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As most people know, the food pyramid the diagram at the depicts all the essential food one should eat to maintain a healthy diet. The pyramid serves to guide individuals to make better choices when they choose foods so that they can meet all their nutritional needs.

I am very serious about stretching. but there are a lot of stretches out there and I don't know which ones are useful and which ones aren't.

Thus, I was wondering if there was some sort of standardized recommendation for which groups / types of stretches that one should do in order to stretch most or all of one's muscles.

You can see my analogy here. A given stretch often target multiple muscles at once just as food like milk provides us with multiple kinds of nutrients. So really choosing a stretching routine should involve selecting a group of stretches that satisfies most of the bodies needs.

My Question

Is there a standardized recommended stretching routine?

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I don't believe that there is a universal list of stretches, but there are certainly guides out there. I'm personally fond of Craig Ramsay's Anatomy of Stretching which has both an hour-long comprehensive set of stretches and a 15 minute essentials one, the latter of which also comes on a poster that comes with the book.

I attempted to scan in his quick stretches now that I finally got the book from the library, but my scanner is acting up. Hopefully, this is enough that you can get the gist of it:

enter image description here

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  • Nice! Okay, I will check it out. – Stan Shunpike Apr 3 '15 at 12:22
  • When you return, if you are happy with the answer, please click the green check mark to accept it. – Sean Duggan Apr 18 '15 at 13:38
  • I'm not sure it answers my question fully, but there is also no harm in accepting the answer. Really, my main gripe is that I want to know why there isn't an agreed upon standard way to stretch muscles. And your answer doesn't provide that. So i hadn't bothered to accept. But your info was helpful so I have no problem accepting on that basis. – Stan Shunpike Apr 18 '15 at 20:00
  • ^_^ Ah, well there are a few different philosophies regarding stretching. Last I saw, the PNF stretching was winning out over static and dynamic stretching, but it also depends on your goals. As regards a series of stretches to stretch everything, that's like asking for a set of exercises that covers all of the areas, difficult and contentious. Even the Food Pyramid has many critics since it really doesn't cover vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients in any sort of detail. Would it make things better if I listed Ramsay's routine? – Sean Duggan Apr 19 '15 at 3:19
  • Re Ramsay, If it's not too much work, that would make the answer more complete and more usable. :) what is PNF? I don't understand what all these different types of stretching are for? Are there different types based on what activity you are doing? I can't tell what is hype and what is science. – Stan Shunpike Apr 19 '15 at 3:29

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