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  1. #1
    Registered User jdwise2's Avatar
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    Stretching and Exercise Libraries

    As a recently certified NASM trainer, I'm finding that the exercise and stretching libraries on NASM's website extremely lacking. I know there is a database here on bb.com, but I'm looking for something a bit more advanced in the form of a text. As I'm looking through texts on amazon.com, a lot of the books about stretching get a few negative reviews for only addressing static stretching. I'm looking for something more comprehensive, that covers all 3 types of stretching for all the different muscle groups. Any thoughts or suggestions?
    Josh Wise, NASM CPT
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  2. #2
    Registered User popupwindow's Avatar
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    For free stuff google 'mobilitywod' which are daily short videos with certain tips, usually 3-10 mins in length. Go back to the very start and watch through them, there's probably 400-500 of them, all free and requiring minimal equipment (some bands, lacrosse balls, foam roller, bars). They're kind of random, but if you persevere watching 2-5/day until you get through all of them, you will pick up quite a few good general tips on fixing problem areas all over the body, as well as in a range of aspects (as it's crossfit based, but don't let that put you off), such as powerlifting, olympic lifting, calisthenics, sprinting, swimming, gymnastics etc. I think he also had a book out if you want something in writing.

    Otherwise, guys like Mike Robertson, Eric Cressey all have some decent stuff, lots of marketing bs and usually over-priced, but even just reading their free articles on various sights (t-nation, elitefts etc) will broaden your knowledge a lot about warm ups, cool downs, stretching, activation drills, mobility work, foam rolling and other related stuff.

    A good anatomy book is generally useful too, so you know how the body works in terms of joint actions, muscle functions and all that stuff, don't have a specific recommendation here, any basic one with decent reviews on amazon will probably get the job done.


    Keep in mind that stretching, mobility and all that stuff is easy to get buried in, and the line between personal trainer and physical therapist is becoming more and more blurred, especially with guys like gray cook and mike boyle that make their careers out of blurring that line, making people think everyone is a ticking time bomb of dysfunction about to explode in a life ending injury, and that some stretches and cable drills will fix them. If you're working with desk jockies and regular folks, you're going to need to know some basic stuff on postural correction, common weak areas, common tight areas, common sources of pain etc, but a little goes a long way. If you're working more with athletes, they'll have more overuse injuries from pushing their bodies to the limits or repetitive motions in sport, versus issues from atrophy, tightness and disuse like the sedentary folks.

    Helping people stand, walk and perform basic movements with good technique (pushups/plank with abs braced, squats with weight on heels knees out chest up, hip hinge with thoracic extension, rows with scap retraction, lunges with stable ankles and hips, glute bridges with good glute recruitment and so on), and get them to some basic strength numbers on these lifts, perhaps 60kg x 5 squat and DL, 10-20 pushups and 3-5 chins for women, maybe 80kg x 5 squat and 120kg x 5 deadlift for men with a 60kg x 5 bench and 10 chinups, along with some stretches and foam rolling between sets, good posture during the day, good hydration and food (overlooked by many for tissue mobility and quality), then you'll make a gigantic difference. Even taking a super-weak novice who can't do an air squat and getting them to eventually deep squat a 24kg kettlebell for 20 reps and swing it for a set of 50 with a good hip hinge and a 2 minute plank, as well as losing some weight (takes huge stress off the joints) will do infinitely more than memorizing 100 stretches.

    Hope that helps.
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  3. #3
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    Tossing out strength numbers for people's everyday health, that sounds familiar PUW

    To be honest, moving through a full range of motion in the basic movements is enough stretch for most people. Most people will present hunched over with tight hips. Some sort of pec and bicep stretch, a hurdle stretch for hip flexors and pretzel stretch for ITB / hip external rotators, a bit of foam rolling on thoracic spine, ITB and quads, and that's more than enough for them.

    The exception as PUW said is with some previous injury history. If you know your anatomy you can usually make up your own stretches for the relevant muscles, but of course be careful about scope of practice.
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    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Physical therapists and personal trainers have very little in common. Anyone who has worked in and seen the variety of physical therapy settings knows this. The only thing we have in common is that both personal trainers and outpatient physical therapists use exercise with clients/patients. Either of us can use this to correct imbalances if the professional in question has the right training. I don't think that any good physical therapist feels threatened by personal trainers performing "corrective exercise".

    I think there is a legitimate concern that some trainers can do more harm than good by stepping outside of their knowledge base. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not trying to play physical therapist. If someone has a legitimate issue that I believe could be solved by a physical therapist, I will refer out to one that I trust. At the same time, I'm not trying to refer out to a PT every time someone experiences pain during an exercise.

    As far as the OP, you can learn a lot with an anatomy book and your body. I think the biggest thing that most trainers lack is the ability to think for themselves. There is so much regurgitated information out there. People can tell you how to do this stretch, or that stretch, or this exercise, but they don't understand the biomechanics behind it. Very simply, to stretch any muscle you move the joint into the opposite of that muscle's action. In the kneeling stretch for hip flexors, we are stretching the hip flexors because the back leg is in extension. From there, think about ways of changing the stretch for the better, or incorporating other muscles. For example, what happens if you create an anterior or posterior pelvic tilt during the hip flexor stretch?
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  5. #5
    Registered User jdwise2's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the great responses!

    I guess the main reason I'm asking is to have a resource for easily choosing specific exercises and stretches.

    As some of you may know, NASM is one of the only certifications to address postural assessments in their CPT program. They also have an extra credential you can earn, Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES). It was actually one of the harder topics to study and learn when preparing for the test. Ever since then though, I can rapidly point out someone who's displaying knee valgus or the like and know exactly what muscles need to be stretched, and which need to be strengthened. So yes, I agree that the line between PT and PT are a bit blurred.

    After some scavenging on Amazon, these books seem to be just a bit better than their competitors:

    Stretching for Functional Flexibility
    by Phil Armige

    Strength Training Anatomy-3rd Edition [Paperback]
    Frederic Delavier
    Josh Wise, NASM CPT
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    Try Exrx.net, great resources there. Tons
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    Originally Posted by OhSoFocus View Post
    Try Exrx.net, great resources there. Tons
    I second that. Its a great website for a very wide variety of resources in our field!
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