1st Edition

The Science and Physiology of Flexibility and Stretching Implications and Applications in Sport Performance and Health

By David Behm Copyright 2019
    210 Pages 102 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    210 Pages 102 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Stretching is a fundamentally important part of sport and exercise, playing a role in improving performance, and preventing injury and rehabilitation, but its scientific underpinnings have, to this point, been overlooked in book publishing. The Science and Physiology of Flexibility and Stretching is the most up-to-date and comprehensive book to cover the underlying physiology and psychology of stretching, critically assessing why, when, and how we should stretch, as well as offering a highly illustrated, practical guide to stretching exercises.



    Placing stretching in the context of both health and performance, the first section of the book sets out the science behind stretching, critically assessing the benefits, disadvantages, and roles of different types of stretching, exploring the mechanisms behind increasing range-of-movement through stretching and other methods, and offering evidence-based guidance on building stretching into warm-ups. In its second section, the book provides a step-by-step guide to static, dynamic, and PRF stretching exercises for beginners, through recreational athletes, to elite performers.



    Richly illustrated, and including an online resource, The Science and Physiology of Flexibility and Stretching provides an important scientific enquiry into stretching, and an invaluable reference for any strength and conditioning coach or student, personal trainer, sports coach, or exercise scientist.

    1. My Personal Motivation for Stretching

    2. History of Stretching

    3. Types of Stretching and the Effects on Flexibility

    4. Mechanisms Underlying Acute Changes in Range of Motion

    5. Training-Related Range of Motion Changes and Mechanisms

    6. Recommendations for Stretching Prescription

    7. Stretching Effects on Injury Reduction and Health

    8. Does Stretching Affect Performance?

    9. Effect of Stretch Training on Performance

    10. Other Flexibility Enhancing Techniques

    11. Stretching Exercise Illustrations


    David G. Behm, PhD, is a University Research Professor at the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. He was a highly competitive athlete, was drafted into the Canadian Football League (1979) and won Canadian provincial championships in tennis (Saskatchewan: 1987) and squash (Newfoundland: 2000, 2002). His athletic background led him to an academic career in the areas of applied neuromuscular physiology and sport/exercise science. Dr. Behm has won a number of university, national, and international awards. He has published over 230 peer-reviewed scientific articles with over 14,000 citations. He consistently presents his research findings internationally and his work is often featured in popular fitness and health magazines, and online publications.