Are you in Canada? Click here to proceed to the HK Canada website.

For all other locations, click here to continue to the HK US website.

Human Kinetics Logo

Purchase Courses or Access Digital Products

If you are looking to purchase online videos, online courses or to access previously purchased digital products please press continue.

Mare Nostrum Logo

Purchase Print Products or eBooks

Human Kinetics print books and eBooks are now distributed by Mare Nostrum, throughout the UK, Europe, Africa and Middle East, delivered to you from their warehouse. Please visit our new UK website to purchase Human Kinetics printed or eBooks.

Feedback Icon Feedback Get $15 Off

Human Kinetics is moving to summer hours. Starting May 31 – August 2, our hours will be Mon – Thurs, 7am – 5pm CDT. Orders placed on Friday with digital products/online courses will be processed immediately. Orders with physical products will be processed on the next business day.

Athletic stretching involves two primary techniques

This is an excerpt from Delavier's Stretching Anatomy by Frederic Delavier,Jean-Pierre Clemenceau & Michael Gundill.

How an Athlete Should Stretch

There are two primary techniques for athletic stretching.


Static stretching consists of holding a stretch for 10 seconds to 1 minute. The degree of stretch can be from very light to rather strong depending on your objective.

Advantage: Practiced in a controlled and progressive manner, static stretching is very unlikely to cause an injury.

Disadvantage: This type of stretching is most likely to cause a decrease in performance when done just before a workout.


Dynamic stretching consists of pulling more or less forcefully on a muscle using small, repetitive movements for 10 to 20 seconds. This type of stretching resembles plyometrics because it plays on the stretch-relax cycle (or elasticity) and causes a reflex contraction. The goal of the small movements is to force the muscle to lengthen more than it would do so naturally.

Advantage: Dynamic stretching is the least likely to cause a decrease in performance when done before a workout, so long as the muscle does not tear. But you must be extremely careful when doing this type of stretching because it can cause injuries.

Disadvantage: This kind of stretching is the most likely to cause injury.

Generally, you should do 1 to 3 sets of stretches per muscle group. Then the only thing you as the athlete need to do is determine which muscles you wish to stretch depending on your sport as well as your personal needs. To help you in this task, see the variety of programs in the third part of this book (page 127).

Read more about Delavier's Stretching Anatomy by Frederic Delavier, Jean-Pierre Clemenceau, Michael Gundill.

More Excerpts From Delavier's Stretching Anatomy