Verdict: I-STRETCH & STRENGTHEN is a useful guide for those who want a simple, effective, cheap and portable means of increasing their strength and flexibility, staying active and mobile into old age, and enhancing their lifelong well-being.
Bob Alonzi has worked with clients at many levels of ability, in order to help them regain both physical fitness and a positive mental outlook. This book contains a selection of exercises divided into three categories- I-WarmUps, I-Stretch, and I-Strengthen. The first section warms and prepares the muscles, the second enhances flexibility and mobility, and the third develops strength and prioperception (defined by the author as “the facility to sense the position and location of the body in time and space”). Each exercise is illustrated and explained in simple terms, with guidance on how to perform the exercise, how many repetitions to do and what other exercises to alternate it with, and information on what muscles it affects.
I-STRETCH & STRENGTHEN offers an accessible and portable workout routine, without need for special equipment or a gym membership. The introduction and the epilogue are encouraging and supportive, promoting a positive attitude and an appreciation for all the benefits of exercise for everyone, not just athletes. The book is small and therefore easily packed for travel, and the writing is reasonably clear and accessible for laypeople. The author does use the anatomical terms for muscles (abdominals, trapezius, obliques, etc.) but these are illustrated for the reader’s reference in a handy diagram at the back of the book.
The exercises are simple and relatively manageable, giving attention to all parts of the body, and offer the possibility of beneficial results for readers at all levels of fitness. The illustrations give a clear image of what the exercise should look like, and there are multiple illustrations for exercises with multiple motions, showing the sequence of movement and illustrating each pose. Some of the exercises may prove difficult for readers who are physically larger (especially the bodyweight exercises), or who are less flexible – adaptations are suggested for a few, but it might be helpful to offer a few more suggestions for how to adjust for those can’t quite manage the full movement.
I-STRETCH & STRENGTHEN is a useful guide for those who want a simple, effective, cheap and portable means of increasing their strength and flexibility, staying active and mobile into old age, and enhancing their lifelong well-being.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader