Contents


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Preface
Why this book has been written?
Who is this book written for?
Icons explained
Biography
Acknowledgments

Introduction
Theoretical considerations
Benefits of stretching
Problems with stretching
Individual differences
Genetic factors
Body types
Gender
Race
Ligament elasticity
Considerations for body type
Other genetic factors
Lifestyle
The mind and mental health
Localised or generalised stiffness
Ageing
Age related stiffness and hypermobility
Posture
Gravity and posture
Genes and posture
Curvatures of the spine
Lifestyle factors influencing posture
Effects of good or bad posture
Solutions
The Universal posture
Flexibility, mobility and stability
Mobility and flexibility testing
Joint mobilisation
Mild versus strong stretching
Active versus passive stretching
Hypermobility and hypomobility
Types of Flexibility
Stability and flexibility
Other factors limiting range of movement
Types of stretches
Medical conditions and stretching
Joint degeneration and mobility
Osteoarthritis
Central canal stenosis
Spondylolisthesis
Over activity and under activity.

SSbook3Practical aspects of stretching
How to use this book
Is stretching safe?
Props used in stretching
The floor, a chair, a wall, a rolled towel
Daily consideration when stretching
Warming up in the morning
Evening stretching
Stretches for different situations
Food
Stretching routine
The order of stretching muscles
Pain during stretching
Other tissues affected by stretching
Muscle pain after exercise
Injury
The barrier concept
Biomechanical factors
Force and speed
Levers
Gravity
Optimal stretching
Speed and duration measured as breaths
Breathing
Anger and stretching
The focus during the stretch
Localised stretches versus complex stretches
Active, passive and post-isometric systems
Post-isometric stretches
What is the best way to begin stretching?
Injuries
Overstretching
Rest
What should you stretch?
Know your body
Posture
Stretching solutions
Other exercise systems
How is stretching different from Yoga?
Stretching in sport and exercise
Stretching classes
The effect of stretching on muscle strength
Stretching the spine
Overuse patterns
Therapist controlled passive stretching
How long does stretching work?
Localisation
Neuroplasticity and stretching
Learning a skill
Use patterns affecting the brain
Feedback
Causes of poor spinal feedback
Complexity of skill and coding
Private tuition compared with group classes
Activities and lifestyle affect structure,
Factors affecting structure and flexibility
Lengthening – temporary or long term
Ligament laxity
Overstretching
Ligament laxity from one or several events

SSbook2Part A. Technique
Chapter | Name, type of stretch & areas stretched | Technique name & position

1.1 The Lion – active stretches for the face, tongue, jaw, shoulders, cervical and
thoracic spine

1.1a Lion stretch kneeling 49
1.1b Lion stretch seated 50
1.1c Lion stretch standing 51

1.2 The Shrug – an active, post-isometric and passive stretch for the face, jaw,
shoulders, arms and hands

1.2 The Shrug 52

1.3 Chin tuck – active stretches for the suboccipital, cervical and upper thoracic spine

1.3a Chin tuck prone 53
1.3b Chin tuck standing or seated 54
1.3c Chin tuck supine 55

1.4 Neck flexion stretches – active, passive and post-isometric flexion stretches for
the suboccipital, posterior cervical and upper thoracic spine

1.4a Head & neck active flexion stretch seated 56
1.4b Head & neck post-isometric flexion stretch supine 57
1.4c Head & neck localised post-isometric flexion, sidebending and 58
rotation stretch supine

1.5 Neck extension stretch – an active and passive extension stretch for the cervical,
upper thoracic and suboccipital spine

1.5 Head & neck extension stretch seated 59

1.6 Neck rotation stretch – an active rotation stretch for the suboccipital, cervical and
upper thoracic spine

1.6 Head & neck active rotation stretch seated 60

1.7 Neck sidebending stretches – active, passive and isometric sidebending stretches
for the suboccipital, cervical and upper thoracic spine and shoulders

1.7a Head & neck active sidebending stretch seated with both arms free for 61
anterior and lateral neck muscles
1.7b Head, neck & shoulder active sidebending stretch seated with one 62
shoulder fixed for the upper trapezius & lateral neck
1.7c Head, neck & shoulder active sidebending stretch seated with one 63
shoulder fixed for posterolateral fibres of trapezius & the neck
1.7d Head, neck & shoulder active sidebending stretch standing with one 64
shoulder fixed for upper trapezius & muscle of the neck
1.7e Head & neck active sidebending rotation stretch seated with both 65
arms free for anterior and lateral neck muscles
1.7f Head, neck & shoulder active sidebending and rotation stretch 66
seated with one shoulder fixed for levator scapulae and neck muscles
1.7g Head, neck & shoulder post-isometric sidebending and rotation 67
technique seated with one shoulder fixed
1.7h Trapezius and levator scapulae post-isometric stretch seated with 68
one shoulder fixed
1.7i Levator scapulae active, passive or post-isometric stretch sidelying 69

1.8 Sternocleidomastoid stretch – an active stretch for the sternocleidomastoid and
the cervical spine

1.8 Head & neck extension, sidebending and reverse rotation stretch 70
seated or standing for sternocleidomastoid

1.9 Atlanto-occipital post-isometric stretch

1.9 Atlanto-occipital post-isometric technique seated 71

2.0 Chair supported thoracic, lumbar and hip active sidebending stretches

2.0a Lumbar and hip sidebending stretch standing 72
2.0b Middle and lower thoracic and thoracolumbar sidebending stretch 73
standing

2.1 Wall supported thoracic, lumbar and hip passive and post-isometric
sidebending stretches

2.1a Wall supported passive lumbar & hip sidebend stretch 74
2.1b Wall supported passive thoracic sidebend stretch 75
2.1c Wall supported post-isometric hip or spine sidebend stretch 76

2.2 Thoracic and rib active sidebending stretches

2.2a Thoracic and rib sidebending stretch seated 77
2.2b Thoracic and rib sidebending stretch kneeling 78

2.3 Kneeling active lateral stretch for the shoulder, trunk and hip

2.3 Kneeling lateral stretch 79

2.4 Hanging stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for latissimus dorsi, the
thoracolumbar fascia, quadratus lumborum and the lateral fibres of erector spinea

2.4a Hanging stretch erect 80
2.4b Hanging stretch flexed unilateral 81
2.4c Hanging stretch flexed bilateral 82
2.4d Hanging passive stretch unilateral sidebending 83

2.5 Upper Dog – active extension stretches for the shoulders, thoracic and lumbar spine

2.5a Upper Dog extension stretch kneeling 84
2.5b Upper Dog extension stretch standing 85
2.5c Latissimus dorsi stretch kneeling 86

2.6 The Cobra – active and passive extension stretches for the shoulders, cervical,
thoracic, lumbar spine and hips

2.6a Half Cobra 87
2.6b Full Cobra 88
2.6c Sidebending Cobra 89
2.6d Rotation Cobra 90

2.7 The Locust – active stretches for the shoulders, thoracic, lumbar spine and hips

2.7a Diagonal locust 91
2.7b Full Locust arms at side 92
2.7c Full Locust arms abducted 93

2.8 The Extended Cat – an active extension stretch for the shoulders, hips, and
cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine

2.8 Extended Cat 94
2.9 The Flexed Cat – active flexion stretches for the shoulders, hips, and cervical,
thoracic and lumbar spine

2.9a Flexed Cat kneeling 95
2.9b Flexed Cat standing 96
3.0 Knees to chest – active, passive and post-isometric flexion stretches for the
lower thoracic, lumbar and hips

3.0a Passive knees to chest stretch supine 97
3.0b Post-isometric knees to chest stretch supine 98
3.0c Active knees to chest stretch supine 99
3.0d Active knees to chest stretch with rotation supine 100
3.0e Unilateral stretch for the lumbar and gluteus maximus 101

3.1 Spinal twist sitting – active and passive rotation stretches for the shoulders and
the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine

3.1a Passive spinal twist seated 102
3.1b Active spinal twist seated 103
3.1c Spinal twist sitting on the floor 104

3.2 Spinal twist standing – active and passive rotation stretches for the shoulders and
the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine and hips

3.2a Passive spinal twist standing wall supported 105
3.2b Active spinal twist standing 106

3.3 Spinal twist standing flexed at the hips – active rotation stretch, for the shoulders
and the thoracic and lumbar spine

3.3 Active spinal twist standing flexed at the hips 107

3.4 Spinal twist kneeling – active rotation stretch for the shoulders and spine

3.4 Active spinal twist kneeling 108

3.5 Spinal twist prone – active and passive rotation stretches for the shoulders and
the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine

3.5 Active and passive spinal twist prone 109

3.6 Rolled towel – active, post-isometric and passive stretch for pectoralis major,
the ribs, thoracic and cervical spine

3.6 Pectoralis stretch supine over a rolled towel 110

3.7 Rolled towel – active, post-isometric and passive stretch for pectoralis major,
the ribs, thoracic and cervical spine

3.7 Longitudinal stretch supine over a rolled towel 111

3.8 Rolled towel – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for the shoulders,
arms, forearms, wrist, hands and fingers

3.8a Bilateral anterior forearm and hand stretch supine 112
3.8b Unilateral anterior forearm and hand stretch supine 113
3.8c Unilateral anterior finger and hand stretch supine 114
3.8d Unilateral posterior forearm and hand stretch supine 115
3.8e Unilateral posterior finger and hand stretch supine 116

3.9 Rolled towel – active and passive stretches for shoulder, spine, ribs and hip
down one side of the body

3.9a Supine hip and spine stretch over a rolled towel 117
3.9b Supine lumbar and thoracic spine stretch over a rolled towel 118
4.0 Pectoralis stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for pectoralis
major and other anterior shoulder muscles

SSbook14.0a Easy pectoralis stretch sitting on the floor 119
4.0b Easy pectoralis stretch standing 120
4.0c Pectoralis stretch seated in a chair 121
4.0d Pectoralis stretch prone 122
4.0e Unilateral pectoralis stretch standing and wall supported 123
4.0f Bilateral pectoralis stretch standing and doorway supported 124
4.0g Bilateral pectoralis stretch standing and walls supported 125
4.0h Bilateral active pectoralis and lat stretch standing with pole or towel 126

4.1 Subscapularis stretch – passive and post-isometric stretch for subscapularis

4.1 Unilateral passive and post-isometric subscapularis stretch 127

4.2 The Drop – passive and post-isometric stretch for the scapula depressor muscles

4.2 The Shoulder Drop 128

4.3 Downward shoulder – active stretch for muscles responsible for scapular elevation

4.3 Downward shoulder stretch 129

4.4 Shoulder abductor front stretch – a passive and post-isometric stretch for the
muscles responsible for shoulder abduction and scapula retraction

4.4 Shoulder abductor front stretch 130

4.5 Shoulder abductor behind stretch – passive and post-isometric stretch for the
shoulder abductor muscles

4.5 Shoulder abductor behind stretch 131

4.6 Palms together above head – active stretch for shoulder muscles and
strengthening technique for muscles of the spine, thighs and legs

4.6a Palms together overhead stretch with forearms supinated 132
4.6b Palms together above head with forearms pronated 133

4.7 Palms together behind back – active stretch for pectoralis minor, passive stretch for
anterior forearm muscles, wrist and finger flexor muscles and fascia of the hand

4.7 Palms together behind back stretch 134

4.8 Multiple shoulder muscle stretch – active and passive stretch for shoulder muscles

4.8 Multiple shoulder muscle stretch 135
4.9 Scapula retractor stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for the
shoulder, spine and scapula retractor muscles

4.9a Scapula retractor stretch standing 136
4.9b Scapula retractor stretch squatting unilateral 137
4.9c Scapula retractor stretch squatting bilateral 138
4.9d Scapula wrap stretch standing 139
4.9e Scapula active retractor stretch standing 140

5.0 Shoulder external rotator stretches – passive, post-isometric and active stretches
for muscles responsible for shoulder external rotation and scapular retraction

5.0a Shoulder external rotator stretch 141
5.0b Active shoulder external rotator stretch 142

5.1 Shoulder flexor stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for the
shoulder flexor muscles

5.1a Shoulder flexor drop 143
5.1b Winged anterior deltoid stretch standing 144

5.2 Ledge squat stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for the anterior
shoulder muscles and fascia

5.2a Bilateral passive stretch against a ledge 145
5.2b Bilateral post-isometric stretch against a ledge 146
5.2c Unilateral passive and post-isometric stretch against a ledge 147

5.3 Elbow flexor stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for muscles
responsible for forearm flexion

5.3a Passive elbow flexor stretch 148
5.3b Post-isometric elbow flexor stretch 149

5.4 Triceps stretch – passive stretch for the triceps and muscles responsible
for shoulder adduction

5.4 Triceps stretch 150

5.5 Supinator stretch – active and post-isometric stretch for the muscles responsible
for forearm supination

5.5 Supinator stretch 151

5.6 Pronator stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for pronator
teres and pronator quadratus

5.6a Pronator stretch using a doorframe 152
5.6b Passive pronator stretch assisted by the other hand 153

5.7 Wrist extensor stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for the extensor
muscles of the wrist and hand

5.7a Kneeling unilateral wrist extensor stretch 154
5.7b Kneeling bilateral wrist extensor stretch 155
5.7c Kneeling wrist extensor and ulna deviator stretch 156
5.7d Kneeling wrist extensor and radial deviator stretch 157

5.8 Wrist flexor stretch – passive and post-isometric stretches for the flexor muscles
of the wrist and hand
5.8a Kneeling unilateral wrist flexor stretch 158
5.8b Kneeling bilateral wrist flexor stretch 159
5.8c Kneeling wrist flexor and radial deviator stretch 160
5.8d Kneeling wrist flexor and ulna deviator stretch 161
5.8e Standing unilateral wrist flexor stretch 162

5.9 Finger flexor stretch – post-isometric and passive stretch for the forearm, wrist,
hand and fingers

5.9 Standing finger flexor muscle stretch on a table 163

6.0 Iliopsoas stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for iliacus, psoas and
other hip flexor muscles

6.0a The lunge 164
6.0b The forwards splits 165
6.0c The hanging hip stretch 166

6.1 Mixed Gluteus stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for piriformis
and gluteus minimus, medius and maximus in hip flexion and external rotation

6.1a Passive stretch for hip extensors and rotators 167
6.1b Post-isometric stretch for hip extensors and rotators 168
6.1c Passive cross leg stretch for hip extensors and rotators 169
6.1d Post-isometric cross leg stretch for hip extensors and rotators 170
6.1e Passive and post-isometric stretch for hip extensors & rotators on a table 171
6.1f Passive and post-isometric stretch for hip extensors, rotators and 172
abductors on a table
6.1g Post-isometric stretch for gluteus minimus with your hips in flexion 173
seated on a chair

6.2 Hip external rotator stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for the
hip external rotators and abductors

6.2a Hip external rotator stretch supine 174
6.2b Piriformis stretch supine 175
6.2c Hip external rotator stretch standing using a chair 176

6.3 Hip internal rotator stretch – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for
gluteus minimus and anterior fibres of gluteus medius

6.3a Gluteus minimus stretch supine 177
6.3b Active and post-isometric stretches for gluteus minimus sidelying 178
6.3c Post-isometric stretch for gluteus minimus prone 179
6.3d Gluteus minimus stretch standing using a chair 180

6.4 Hip abductor stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for tensor fasciae
latae, gluteus medius, minimus and the upper fibres of gluteus maximus

6.4a Passive stretch for tensor fasciae latae standing 181
6.4b Passive stretch for gluteus maximus and medius kneeling 182
6.4c Passive stretch for tensor fasciae latae standing 183
6.4d Passive or post-isometric hip abductor stretch supine 184
6.4e Passive stretch for quadratus lumborum, tensor fasciae latae and 185
gluteus maximus sidelying on a table
6.4f Post-isometric stretch for quadratus lumborum, tensor fasciae latae 186
and gluteus maximus sidelying on a table
6.4g Passive and post-isometric stretch for tensor fasciae latae and 187
gluteus maximus sidelying with the knee straight
6.4h Passive and post-isometric stretch for gluteus medius and gluteus 188
minimus sidelying with the knee bent

6.5 Hip adductor stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for the hip
adductors, extensors and internal rotators

6.5a Bilateral stretch for the hip adductors and internal rotators sitting 189
6.5b Bilateral active stretch for hip adductors, extensors, internal rotators sitting 190
6.5c Bilateral passive stretch for the hip adductors and extensors sitting 191
6.5d Bilateral post-isometric stretch for the hip adductors and extensors sitting 192
6.5e Bilateral active and passive stretch for the hip adductors supine and with 193
legs against a wall
6.5f Bilateral stretch for the hip adductors and internal rotators supine and 194
with knees flexed and heels against a wall
6.5g Bilateral stretch for the hip adductors and internal rotators supine 195
with knees flexed and feet against a wall
6.5h Bilateral stretch for the hip adductors standing 196
6.5i Unilateral passive stretch for the hip adductors standing 197
6.5j Bilateral stretch for the hip adductors and internal rotators supine 198
6.5k Bilateral stretch for the hip adductors kneeling with knees flexed and 199
hips externally rotated
6.5l Bilateral stretch for hip adductors kneeling hips extended and knees flexed 200
6.5m Bilateral stretch for hip adductors standing with hips and knees extended 201
6.5n Unilateral stretch for the hip adductors sidelying with your back 202
against a wall and your hips and knees extended

6.6 Quadriceps stretch – active and passive stretches for the quadriceps, tibialis
anterior and the toe extensor muscles

6.6a Quadriceps stretch standing 203
6.6b Passive knee, ankle and toe stretch standing 204
6.6c Post-isometric knee, ankle and toe stretch standing 205
6.6d Quadriceps stretch semi-supine 206
6.6e Passive and post-isometric quadriceps stretch prone 207
6.6f Quadriceps stretch sidelying 208

6.7 Hamstring stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for
semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris

6.7a Easy active and passive stretch for the hamstrings standing 209
6.7b Combined active and passive stretch for the hamstrings standing 210
6.7c Passive stretch for the hamstrings supine 211
6.7d Post-isometric stretch for the hamstrings supine 212
6.7e Active and post-isometric stretch for the hamstrings supine with one 213
leg vertical and against a post
6.7f Passive or post-isometric stretch for hamstrings standing with hips flexed 214
6.7g Active and passive stretch for the short head of biceps femoris 215
standing with legs vertical

6.8 Popliteus stretch – active, passive, and post-isometric stretches for popliteus

6.8a Active and passive stretch for the popliteus standing with legs vertical 216
6.8b Post-isometric stretch for the popliteus standing with legs vertical 217

6.9 The Dog – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for the hamstrings,
gastrocnemius and posterior fascia

6.9a Unilateral Lower Dog – an active and passive stretch 218
6.9b Unilateral Lower Dog – post-isometric stretch for the posterior thigh & leg 219
6.9c The Dog 220

7.0 Forward bends – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for the hamstrings, hip
adductors and external rotators and gastrocnemius and strengthening trunk muscles

7.0a Active forward bend sitting 221
7.0b Passive forward bend sitting 222
7.0c Post-isometric forward bend sitting 223
7.0d Bilateral forward bend sitting 224

7.1 Calf stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for gastrocnemius,
soleus and other posterior leg muscles including peroneus longus and brevis,
tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus

7.1a Unilateral passive stretch for gastrocnemius 225
7.1b Unilateral post-isometric stretch and variations for gastrocnemius 226
7.1c Bilateral passive stretch for gastrocnemius 227
7.1d Bilateral stretch for gastrocnemius using a block 228
7.1e Unilateral stretch for soleus and other posterior leg muscles, ankle 229
ligaments and the Achilles tendon
7.1f Unilateral stretch for peroneus muscles, tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum 230
longus and flexor hallucis longus on a sloping floor
7.1g Unilateral stretch for soleus using a block or wall 231
7.1h Bilateral or unilateral active stretch for gastrocnemius and soleus 232

7.2 Tibialis anterior stretches – active and passive stretches for tibialis anterior and
the toe extensor muscles

7.2a Bilateral active stretch for the ankle dorsiflexor and toe extensor muscles 233
7.2b Unilateral passive stretch for the ankle dorsiflexor and toe extensor 234
muscles standing

7.3 Foot and toe stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for the long and
short foot and toe muscles

7.3a Toe flexor stretch standing 235
7.3b Toe flexor stretch seated 236
7.3c Foot evertor or foot invertor stretch seated 237
7.3d Toe extensor stretch seated 238

7.4 Hip and back stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for the
hamstrings, piriformis, gluteus medius & maximus, abdominal and lumbar muscles

7.4a Hip and back active and passive straight leg stretch 239
7.4b Hip and back passive and isometric stretch for hip abductors and 240
external rotators and muscles in the lumber spine

7.5 Squats – active stretches and strengthening exercises for the whole body

7.5a Squat with palms together above head 241
7.5b Squat with arms in front of body 242

7.6 Pelvic tilt – active stretch for posterior muscles of the lumbar and cervical spine and
strengthening exercise for the abdomen

7.6 Pelvic tilt supine 243

8.1 Nerve stretches
8.1a Median nerve 244
8.1b Radial nerve 245
8.1c Ulnar nerve 246
8.1d Sciatic nerve 247
8.1e Femoral nerve 248

Part B. Anatomy, Biomechanics and Safety
Direction, Range of Movement, Target tissues, Variations, Safety, Vulnerable areas & Key
Chapter | Name | Type of stretch & areas stretched

1.1 The Lion – active stretches for the face, tongue, jaw, shoulders, cervical and 249
thoracic spine.
1.2 The Shrug – an active, post-isometric and passive stretch for the face, jaw, 254
shoulders, arms and hands
1.3 Chin tuck – active stretches for the suboccipital, cervical and upper thoracic 258
1.4 Neck flexion stretches – active, passive and post-isometric flexion stretches 262
for the suboccipital, posterior cervical and upper thoracic spine
1.5 Neck extension stretch – an active and passive extension stretch for the 268
cervical, upper thoracic and suboccipital spine
1.6 Neck rotation stretch – an active rotation stretch for the suboccipital, cervical 272
and upper thoracic spine
1.7 Neck sidebending stretches – active, passive and isometric sidebending 275
stretches for the suboccipital, cervical and upper thoracic spine and shoulders
1.8 Sternocleidomastoid stretch – an active stretch for the sternocleidomastoid 292
and the cervical spine
1.9 Atlanto-occipital post-isometric stretch 295

2.0 Chair supported thoracic, lumbar and hip active sidebending stretches 299
2.1 Wall supported thoracic, lumbar and hip passive and post-isometric 306
sidebending stretches
2.2 Thoracic and rib active sidebending stretches 309
2.3 Kneeling active lateral stretch for the shoulder, trunk and hip 312
2.4 Hanging stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for latissimus 314
dorsi, the thoracolumbar fascia, quadratus lumborum and the lateral fibres
of erector spinea
2.5 Upper Dog – active extension stretches for the shoulders, thoracic and 319
lumbar spine
2.6 The Cobra – active and passive extension stretches for the shoulders, 325
cervical, thoracic, lumbar spine and hips
2.7 The Locust – active stretches for the shoulders, thoracic, lumbar spine 331
and hips
2.8 The Extended Cat – an active extension stretch for the shoulders, hips, 336
and cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine
2.9 The Flexed Cat – active flexion stretches for the shoulders, hips, and 339
cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine

3.0 Knees to chest – active, passive and post-isometric flexion stretches for 342
the lower thoracic, lumbar and hips
3.1 Spinal twist sitting – active and passive rotation stretches for the shoulders 348
and the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine
3.2 Spinal twist standing – active and passive rotation stretches for the
shoulders and the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine and hips
3.3 Spinal twist standing flexed at the hips – active rotation stretch, for the
shoulders and the thoracic and lumbar spine
3.4 Spinal twist kneeling – active rotation stretch for the shoulders and the
thoracic and lumbar spine
3.5 Spinal twist prone – active and passive rotation stretches for the
shoulders and the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine
3.6 Rolled towel – active, post-isometric and passive stretch for pectoralis 355
major, the ribs, thoracic and cervical spine
3.7 Rolled towel – active, post-isometric and passive stretch for pectoralis 360
major, the ribs, thoracic and cervical spine
3.8 Rolled towel – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for the 367
shoulders, arms, forearms, wrist, hands and fingers
3.9 Rolled towel – active and passive stretches for shoulder, spine, ribs and 373
hip down one side of the body

4.0 Pectoralis stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for 377
pectoralis major and other anterior shoulder muscles
4.1 Subscapularis stretch – passive and post-isometric stretch for 387
subscapularis and other anterior shoulder muscles
4.2 The Shoulder Drop – passive and post-isometric stretch for the scapula 389
depressor muscles
4.3 Downward shoulder – active stretch for muscles responsible for scapular 391
elevation
4.4 Shoulder abductor front stretch – a passive and post-isometric stretch for 393
the muscles responsible for shoulder abduction and scapula retraction
4.5 Shoulder abductor behind stretch – passive and post-isometric stretch for 396
the shoulder abductor muscles
4.6 Palms together above head – active stretch for shoulder muscles and 398
strengthening technique for muscles of the spine, thighs and legs
4.7 Palms together behind back – an active stretch for pectoralis minor and a 401
passive stretch for the flexor carpi ulnaris and other anterior forearm
muscles, and wrist and finger flexor muscles and fascia of the hand
4.8 Multiple shoulder muscle stretch – active and passive stretch for many 404
shoulder muscles
4.9 Scapula retractor stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches 408
for the shoulder, spine and scapula retractor muscles

5.0 Shoulder external rotator stretches – passive, post-isometric and active 414
stretches for muscles responsible for shoulder external rotation and
scapular retraction
5.1 Shoulder flexor stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for the 417
shoulder flexor muscles
5.2 Ledge squat stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for the 419
anterior shoulder muscles and fascia
5.3 Elbow flexor stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for muscles 424
responsible for forearm flexion
5.4 Triceps stretch – passive stretch for the triceps and muscles responsible 427
for shoulder adduction
5.5 Supinator stretch – active and post-isometric stretch for the muscles 430
responsible for forearm supination
5.6 Pronator stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for 433
pronator teres and pronator quadratus
5.7 Wrist extensor stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for the 436
extensor muscles of the wrist and hand
5.8 Wrist flexor stretch – passive and post-isometric stretches for the flexor 440
muscles of the wrist and hand
5.9 Finger flexor stretch – post-isometric and passive stretch for the forearm, 444
wrist, hand and fingers

6.0 Iliopsoas stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for iliacus, 446
psoas and other hip flexor muscles
6.1 Mixed Gluteus stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for 449
piriformis and gluteus minimus, medius and maximus in hip flexion and
external rotation
6.2 Hip external rotator stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for 454
the hip external rotators and abductors
6.3 Hip internal rotator stretch – active, passive and post-isometric stretches 457
for gluteus minimus and anterior fibres of gluteus medius
6.4 Hip abductor stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for tensor 461
fasciae latae, gluteus medius, minimus and the upper fibres of gluteus
maximus
6.5 Hip adductor stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for 467
the hip adductors, extensors and internal rotators
6.6 Quadriceps stretch – active and passive stretches for the quadriceps, 477
tibialis anterior and the toe extensor muscles
6.7 Hamstring stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for 481
biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus
6.8 Popliteus stretch – active, passive, and post-isometric stretches for popliteus 488
6.9 The Dog – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for gastrocnemius, 490
the hamstrings and posterior fascia

7.0 Forward bends – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for the 493
hamstrings, hip adductors and external rotators and gastrocnemius and
strengthening trunk muscles
7.1 Calf stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for soleus 499
gastrocnemius, and peroneus longus and brevis, tibialis posterior, flexor
digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus
7.2 Tibialis anterior stretches – active and passive stretches for tibialis anterior 506
and the toe extensor muscles
7.3 Foot and toe stretches – passive and post-isometric stretches for the long 509
and short foot and toe muscles
7.4 Hip and back stretches – active, passive and post-isometric stretches for 516
the hamstrings, piriformis, gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, abdominal
and lumbar muscles
7.5 Squats – active stretches and strengthening exercises for the whole body 519
7.6 Pelvic tilt – active stretch for posterior muscles of the lumbar and cervical 523
spine and strengthening exercise for the abdomen

The mechanics of stretching
Musculoskeletal system
Terminology, Connective tissue, Structure, Function, Collagens, Deformation of collagen
Elastin, Ligaments, Tendons 528
Tendons compared with ligaments, Fasciae 529
Practical considerations 530
Muscle Structure 531
Function 532
Fast and slow fibres 533
Stretching muscle 535
Biomechanical mechanisms Passive tension
Active tension 536
Neurological mechanism
Post isometric theory 537

Gross anatomy
Anatomy of the head, face and jaw (1.1 – 1.2) 538
Anatomy of the suboccipital and cervical spine (1.3 – 1.9) 543
Anatomy of the ribs, thoracic, lumbar and sacroiliac spine (2.0 – 3.9) 556
Anatomy of the shoulder: scapula, clavicle and humerus (4.0 – 5.2) 571
Anatomy of the elbow and forearm: humerus, radius and ulna (5.3 – 5.6) 585
Anatomy of the wrist and hand: radius, ulna, carpal, metacarpal & phalanges (5.7 – 5.9) 594
Anatomy of the hip: sacrum, ilium and femur (6.0 – 7.0) 600
Anatomy of the knee: femur, tibial and fibula (6.6 – 7.1) 614
Anatomy of the ankle and foot: tibia, fibula, tarsals, metatarsals & phalanges (7.1 – 7.3) 622
Superficial muscles of the body – anterior and posterior views 632

Part C. Stretching routines and combinations
Regional tables – stretches in numerical order and based primarily on anatomical region
Head, face, jaw, occiput and cervical spine 633
Thoracic, lumbar and sacroiliac spine 635
Shoulder, elbow, arm, forearm, wrist, hand and fingers 639
Hip and thigh 645
Knee and leg 649
Ankle, foot and toes 651
Movement tables – stretches based primarily on direction of movement
Head and upper cervical movement 653
Anterior occiput
Posterior occiput
Face and jaw
Head and cervical movement 654
Cervical rotation with sidebending (rotation is primary movement)
Cervical sidebending with rotation (sidebending is primary movement)
Cervical flexion
Cervical extension
Thoracic and lumbar movement 655
Upper thoracic sidebending with rotation
All thoracic sidebending with rotation
Thoracolumbar and lumbar sidebending
Longitudinal sidebending 656
Upper thoracic flexion
Mid or all thoracic flexion
Lumbar or thoracolumbar flexion
Thoracolumbar and lumbar rotation
Upper thoracic extension 657
Mid thoracic extension
Lumbar or thoracolumbar extension 658
Sacroiliac movement
Sacral nutation / flexion / anterior rotation or posterior iliac rotation
Sacral counter nutation / extension / posterior rotation or anterior iliac rotation
Upper and lower limb movement s
Scapula retraction 659
Scapula elevation
Scapula protraction 660
Scapula depression
Shoulder extension
Shoulder flexion 661
Shoulder abduction
Shoulder external rotation
Shoulder internal rotation
Shoulder adduction and horizontal adduction 662
Shoulder horizontal abduction
Elbow extension
Elbow flexion 663
Forearm pronation
Forearm supination
Wrist flexion
Wrist extension
Wrist abduction
Wrist adduction
Finger flexion
Finger extension and abduction
Hip flexion 664
Hip extension
Hip adduction
Hip horizontal adduction
Hip abduction 665
Hip internal rotation
Hip external rotation
Hip and thoracolumbar sidebending 666
Knee extension
Knee flexion 667
Ankle dorsiflexion
Ankle plantarflexion
Foot inversion
Foot eversion
Toe extension
Toe flexion

Stretching programs

Day stretches for pain
Low back pain 668
Neck and shoulder pain
Tension headaches
Wrist pain
Rotator cuff pain 669
Calcaneal spurs
Day stretches for pregnancy

Day stretches for gym exercises
Squats 670
Jumping jacks
Calf raises
Push-ups 671
Dips
Sit-ups, crunches and curl-ups 672
Pull-ups

Day stretches for musicians
Guitar 673
Violin
Cello 674
Piano
Drums 675
Singing
Wind instruments

Day stretches for workers and professionals
Boilermaker Welder 676
Carpenter
Carpet layer and Tilers
Cleaners
Computer Gamer
Cook 677
Counsellor Psychotherapist
Dentist
Electrician
Fine Artist
Gaming, Cards and Board Games
Gardener Landscaper
Hairdresser 678
Jeweller
Knitting
Masseur and Manual Therapist
Mechanic
Painter and Decorator
Plasterer
Plumber 679
Receptionist using telephone
Salesperson and Shop Assistant
Seamstress, Tailor and Sewing
Waiter and Waitresses

Criteria to determine which muscles need to be stretched 680

Weekly stretching programs for sports and other activities
Abseiling 682
Aerobics classes 684
Archery 686
Arm wrestling 688
Batting (cricket baseball) 690
Bodyboarding / boogieboarding 692
Bowling underarm 694
Boxing and martial arts punching 696
Catching a ball (baseball, cricket, rounders and softball) 698
Climbing 700
Cricket (overarm bowling) 702
Cue sports (pool, snooker and billiards) 704
Cycling 706
Dancing (freeform – pop, disco and techno) 708
Dancing (partner – waltz, foxtrot, quickstep and tango) 710
Darts 712
Domestic work 714
Driving a car or truck 716
Easy stretching program 718
Fencing (thrusting and lunging) 720
Golf 722
Hard stretching program 724
Manual labour 726
High jump 728
Hockey 730
Horse riding 732
Ice skating 734
Juggling 736
Kicking a ball (soccer and football) 738
Long jump 741
Motorcycle riding 743
Polo 746 Rowing 748
Sedentary work sitting in a chair 750
Supreme stretches suggested by the author 753
Skateboarding 754
Skydiving 756
Tennis 758
Throwing 760
Volleyball 762
Walking, running and sprinting 764
Windsurfing 767
Whole body flexibility suitable for ballet, gymnastics and wrestling 768

Appendix
Joint ranges of movement 769
Table of anatomical movements 774
Tables of muscle actions 776
Glossary 783
Bibliography and References 796