Stretching & Flexibility with Kit Laughlin
Kit Laughlin developed the
posture & strength flexibility technique and courses at the
Australian National University where they have been running
for more than 20 years. It is a comprehensive system
that includes stretching, strengthening, re-patterning, and
relaxation. The core is the Contract-Relax approach (C-R) as
a core. C-R is based on the method called Proprioceptive
Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) or muscle energy techniques
The C-R approach has three
• taking a limb into a stretch
position and holding it there for 20 seconds or so (larger
muscles are held for longer)
• gently pushing or pulling
back against a suitable resistance using the muscle in which
the stretch is felt
• on a deliberate breath out,
re-stretching and holding that final position for 30 seconds
or so (longer for larger muscles)
The C-R approach ensures that
a deeper and longer-lasting stretch is attained, making
P&F far more effective than simply stretching and
holding a position.
Adding to the core principle
of C-R, it evolved with input from Yoga, Pilates, dance,
gymnastics and traditional Japanese exercise forms, as well
as its own innovations:
• Using knowledge of anatomy
to design many new stretches
• Incorporating results from
work with athletes
partner poses to increase
ease and effectiveness
partial poses to increase
awareness of restrictions in the chain of muscles involved
in a stretch
• Safety: all
exercises have been subjected to a huge amount of testing by
our teachers, therapists and students. Of the 100 standard
exercise forms we use, we have probably rejected a similar
number for failing this criterion.
all potential exercises are weighed against the criterion of
efficiency. If two exercises are equally safe, the more
effective one is selected.
Stretching & Flexibility Update DVD
This new DVD has been a year
in the making, containing 88 minutes of best-quality video,
with voice and visual cues, this DVD has all the latest
exercises; many of them new.
If you own Stretching &
Flexibility Book & DVD, you need this Update!
This new material
now available on high-resolution DVDs—this is the fastest, best
value way to get essential new material to you. This DVD
Update are the exercise Kit's P&F team currently teaches at
the Australian National University; all are shown in
practitioner and solo (do by yourself) versions.
shoulder mobility, stretching and strengthening exercises,
using both short and long sticks
exercises, done from the lunge position, and old hamstring
exercises revisited using the bent-to-straight-knee approach
All-new hip flexor stretches
Advanced tailor pose variations
Latest versions of QL
Detailed modified front splits
Read more details
Overcome Neck &
long-anticipated Overcome neck & back pain DVD is now
This 82 minute DVD has all
the latest exercises and all the new variations that Kit
Laughlin and the team have been putting together over the
last two years.
All-new hip flexors,
piriformis, quads, hamstrings, shoulder and neck exercises.
Full demonstration of the Standing Leg-Length Test; never
A ‘Must Have’ companion for
the Book: Overcome neck & back pain (including shoulder, arm
and hand pain)
We now have the best hip
flexor stretch—which can even be done by people when their
backs are sore. This exercise alone is a major breakthrough.
"Finally," Kit says, "we have a hip flexor stretch that
cannot hurt the lower back; I have been looking for this
myself for more than 20 years." In addition, there are about
40 new exercises; some of them done on the chair and some on
the floor. Some are solo and some are partner (or
practitioner) applied. All are done in the new follow-along
format, where both sides of the body are shown for each
Finally, after many
requests, we show you how to do the Standing Leg-Length Test
(from Chapter one of ONBP); you and a friend can follow
along with Kit and Sharon and see whether this important
potential cause is contributing to your problem (back or
Stretching & Flexibility
The DVD contains 193 minutes of high-quality
digital video --that is
three-and-a-quarter hours of exercises!
Stretching & Flexibility is a
comprehensive system that includes stretching,
strengthening, re-patterning, and relaxation. Developed by
Kit Laughlin, the core is the Contract-Relax approach (C-R)
as a core. C-R is based on the method called Proprioceptive
Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) or muscle energy techniques
Shot on location at the Posture & Flexibility
headquarters at the Australian National University
Sports and Recreation Association by Kit himself (he
used to be a director with ABC TV), the program features all
of Kit's senior teachers, and uses their dedicated studio
The DVD will take you through all 96 exercises
from Kit Laughlin's famous book Stretching & Flexibility.
The DVD features easy search menus to help you find an
The program has a comprehensive set of instructions, both
by voice and innovative visual 'cues' (key phrases and
symbols), that appear on-screen during the presentation.
Arrows show you how to move, how to push or pull, and the
pictures and sound are as clear as only professional-level
digital video can be. The DVD includes:
- beginner's to advanced stretches, with variations
- many additional warm-ups and variations
- all Contract-Relax techniques demonstrated and
- all the new exercises developed by the team over the
last five years
- exercises for all parts of the body, including hands
- solo and partner version of all exercises
Overcome Back Pain
Recognising that many people with back pain will find it
useful to see the exercises demonstrated 'live', this DVD
will take you through the back exercises
Kit presents in his book Overcome neck & back pain,
and a number of new exercises, too.
Kit will take you through the whole range of back
exercises developed in his clinic: upper, middle and lower
back with specifics on: side bend, rotation, back bend, hip
flexors, piriformis, quadriceps, quadratus lumborum,
hamstring, lower abdominal, trunk rotations, and more.
It is no surprise, Kit says, that back problems are so
common: many people hold tension in the muscles associated
with the spine, caused by many different factors. Tension
leads to pain and inefficient posture, which reinforce each
other. Doing these exercises will bring you back into
Running time: 69 mins.
Overcome Neck & Shoulder Pain
This DVD will take you through all the neck and
shoulder exercises Kit presents in the books
Overcome neck & back pain and Stretching &
Flexibility, with plenty of new exercises, too.
All exercises use the highly effective Contract-Relax
(C-R) approach to increasing flexibility. Watch the most
effective stretch for levator scapula, the culprit of
neck pain. Other stretches includes: neck forward bend, side
bend, flexion & rotation, extension, SCM, scalene, trapezius,
pecs, suboccipitalis, splenius, rhomboids, latisiumus dorsi,
biceps, rotator cuffs,
It is no surprise, Kit says, that neck and shoulder
problems are so common: these are the places where people
hold the most tension. If not discharged, simple tension can
lead to more serious musculo-skeletal problems in time.
Doing these exercises will also help you to identify any
left-right muscular imbalances.
Running time: 54 mins.
Repetitive Strain Injury (now called
Occupational Overuse Syndrome), affects the
muscles of the neck, shoulders, arms, forearms, and hands.
This DVD takes you through
all the exercises Kit and his colleagues have found to be
effective in both treating and preventing this common
This DVD will show you the
most effective ways to gently and safely stretch these
areas. We have found that increasing the range of movement
of these parts of the body, and reducing the tension held in
the muscles controlling the movement of these joints is very
effective in treating the problem, and will complement any
other treatment. Includes Stretches for: scalene, pec major,
pec minor, biceps, wrist flexion & extension, finger &
thumbs, wrist rotation, aileron, brachialis and more.
Running time: 40 mins.
Overcome neck & back pain
The new edition is ALL NEW: text, illustrations, photographs, new
exercises, and includes arm, shoulder and hand exercises.
This is the book that started a revolution in treating neck, middle
and lower back problems, and a method that explicitly recognises the
necessity of the patient being actively involved in the treatment. The
book has been glowingly reviewed in all the peak medical journals as
well as massage, shiatsu, chiropractic and complementary medical
Overcome neck & back pain system is used successfully by many
practitioners around the country, including doctors, chiropractors and
osteopaths, massage and other body work therapists.
The book Overcome neck & back pain (and associated DVDs) presents a comprehensive self-help exercise-based approach to
treating these problems.
Stretching & Flexibility
This is the book based on the Posture & Flexibility
classes. Everyone says they need to do more stretching for
all sorts of reasons, but the most important reason is
too-rarely mentioned: stretching the right way simply feels
great to do and leaves you feeling wonderful.
Questions remain, though, like: which stretches, done
what way, and how often? In Stretching & Flexibility,
you will find effective exercises for all the usual places
people want to stretch: hips, hamstrings and legs-apart
In addition, however, you will find hand, wrist and
forearm exercises, a full range of neck and shoulder
exercises (including the hard-to-stretch rotator cuff pairs)
and a variety of ankle and feet exercises. There are even
exercises to help you spread your toes and strengthen your
As well, you will find rotation and backward-bending
exercises, sideways-bending movements and a large number of
unique warm-ups too. There is an exercise for every muscle
of the body, and the associated tendons, ligaments and
The book is organised into 16 lessons and begins with
very easy-to-do movements. Gradually, the subsequent lessons
build on these basic 'functional units of flexibility', and
in time you will find yourself being able to do the more
Read more details
Kit Laughlin is one of the world’s
authorities on the subject of stretching.
Kit studied oriental traditional
Japanese medicine during a four-year stay in Japan and was
the personal Shiatsu practitioner for the Japanese
Ambassador in Australia. He was also asked to treat a
Japanese Prime Minister during a visit to Australia in 1988.
Formerly he had been a middle distance
runner and weight lifter, becoming a student of exercise
forms: he attended dance and gymnastics classes; he studied
anatomy and physiology, and studied Yoga and Pilates.
He was awarded a Master of Letters by
the Science Faculty of the Australian National University in
Canberra (1992) and was granted an Australian Postgraduate
Research Award (1993-96) for Ph.D. research, where back pain
was the main case study.
Kit developed the principles of
Posture & Flexibility over 24 years, and has been
teaching them for 21 years at the Australian National
University Sports and Recreation Association. He is assisted
by 20 P&F Instructors whom he trained, who also run up to 20
in-house classes for Public Service departments in Canberra.
Kit has published two best-selling books
about the principles of P&F,
Overcome neck & back pain (for injury
rehabilitation, now in its 4th Edition) and
Stretching & Flexibility (for injury prevention and
performance enhancement, now in its 5th printing) and
numerous DVDs, videos and articles. Kit is the founding President of the
National Association of Stretch Therapists (NAST).
Kit teaches P&F to
practitioners of Chiropractic and Osteopathy, Physiotherapy,
medicine, Yoga, Pilates and Massage Therapy and to people
everywhere who want to rehabilitate or avoid injury, enhance
performance or maximise wellbeing, in Australia and around