If you suffer from stiff joints or pervasive muscle aches, there are a variety of stretches you can try to help alleviate your pain. While you can find many online, sometimes it’s nice to have a comprehensive guide you can easily lay out in front of you to help you mirror and execute movements (not to mention, it’s easy to take with you everywhere). Stretching books explain how to improve your flexibility and target specific areas of the body for relief from a range of different issues, including those common among athletes and people with physical disabilities. Whether you’re looking for a few, quick stretches or an all-encompassing routine, we’ve selected some of the best stretching books you can buy — all written by physical therapists and fitness experts.
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1. Stretching: 30th Anniversary Edition
With over 3.5 million copies sold in over 30 years, this book is a must-have. It contains unique stretches for everyone, from athletes to avid travelers or anyone in a wheelchair.
Pros: With two-color inks to better define the muscle groups, this book is easy to navigate. Bob Anderson includes full-length stretching practices as well as abbreviated versions for those on the go. It also provides a new section on office fitness stretches, including ones you can do while seated at your computer.
Cons: The stretches may not be enough for advanced athletes.
2. Better Stretching
With over 100 stretching techniques for beginners to advanced movers, Joe Yoon’s book works to provide you with everything you need for noticeable results over time.
Pros: This book contains short, 9-minute stretching routines designed to improve your flexibility. The routines follow a 30-day plan to help you stay on track. The book also demonstrates self-massage techniques with photos for every stretch for clear depictions.
Cons: The information may not be new to anyone who has repeatedly practiced stretching.
3. 1,500 Stretches
With 1,500 total stretching moves included, this book is organized by body part to makes it easy to find the stretch you need.
Pros: Additional chapters on yoga and partner stretches allow you to advance beyond basic movements. The book includes clear photos and depictions of targeted muscle groups for each stretch, as well as how to achieve the proper form to maximize results and reduce the chances of injury.
Cons: It may repeat stretches in certain sections.