Format(s) Taken: Stretch
Additional Formats Available: Sports Recovery
One-on-one assisted stretching has been a recovery practice employed by athletes since we can remember, and now, thanks to studios like StretchLab, it is accessible to everyone. If you are anything like me, you probably split your time being hunched over a screen and a fairly rigorous fitness regime. With our constantly busy schedules, there barely seems to be enough time for a five minute post workout stretch. But whether you are a fitness enthusiast or not, we all put our bodies through a range of slightly unnatural positions on a daily basis. One-on-one assisted stretching has the potential to offset the negative impact we constantly put on our bodies.
StretchLab offers recovery re-imagined with a boutique fitness makeover. Instead of waiting until you are in dire need of physical therapy or another reactive treatment, consider the potential benefits of restoration through deep-stretching techniques.
StretchLab Studio Background
StretchLab, founded 2015 in Venice, California recently spread its roots to the Denver area. Dina Silverman opened the first Colorado location in Cherry Creek in May of 2019 and the second location in Cherry Hills followed soon after, opening doors this past November 2019. The dual StretchLab owner felt connected to the brand instantly.
StretchLab is for All Ages
The StretchLab clients range from 10 year old dancers to 90 year olds keeping up with their mobility. Members receive a customized stretching experience based on their individual needs by Flexologists. Flexologists also work with clients to create their in between stretching routine. The additional stretches are recommended in order to maintain and improve results, but are not required by any means.
Can’t I stretch on my own? Why a Flexologist?
Well, yes, of course you can stretch on your own, and you should! But, what makes StretchLab special is the one-on-one sessions with Flexologists who use Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), a contract-release approach which allows for a deeper stretch that cannot be recreated independently. During PNF, the Flexologist stretches a particular muscle to the edge of mild discomfort. The client then contracts the muscle, pushing against the flexologist for a few seconds, finishing with a relaxing release. The resistance based stretching is repeated a few times, increasing the range of motion and achieving maximum benefits.
This dynamic stretching technique should not be attempted at home. Flexologists at StretchLab must have some background in body work before being hired, such as message, physical therapy, yoga, dance or pilates. However, their background alone is not enough to get started. Each Flexologist must attend a 70-hour training at the Irvine headquarters and practice at their home studio before joining the StretchLab family. If the PNF method is not implemented properly, a client can be under or overstretched. That is why, StretchLab not only emphasizes intensive training for their employees, but also works with each client to make sure they are paired up with the right Flexologist.
The Nitty-Gritty. How StretchLab Sessions Work.
If you are interested in giving StretchLab a try, you can drop in or sign up for a membership. Members can choose between four to eight visits a month for a 25 minute or 50 minute long stretch. Open seven days a week, from 7 am to 8 pm, it is pretty easy to find an appointment that fits your schedule.
- 25 Minutes – This is a great option for individuals with specific area needs. During this shorter session, Flexologists are able to concentrate on major muscle groups such as the core, back, or hips.
- 50 Minutes – During the longer 50 minute session, Flexologists can focus on all major muscle groups, providing a head-to-toe stretch. This option is recommended for individuals struggling with tight muscles or stiff joints.
The Cherry Hills StretchLab studio is beginning to introduce group sessions to their schedule. Group session participants do not receive the dynamic stretch component. Instead they are guided through a series of standing and seated stretches. Tools such as yoga straps and vibrating foam rollers are intertwined to increase flexibility and mobility.
My StretchLab Experience
StretchLab Cherry Hills recently hosted me and my partner for a 25-minute stretch. Although I heard amazing things about it, I really was not sure what to expect. Any hesitations we had were eradicated as soon as we met our Flexologists, Karina and Jody. We were instantly impressed by their vast knowledge and felt at ease.
Before beginning our stretch, Karina and Jody asked us which muscle group we would like to focus on during our session. After a brief consultation, we were guided through a focused one-on-one assisted stretch session. As we shifted from one position to another, our Flexologists explained what we were going to do next and why. The depth of the stretch heavily depended on the feedback we provided to our Flexologists. Never pushed outside our comfort zone, we felt comfortable and relaxed. We left the stretch feeling educated and inspired to focus more on our recovery. The following morning, during our workout, we felt more limber and energized!
In the words of owner, Dina Silverman “This is just as important as your fitness training. Set your fitness goals to include stretching. Feel better, play better, move better”.