Saturday, October 23, 2010

Holiday Sale!

Holiday Sale: If you order a DVD for yourself, I will include, at NO EXTRA CHARGE, a second DVD for a friend or loved one. You know they need to stretch, now you can have the perfect stocking stuffer. Offer good until Thanksgiving, or when supplies run out. I probably will not do another run of this DVD, so order soon if you want one! No extra shipping charges, either! Take advantage of this deal before supplies run out.�

You can order at

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Long time, no videos

Sorry for the delays, here are some videos to keep you stretching. Also, my DVD will be $19 until I run out of them. I will probably not be doing another run, so if you want one, order on my site.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

DVD Sale and a New Video for you.

DVD Sale: For the next two weeks, Howtostretch Vol. 1 will be $19, a savings of $6! Go to for details. Offer ends July 15, 2010. (Pssst: scroll down to see a testimonial a few posts ago)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Check this out

Jennifer over at has been using my DVD to help her get more flexible. She posted a video of her progress, you can check it out here

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How is everyone doing with lotus?

Just checking in with my followers: how is it going with your lotus practice? It has been one of the most asked about stretches ever, and I was curious if my videos answered your questions. Post a comment or email me.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Just a note

I get a LOT of questions every day via email. While I would love to answer them all, I don't have time (I have a day job!). So, please, do not take offense if I do not return your email in a timely fashion. I would like to point out that MANY of the questions are answered on my site and this blog, so surf around.

Also, keep in mind, that I lay out the groundwork for how I stretch, how I teach stretching, why I do what I do, on my DVD. Many questions that are posed to me are best answered with a demonstration, because it is hard to cover anatomical references with words. Pictures work better, videos better still.

The DVD is a worthwhile investment for avoiding injuries and learning the "how's and why's" of stretching.

You can purchase my new How To Stretch Vol. 1 here

The cost is $25 plus $6 shipping and handling, payment thru Paypal by either Paypal or major credit card. Thanks!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A comment on the kicking video

The purpose of the video below is to use a karate technique to help you improve your stretch. I got a bunch of emails and comments asking about the tearing of muscle that I speak about in the video. To clarify, you microtear your muscle fibers every time you exercise and are sore. So, if you take a run a little faster than normal, and your quads hurt a bit the next day, guess what? There are some microtears in the fibers of your quad.. Now, when your body repairs it when you rest, the quad will be stronger and able to do more work.

I am not suggesting that one RIPS the muscle. Not at all. I think this is a misunderstanding on the part of some. Again, my reference to tear is to ask a little more of the muscle in a stretching condition to allow your muscle fibers to repair themselves into a longer, more flexible state. To accomplish this task with the hamstrings, the video below using a front stretch kick will help. Be careful, don't do this wearing socks on a tile floor. Go easy, follow my directions. Hold onto a wall, chair, desk, kitchen counter (which was my favorite when I was a kid practicing karate, I was real close to the 'fridge :0)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Torn Muscle? Pulled muscle?

One of the problems with language is what means one thing to someone means something else to another person. I used the term "pulled muscle" in a previous post, but really, it is not an accurate description of the actual injury. Every time we use a muscle we use a pulling force as we contract it. We could technically call any muscle movement, a pull. In common usage, however, the term "pulled muscle" is used to describe an injury.

Torn muscle is a better description of this type of injury. In reality, when we contract a muscle violently (an Olympic sprinter jumping out of the start blocks in a race), there is the risk of a tear. Muscle fibers tear all the time, and our bodies are constantly repairing them. All body builders train to tear their muscles so when the body repairs the muscle it is larger and stronger. Only when we tear a great number of muscle fibers, to the point of pain (pain beyond just being sore), do we have an injury.

Most people do not use the term "torn muscle" because it sounds so absolute, so severe, so complete. In reality, only a few muscle fibers were torn. We are left with the common term
"pulled muscle" because it seems more descriptive of the injury in regard to how it feels.

In reality, there are tears in the muscle fibers and the body is working to repair it. I will go over some of the ways I deal with this type of injury.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stretching for Pole Dancing

A few months ago I was asked to write a guest blog for Pole Skivvies, a source of clothing and information for pole dancers. Watching a few of the videos on the site I could see the need for stretching and injury prevention. Pole dancing is an intense physical activity!

Some of the info in the guest blog may be helpful to you, you can read my post if you click here

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I pulled a muscle !!!!!

I can't believe it, but it shows you cannot take your fitness and flexibility for granted. It is the first time I pulled a muscle in about 3 decades, maybe more.

My day goes like this: I usually get up, walk the dog for a half hour, do 30 to 60 min tai chi (whatever my schedule permits) then go to work. My job as a chiropractor is pretty physical, so I am up and down all day. At lunch, I go out for a bike ride of 15 to 25 miles, which is my cardiovascular workout. At night, if energy permits, I will stretch. Sometimes I stretch while watching TV or reading. This is what I do seven days a week (the tai chi, cycling, stretching). I used to lift weights once or twice a week but stopped when I broke my arm. I tried it once after my surgery, way too soon, and it hurt the plate/screws, so I stopped. I have not tried it since, I am sure I can easily do the weight routine I used to do.

I do take my stretching for granted. One of my goals when I first began serious flexibility training as a teen was to have all my flexibility available at any time. Why? I grew up in NY, and often got in situations where I might have had to use my martial arts to defend myself. I couldn't exactly say to a few guys that wanted to kick my butt, "Excuse me, could you wait a second while I stretch out?"

I achieved my goal, and it has worked for me for decades. I lengthened my muscles to the point where being stretched was my default physical condition.

About a month ago, I started running with my dog. He needed more exercise, so running has become our daily routine. One and a half to one and 3/4 miles a day, every day for the past month. I have not been stretching before we go out, and that is where I have been taking my flexibility for granted. I pulled a deep groin muscle on my right leg (between adductor magnus and gracillus, for the anatomically inclined). I can get into all kinds of stretches EXCEPT splits.

I will detail how I will fix this issue and do a short video on the topic.

You just never know :0)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

DVD for Sale!

You can purchase my new How To Stretch Vol. 1 here

The cost is $25 plus $6 shipping and handling, payment thru Paypal by either Paypal or major credit card. Thanks!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The DVD's just arrived

Yes, it is true! My new DVD How To Stretch, Vol. 1, has arrived. I will post info on purchase later today (Thursday)

The cost will be $25 plus shipping. You can pay with paypal or any major credit card, and yes, international shipping is available :0)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nerves and Muscles

There are two parts to every nerve: sensory and motor. If you touch a hot stove, the sensory part of your nerve tells you the stove is hot. The motor part of the nerve tells the muscle to contract and pull your hand off the stove. A lot of motor function is autonomic and automatic. We never have to think about a lot of motions and movements once they are learned.

The point here is that we cannot just stretch muscles if we wish to become flexible. Someone can go to a stretching/yoga class, try real hard, make a little progress, and in four months their net gain in flexibility is small. Why? Their motor nerves are still sending a message to the muscle to stay tight. From learned physical responses, old injuries, bad posture, work habits, emotional stress, the body learned to keep a certain amount of tension in the body.

Only by stretching with the proper mindset can correct this. It is the mind that tells the nerves what to do, which in turn tell the muscles what to do.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Strength from Stretching

Thnk about this: muscles do one thing, and one thing only. Contract. You can get stronger by lifting weights and doing calisthenic exercises. That is a good thing.

Stretching lengthens your muscles, so for a given contraction, you get more work when your muscles are stretched out. Stretching consistently over time, widens your muscles, so they have more pull when you use them with less chance of injuries. If a muscle is tight, you can only contract it so much. Let us take the bicep muscle. If there is tension in the muscle, and it is tight, by let's say, 20 percent, you cannot use that 20 percent when you contract it to lift something.

However, if there is minimal tension in the muscle, you can use more of the muscle to lift something. Stretching can help you utilize what muscles you have to do more work.

So, stretching makes you stronger.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

An Idea regarding Muscles..

I wanted to share an insight with you. A reader asked a question regarding using a weight to press down on a limb to help get more stretch.

Muscle cells are interesting. If you push on one, they push back. I mean this on a cellular level. So using a weight may be counter productive because while you are sitting in half lotus with
a weight on the leg, for example, your leg is actually contracting against the weight! The result is very little if any gain in flexibility. You may feel stretch, but you are TRAINING the muscle to contract.

When I teach stretching, I am not only working to stretch the muscle, but to retrain the nerve that is holding it tight.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Almost here

The new DVD How to Stretch, Vol. 1, should be here any day now. I will post it here and on my website, maybe a youtube video as well. Thanks for your patience. I think it will be worth it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The artist is at work

The artwork for the cover of the DVD is being completed today. The master DVD for the stretches will get to the replication center this week. They informed me it would be a two week turnaround. It will then be available. International shipping is possible now, so for my out of country friends, you can order online and have it sent to you.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My New DVD

In a few weeks, I will have available a new DVD, Stretch with Dr. Mark, Vol. 1.
It is finished, and the artwork is being completed in the next few days. After that, off for replication! I am hoping to have it for sale by early March. The topics on this DVD are:
  1. Stretching 101 : how to start stretching, even if you never have! A lot of info for common difficulties and how to work them out.
  2. Stretch Class 1: this is how I would actually run a class for my students and patients. You can participate along with the video.
  3. Stretch Class 2: Another follow along class, different than the first. I have so much to share it will be done over many classes like these.
  4. Squatting: A more in depth tutorial on a very important stretch.
  5. Core Exercises: we can't leave out strengthening exercises. This video begins to show what can be done to strengthen your core muscles, and stabilize your spine. There will be other classes like this, including some weight training.
  6. Lotus: This is a long tutorial on lotus and how to work on the posture. I get more emails about this stretch than any other! Lotus opens areas of the hips/knees/low back in ways other stretches cannot.
Keep checking, I will post when it is ready on, my youtube site, and this blog. Thanks!

Friday, February 5, 2010

So, what are your scores?

If you did the Flex test video, go to, score yourself, and let me know how you did.

This will help me with the DVD. It will be more catered to your stretch abilities.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Ok, after two months of trying to get the membership portion of launched, I give up. Don't despair, I have a solution, but first an explanation:

If I do low quality videos they will be smaller files, which when viewed, are poor quality. They show as small movies on the screen. You won't be able to sit on the floor and learn from the video.

The hi def videos are large files that do not upload, unless I purchase a dedicated server just for the videos. These videos would be high resolution which would show well in an expanded version on a computer monitor. However, unless you have a fast connection, you may not be able to view them. This issue has to do with buffering rates. If someone lives in an area without blazing fast internet, they are out of luck.

The solution: Take all my howtostretch videos and make a DVD available for purchase. This way, they can play on a DVD player as well as a computer, so you can sit with friends in front of your TV and take class with me. I currently have the artwork being produced for the DVD, and I have roughly fifteen classes. I will do a few more, then burn a master copy. It will be sent to my DVD production company, and they take about a week to produce them.

You will be able to easily purchase these on

So, thanks again for your patience, this will be the best way to get information to you.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Maybe a breakthrough

I found a new way to upload large videos onto I will be working on it this weekend, maybe the break I was looking for to be able to launch the membership site.

Regarding the Membership: for $50, you get a three month membership, with unlimited access to detailed videos on stretching, weight lifting for posture correction, how to deal with specific pain issues, how to correct longtime imbalances due to work duties, sleeping habits, one sided sports (golf, surfing, tennis, etc). I walk you through all the problem areas, with information on the physiology as it may apply, and analysis of how your problem may have originated. New videos will be added every two weeks, currently there are about twelve videos ready, which is good. The issue has been that the uploading to my server has been inconsistent. I am on track tho', stay tuned!

Please tell your friends, btw, I appreciate it!