follow instructions for contract-relax stretching. For more information on stretching, read my article here.