The Genius of Flexibility: The Smart Way to Stretch and Strengthen Your Body Info

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Utilizing a revolutionary technique that has been user-tested by
thousands of people from Olympic athletes to people suffering from
serious injury, The Genius of Flexibility presents a sixteen step
stretching regimen that dramatically improves flexibility and strength
while improving physiological and psychological health.

Something
The World Hasn't Yet Seen—You Can Forever Be More Flexible.

The Technique: RESISTANCE STRETCHING® offers immediate, cumulative,
and permanent increases in flexibility, takes the pain out of
stretching, and protects you from injuring yourself by
overstretching.
The Program: THE MERIDIAN FLEXIBILITY SYSTEM®
provides stretches for sixteen unique muscle groups with physiological
and psychological benefits.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for The Genius of Flexibility: The Smart Way to Stretch and Strengthen Your Body:

5

Dec 05, 2007

Bought it because I borrowed it from the library but didn't what to give it back! I also bought a copy for my brother who is a professional, world-class triathlete. The author has worked with many pro athletes, and I thought that this book could give my brother another edge.

Perhaps nothing revolutionary for the advanced yoga practitioner or the qualified physiotherapist, however this book makes makes this stuff so accessible to the layman. The simple instructions really provide the key to Bought it because I borrowed it from the library but didn't what to give it back! I also bought a copy for my brother who is a professional, world-class triathlete. The author has worked with many pro athletes, and I thought that this book could give my brother another edge.

Perhaps nothing revolutionary for the advanced yoga practitioner or the qualified physiotherapist, however this book makes makes this stuff so accessible to the layman. The simple instructions really provide the key to improving flexibility without pain and suffering, building strength, and discovering the holistic nature of your physical and psychological health. I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone who wants more flexibility, strength, and endurance in any and all areas of their life.
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1

Apr 17, 2011

This book is an awful attempt to share some really wonderful ideas about how to train the body more intelligently while simultaneously increasing self-awareness. Unfortunately the valuable aspects of this work are easily lost in the annoyingly superficial, self-promotional, new age tone that is incorporated throughout. If you can get past that and find the substance underneath, then you can discover some really exciting concepts underlying this approach to physical training. Worth reading only This book is an awful attempt to share some really wonderful ideas about how to train the body more intelligently while simultaneously increasing self-awareness. Unfortunately the valuable aspects of this work are easily lost in the annoyingly superficial, self-promotional, new age tone that is incorporated throughout. If you can get past that and find the substance underneath, then you can discover some really exciting concepts underlying this approach to physical training. Worth reading only if you're genuinely and deeply interested in the subject and willing to suffer through the horrible writing.

I'd rate it a 5 if I could remove all the dross...but that would be an awfully short book. ...more
4

January 26, 2015

I am a yoga instructor and already use many of these ideas as part of my teaching and practice. I am still working with this book. I am trying to grasp the Energy stretching sequence and figure a way ...Full Review
3

These books offer self-guided exercises designed to increase strength and flexibility and address differing levels of physical fitness and athletic ability. Lyon, a Pilates instructor based in New ...Full Review
4

Feb 25, 2009

Okay, of course this can't be described as entertaining, but I really did learn (and relearn) a lot! Good for anyone that feels as if they are getting old and stiff like me!
1

May 20, 2012

This book is hilarious. Not that great for stretches, but good for a laugh.
2

Mar 06, 2010

Inspiring story; poor structure - don't get if you are looking for results
1

Oct 08, 2013

Did not finish reading. The stretches in this book are way too strenuous and even look dangerous. I might have taken one or two cues from this book but most of the book is for people who are way out of my league when it comes to stretching. Sorry I bought this book.
0

Jun 14, 2013

it'll flip how you think of (effective) stretching (but would be okay with a tighter, less redundant edit in future editions). cooley's got some important, provocative observations and experiences and whether going for philosophy or for the series of exercises, its a worthy exploration
4

Jun 25, 2014

This book was pretty repetitive and a little out there, but I think the author has some good points to make. I tried the 16 beginner stretches today and I'm feeling pretty good. Some of the stretches are somewhat difficult to figure out from just a written description though. Maybe it gets easier with repetition.
0

Nov 28, 2008

I skipped over the spritual become one with the universe stuff, which may be fine for some people, but makes my skin crawl. I'm hoping the resistance stretching doesn't make me feel like I'm exercising, because if it does, there is a 95% chance I will never do it again.

Yup, feels like exercise.
5

Jul 21, 2009

If you're into fitness and/or overall wellness, this is a great book. Bob Cooley has developed a stretching & flexibility program that defies everything I thought I knew about stretches, and following it has produced some pretty amazing, immediate results! Beyond extended flexibility, it also shows how resistance stretching can help build some amazing muscle strength, no gym or weights required. A must-read for anybody into fitness.
1

Jul 30, 2008

I was very inspired by the authors story - how he created his method to heal himself after being hit by a car, but I found the directions for "stretching" unclear to say the least.

Cooley's claims that everyone loves his method and has immeadiate results didn't hold up, in the print version anyway. I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that it could be as great as he says if learned in person.
3

Feb 25, 2013

I am a yoga instructor and already use many of these ideas as part of my teaching and practice. I am still working with this book. I am trying to grasp the Energy stretching sequence and figure a way to make it flow more like yoga. Note, some of these stetches are very challenging and one should be cautious when trying them; looking specifically and Locus up the wall pose and the wall roll down.

I bought it because I found it in my library and I wanted more time with it.
3

Jun 29, 2015

I really wanted to like this book, and I suspect the underlying principles are solid if a bit over my head, but unfortunately I found so much of the text incomprehensible that I can't give it a stellar review. It's as if the author had trouble explaining what he was trying to say and lacked an editor who could help him clarify it. Lots of repetition, poor organization, an entire section on breathing that boiled down to "just breathe however", descriptions of stretches that in no way matched up I really wanted to like this book, and I suspect the underlying principles are solid if a bit over my head, but unfortunately I found so much of the text incomprehensible that I can't give it a stellar review. It's as if the author had trouble explaining what he was trying to say and lacked an editor who could help him clarify it. Lots of repetition, poor organization, an entire section on breathing that boiled down to "just breathe however", descriptions of stretches that in no way matched up with the (often hilariously alarming) photos illustrating them, argh. I think I'll stick with trying to muddle my way through yoga instead of following the sequences in this book. ...more
4

Nov 26, 2015

RF as articulated by the person who likes to say he 'discovered' it is an entirely different way to exercise and develop well being. The book is a good introduction to the basic ideas, and also tells the story of the discovery. It won't substitute for doing the work, nor does it make it possible for a fully appreciation of the method- only working in a community of others doing the work, getting assisted by others and spending time learning from your body will do that.
Having spent a year since RF as articulated by the person who likes to say he 'discovered' it is an entirely different way to exercise and develop well being. The book is a good introduction to the basic ideas, and also tells the story of the discovery. It won't substitute for doing the work, nor does it make it possible for a fully appreciation of the method- only working in a community of others doing the work, getting assisted by others and spending time learning from your body will do that.
Having spent a year since my first contact with the author and the book, I am just beginning to appreciate how different and powerful this modality is.
This isn't like anything, and nothing else I have seen or read about addresses as holistically, the complex challenge being human in a body is.
...more
2

Oct 23, 2016

I was recommended this book, but read some online reviews beforehand and as forewarned, there's a lot of questionable claims in the book (certain stretches will change aspects of your personality? okay...). However, what is true is that the stretching helped the author recuperate from his physical ailments, and there's a lot of stretches in here that I hadn't seen before. I honestly did not try many of them though, since I was just looking for general ideas and stretches for some specific areas. I was recommended this book, but read some online reviews beforehand and as forewarned, there's a lot of questionable claims in the book (certain stretches will change aspects of your personality? okay...). However, what is true is that the stretching helped the author recuperate from his physical ailments, and there's a lot of stretches in here that I hadn't seen before. I honestly did not try many of them though, since I was just looking for general ideas and stretches for some specific areas. However, it's often not clear what muscles each stretch is supposed to activate unless perhaps you try it. Somewhat interesting if you're looking for some new ideas but I wouldn't particularly recommend it. ...more
4

Nov 12, 2015

Bob Cooley tells an interesting tale of how he went from crossing the street to discovering a different way to become flexible, and in the process redefining flexibility.
The book is not one to read from front to back. Read the open, and then look for what attracts you. Some people seem to learn the stretches from these instructions, but I found the online videos on www.thegeniusofflexibility.com much more informative.
If you have a physical complaint or impingement, AND you want to change it AND Bob Cooley tells an interesting tale of how he went from crossing the street to discovering a different way to become flexible, and in the process redefining flexibility.
The book is not one to read from front to back. Read the open, and then look for what attracts you. Some people seem to learn the stretches from these instructions, but I found the online videos on www.thegeniusofflexibility.com much more informative.
If you have a physical complaint or impingement, AND you want to change it AND you recognize that it might not happen without your full engagement and effort, this is a great book to learn the technique.
If you can get to one of the centers, do that. If not, get the book. If it doesn't do it for you, then get to one of the centers.
If you have a complaint and like to blame others, or if you experience effort as pain, or you just want a pill, avoid this book. ...more
3

Dec 08, 2014

This is a very unique and interesting book into the art of stretching. The central idea is that in order to gain maximum flexibility and eliminate injury you must not only stretch the muscle but also must contract it. The author developed this unique method after being involved in a devastating auto accident which left him severely injured. As a result of this method, the author not only fully recovered but developed increased flexibility and health. There are 16 stretches which are analogous to This is a very unique and interesting book into the art of stretching. The central idea is that in order to gain maximum flexibility and eliminate injury you must not only stretch the muscle but also must contract it. The author developed this unique method after being involved in a devastating auto accident which left him severely injured. As a result of this method, the author not only fully recovered but developed increased flexibility and health. There are 16 stretches which are analogous to the traditional Chinese meridian energy channels and pathways affecting the corresponding organs and muscles. The author also states that each stretch has a specific relationship to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements of one's being. The 16 stretches are divided into four categories of Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Assisted. Depending on one's strengths and weaknesses will determine which stretches would best meet one's needs. I believe one's practice with these stretches is the true determination and proof of their efficacy. However, this was a very interesting and informative book which I would recommend. ...more
3

Oct 22, 2017

The rationale behind the effectiveness of this method is never explained. The 16 personalities theory is interesting but it is a re-run of ancient Chinese theories of the meridians in the body.
5

Jul 20, 2019

The Master of Physical Therapy degree I acquired from a highly respected hall of academia never taught me any of the treasures in this counter-intuitive and paradigm-busting book. This is truly great stuff. Forget everything you already know about stretching, this book may be a life changer.
3

Jan 18, 2020

The resistance stretching part is a gem, but it would have been more complete and accessible if the book gave information on which muscles are being affected instead of meridians, organs and personality. The strong practical element of the book was diluted by a lot of fluff and filler.
5

Mar 27, 2019

If you do the exercises in this book, you will improve your health! I had never heard of resistance stretching before and found the information in this book to be fascinating. The book also talks a bit about flexibility in other areas of your life, but mostly focuses on physical health.
4

Jul 23, 2019

If you've done yoga or static stretching for years and enjoy it but feel like you are stuck or can't get past a certain point, I highly recommend reading this book! Its focus is that in order to stretch, you must resist while elongating. That tension and contraction WHILE you stretch is what you see cats do all the time and once you get the feel for it, you know it. Yoga and pilates DO often use this resistance stretching but not consciously. So this book can help you with your plateauing yoga If you've done yoga or static stretching for years and enjoy it but feel like you are stuck or can't get past a certain point, I highly recommend reading this book! Its focus is that in order to stretch, you must resist while elongating. That tension and contraction WHILE you stretch is what you see cats do all the time and once you get the feel for it, you know it. Yoga and pilates DO often use this resistance stretching but not consciously. So this book can help you with your plateauing yoga practice and increase body awareness for stretching. The pictures in it are hard for me--I prefer the videos by Genius of Flexibility but the book's description and backstory were still very worthwhile to read.

I found Bob Cooley and resistance stretching online first, then I practiced assisted stretching where people trained by him stretched me, and it opened up my shoulders and hips noticably, particularly right after and I noticed how relaxed and "looser" my butt felt when I sat down. It IS true stretching. Unfortunately, I was only able to do a few sessions and then moved to an area that doesn't have resistance stretching yet. YET. Check out videos with Samuel Camburn--I had sessions with him and he was very supportive, kind, and well-versed in Bob Cooley's methods!
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