A few weeks ago, my Instagram scrolling pulled up an ad for my local Stretch Zone, asking if anyone was interested in a complimentary stretch. As you know, I am always up for new things and responded “yes”. Within a few days, I was all set up for my first appointment!
What Is the Stretch Zone?
Stretch Zone is a place where clients can receive practitioner assisted stretching to improve range of motion. They make use of patented strapping, proprietary tables, and “specific measures and protocols to properly position, stabilize, isolate, and manipulate muscles using powerful principles of neuromuscular behavior.”
- feeling lighter and younger
- relief of stiffness and soreness
- enhanced athletic performance
- increase and maintain range of motion
- enhanced physical and athletic skills
What Happens At Intake
When I arrived, I got checked in and sat down with Kyle, the owner of the Stretch Zone near me. I was little nervous: when I arrived, I remembered how very much I hate massages and being touched, especially by people I don’t know. However, Kyle and the other staff members took that in stride, and were absolutely equipped to help eliminate my concerns.
We went through the waiver and forms, which was pretty typical to any physical-centric appointment. Topics of discussion were any health concerns, recent surgeries, or anything that would preclude my receiving an assisted stretch. We also discussed my current flexibility situation (which I feel is non existent) and goals.
Getting Started With The Stretch
After all questions were answered, we moved to the tables, and I put on my socks. Kyle invited me to hop on the table, and he got to work. First was a little, light warmup, where he guided my legs, hips and even ankles through some light circles and pulling. Then it was time to get to work.
We started with my “good” leg, the left side. For my analysis stretch, the focus was going to be on my calves, hamstrings, hips and glutes. Everything on the left got mirrored on the right. Kyle encouraged me to communicate what I was feeling: Stretch Zone uses 3-5-7 to categorize the intensity of the stretch – we want to start at a 3 and work up to a 7.
Deeper Into The Stretch
As Kyle worked, we kept chatting about my running and ways I want to improve. It was a little difficult to lean in and let him to do all the work, but that’s kind of the process. From my perspective, I didn’t feel very much in my right calf, because of my lower foot flexion, so he really had to dig in for that. I also didn’t feel much in my back – the stretches he used felt great, but it was hard to reach what I consider a 7.
On the other hand, there were some hip stretches that felt great, but showed how super tight I am. Also, things that were supposed to come through in my hamstrings, I felt in my quads.
For every stretch he performed, he worked slowly and cautiously, repeating the same move three times, in order to hit the 3-5-7. Each time, he relaxed, and then pushed a little further, until I communicated that level of good stretch, without hurting. There was no pain at any time, nor did he do anything that my body was unable to process.
Interestingly, I seem pretty stretchy by Stretch Zone’s definitions, which was nice to hear, but there are definitely areas where I would love to see improvement.
Reviewing My Results
After stretching, Kyle made some notes in my file: things I liked and didn’t like, as well as stretches that seemed more effective than others. At this point, we discussed our next steps. Stretch Zone recommends coming in at least once a week (with investment packages to match), but we agreed that for someone like me, once every two or three weeks might be most effective. I can also sign up for single sessions on their convenient app.
Try it! Seriously! Stretch Zone offers a free 30 minute trial stretch, so take advantage and see what it’s about.
Obviously, one session isn’t enough to reap all the rewards, but I can tell you I definitely benefitted. The next day, I was a little sore, but not sore enough that I couldn’t participate in my regular activities. I also felt incredibly loose, which showed itself in the length and ease of my stride when running the next day. For someone like me, who battles stiffness and loss of range of motion after injury, this is huge.
I’ll also be honest. Yes, I can stretch myself. No, I won’t do it as often as I should. Having an assisted stretch is definitely a nice way to get it done, when I’m not motivated to do it on my own.
I am linking up with Kookyrunner and Zenaida this Tuesday for Tuesday Topics!
Have you ever tried an assisted stretch?
Darlene S. Cardillo says
I definitely could benefit from this.
I don’t think we have one around here.
My chiro and pt does some of the same stretches and that us covered by insurance.
Covered by insurance is definitely a good thing!
This was VERY interesting to me, because we offer assisted stretch where I work, so I do them every once in a while (we don’t do a lot of stretches since we primarily offer massage.) Honestly, I don’t like being stretched by someone else and I feel like it’s a waste of money to pay for something I could do at home. It was interesting to see how stretch zone’s approach is slightly different than ours (although basically the same idea.) Do you think you’ll go back on a regular basis?
LOL! Here’s your comment!
Oh, and one more thing. Did you ever get your hot stone massage? I’m curious to know what you thought of that.
Meh. I liked the hot stones. But that’s it. Massages just are not my thing.
Wait. Did I ever post my original comment? I was saying I don’t really like assisted stretches because I don’t like someone else stretching me, and I don’t like to pay for something I could just do myself at home. We offer assisted stretch where I work, and it was interesting to hear how Stretch Zone’s is slightly different than ours (although basically the same idea.). Do you think you’ll go back?
I will go back. I CAN stretch, but I don’t like to, and this got in places I don’t think about and really made me feel decent.
Kristen | kristenwoolsey.com says
I have been so curious about these stretch places! I’m so glad you were so detailed here. I’m really interested in trying it out. My legs are always so tight!
Kristen | kristenwoolsey.com recently posted…Spring Cleaning Checklist and Favorite Supplies
It can’t hurt to try!
Deborah Brooks says
We had one of these by me for a while. I really liked it!
Kim G says
I have a stretch place in my city but I haven’t gone there yet. but this sounds really interested. I’ve only been stretched by someone else once, and that was after a race so it was pretty painful. I need to try it again without a race lol
Kimberly Hatting says
My body seems to go in phases of flexibility and tightness (probably in relation to how hard I’m training for a particular race and have limited time to properly stretch before/after workouts). Recently, my PT has been doing some assisted stretches with me, and those feel GOOD! It makes a huge difference having someone extra to help ease you into deeper stretches.
This sounds a bit like the fascia therapist I’ve been going to over the past few months. She has a gadget with which she measures how far she can stretch my legs, spine, arms, shoulders, etc.
My body really feels so much more relaxed after an hour’s session!
Catrina recently posted…Peak No. 11 and a Breakthrough!
Zenaida Arroyo says
I would love to do this! It is something I need to do. There is no Stretch Zone close to me (OK, it is but I would have to drive more than I want to). There is a Stretch Zone close to downtown which is similar to it. The intro price is $49 which isn’t bad.