There is nothing like a good stretch.
One of the most positive changes in the Fitness Industry over the past several years is the emphasis on recovery, and stretching. There used to be this mentality of no pain no gain. I'm really pleased that's shifting a bit to focus on a more well rounded approach that maximizes results.
Don't get me wrong there are still crazy tough workouts out there. And studios that will claim to be the "hardest workout of your life" (not always a positive thing but that's for another post.)
I love to sweat , but I know the power of stretching and recovery is KEY to results.
Generally we (consumers) are starting to "get" that bodies need a chance to recover. I've even seen a shift with many of my personal training clients. Whereas a few years back some of them used to want to skip stretching altogether (because they had trouble understanding the necessity.) Now they are all for it.
Recently a 30 year-old client told me she felt like a creaky old lady when going more than a day or two without stretching. I get it. When I'm not stretching enough my body isn't happy.
Why stretch? Here are just some of the benefits:
- Improved athletic performance, and deeper workout gains.
- Better mental health. Stretching releases endorphins which triggers a more positive outlook, and feeling of well being.
- Prevents injuries and overuse.
- Boosts energy by increasing blood flow.
- Improves posture. This is so key these days - so many of us are suffering from tech neck!
So with all this mind the NYC based studio Stretch Relief is here for you.
Even if you aren't a New Yorker read on for more insight on why stretching is crucial.
When Stretch Relief reached out to offer me complimentary sessions I was immediately interested because I genuinely believe in their mission. (Disclaimer - I will always say no thanks to any partnerships that don't make sense or align with my values as a Fitness Professional.) Scroll to the end of the post for my discount code!
Stretch Relief is a highly specialized fitness and wellness studio. Currently they have locations on the Upper East Side, Midtown and Financial District. And will soon be opening studios in NoMad, Hudson Yards, and Brooklyn.
During my first personalized assisted stretching session at the beautiful NYC Midtown Madison Ave location I was greeted by Elizabeth - a professional stretcher. She was lovely, and explained that the professional stretchers work with your body - meaning they'll never push you too far. She asked me how my body was feeling, if I had any muscle imbalances, current or old injuries etc.
All new clients are given a professional movement assessment designed by Corrective Exercise Specialists. The process is painless, and really helps identify how to get the most from your session(s).
Elizabeth warmed me up with a hypervolt machine - a vibrating massage device. I loved this thing. It felt like an electronic massage. Next we did a full body stretch. She consistently checked in with me to ask how the stretches felt.
(There are options to focus on lower body or upper body as well as full body sessions.)
You definitely don't need to be flexible. Whether you sit at a desk all day with little chance to move and rarely exercise OR if you're a seasoned runner or yogi you'll get so much out of deep stretching.
Guys. I felt so good after this session. My whole body was looser, and it was as though my blood was flowing more efficiently... And this is coming from someone who stretches a lot, but stretching with a professional is a different thing.
My second Stretch Relief experience was a Yoga Stretch class. Going in I wondered what to expect.
I took the class at the FiDi location - the room was peaceful, and quiet with a convenient locker room connected.
I really liked the structure of the class. It was similar to a traditional yoga class. But with an added emphasis on holding poses for maximum benefit.
The instructor, Joi, had amazing energy. The playlist was on point, too.
Again I left feeling calm, and rejuvenated.
To be honest I'm writing this from my desk chair where I've been most of the day, and already feel like I need to get back to Stretch Relief.
I predict - and hope! - that there will be a lot more stretching studios popping all over the country. This is a trend that isn't going away.