REVIEW Facilitated Stretching - 3rd Edition



Facilitated Stretching - 3rd Edition

Facilitated Stretching - 3rd Edition
By Robert E. McAtee & Jeff Charland
$24.95 (Available thru Human Kinetics)

REVIEW by Coach Newton

Flexibility is often a crucial ingredient in developing optimal muscular action. Although a chapter on flexibility was planned for my first edition of Explosive Lifting for Sports, the idea was nixed as we approached publication. Flexibility is a topic often overlooked when one wishes to coach or perform explosive lifting exercises. A failure to develop adequate flexibility prior to performing most Olympic-style lifts is a sure-fire way to come up short. We’re lucky if it’s just a matter of not lifting effectively; it’s a shame if the lifter gets injured.

Elite weightlifters are well known for their flexibility. Much of this comes from outstanding skill acquisition at an early age, before loss of flexibility occurs. When athletes have had little exposure to the technique basics of the Snatch and Clean-and-Jerk lifts, or for that matter, simple tasks like how to properly lift a barbell from the floor, sharp-eyed coaches have their work cut out. To ignore the inability to get into a proper lifting position due to flexibility issues, yet encourage explosive lifting borders on negligible.

Bob McAtee, CSCS, has consistently improved his book, Facilitated Stretching, from its first publication in 1993. I’ve eagerly read each edition and find this third edition to be the finest to date. An outstanding DVD accompanies each book, so the reader now can view the actual stretching prescriptions offer in the book. This DVD is a big improvement over simply the text.

This edition includes 13 new or modified partner stretches and 19 new self-stretches. Individual muscle group stretches are offered, along with many sport-specific and everyday routines. The illustrations are excellent and the writing style and presentation are outstanding. Any coach or athlete wanting the latest information on effective stretches and stretching routines will do well to get this text and put it to use.

Of course, I’m a bit biased. About 10 years ago Bob McAtee worked on me over a period of several months. I had had such a severe spasm in my low back region while attending an NSCA conference that I could not walk more than about 50 feet before I had to stop and stretch. Sleeping was a huge challenge. Being at an NSCA conference, I took advantage of a half-dozen outstanding experts and various modalities in an effort to regain my normal movements. But it took Bob McAtee, working over numerous appointments to isolate and eradicate my symptoms.

Any coach, athlete, parent, or sports medicine professional will benefit from study this excellent text.

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