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Stretch For Strength

Relax Into Stretch opens the power floodgates.

It’s a good thing that Pavel Tsatsouline gives good instructions, as well as illustrations and warnings, in his new book Relax into Stretch because some of the movements look downright hazardous’at least for people who aren’t as limp as a wet noodle. But relax and you’ll be fine. As in his book Power to the People, Pavel emphasizes that most of our muscle control and strength comes from the nervous system rather than from actual muscle size. Here’s another bombshell: ‘Stretching is not the best way to become flexible.’ That statement may make you a bit skeptical, but it makes sense once you read his explanation. It’s more an issue of relaxation and allowing the muscles to avoid their natural stretch reflex, which is what prevents flexibility.

He stresses the importance of working on flexibility only when you won’t be rushed, so I haven’t had a chance to try most of the exercises yet, but you can bet I’m going to. As a bodybuilder, I’m always looking for new ways to increase my strength. Plus, it will be fun to brag about my ability to do the ‘Road Kill Split’ and the ‘Crawling Lizard.’ IM

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