I repeat: you can book a class dedicated to stretching!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, one of the latest fitness crazes in town is guided stretching. Similar to how you’d book a personal training session or a group fitness class, you can now book one-on-one or group stretching sessions! As someone who constantly puts stretching on the back-burner, I’m jazzed!
I recently had the chance to check out Stretch Relief, and I had the BEST experience. While they offer one-on-one stretching sessions with their trainers, I dropped into one of their small group classes to see what it was like to undergo a guided stretch in a group setting. Nope, not awky, or the likes. To summarize: it was AWESOME.
Stretch Relief offers three different classes, all of which are designed to teach proper stretching technique and, obviously, help you reap all the benefits that come with showing your muscles a little bit of love through stretching.
1. Yoga Stretch (60 min)
2. Endurance Stretch (45 min)
3. Foam Rolling 101 (25 min)
While I was super tempted to try the foam rolling class, I opted for the endurance stretch class for various reasons. 1) I sit at a desk all day and can use a little TLC; 2) I’ve been in boxing beast mode since I started training to instruct at Box + Flow (more of that coming to the blog soon!); and 3) I NEED TO BE FORCED TO STRETCH BECAUSE I ALWAYS “FORGET” TO DO IT. The endurance stretch class is a 45 minute, 8 person class that is designed to release, elongate, and strengthen your muscles. Sounds like a home- run to me.
We started off with some foam rolling and while the pain was excruciating (shocker: I haven’t foam-rolled since the college cheering days), the release was worth every second. Robin, our fearless leader and professional trainer, guided us as we slowly started to work up the body from our calves to our backs. The quads were a KILLER, but I can’t even put into words how great my legs and back felt after we rolled everything out.
After the foam-rolling warm up, we used bands/straps to help us stretch out our hamstrings, IT bands, and inner thighs, which felt AMAZING. I’m not entirely sure what it’s technically called, but my favorite stretch included laying on our backs, lifting one of our legs into the air (perpendicular to the ground) and wrapping the band around the foot. We then let that leg drape across our bodies and we used the band to pull the stretch deeper. It was literally heaven.
We pretty much spent the remainder of the class working on our lower bodies and backs, and I was perfectly okay with it. Robin said that the pace of a typical class moves a lot faster than our class of three did, and the endurance stretch actually includes a strength portion, which we skipped (thank God.) I loved the pace of our class because Robin was listening to what we needed and noticed that certain areas of our bodies needed a little more attention than others. The fact that he crafted the class based on exactly what we wanted was so awesome and it’s great to find a trainer that’s really in sync with the needs of his clients. He was also hands on, super helpful with demonstrations, and actually explained the anatomy of the body so that we could understand what our work was actually doing.
What I also really appreciated about Robin was the fact that after the class, he gave me and another client some easy-to-do stretches at home for our necks and shoulders. I’ve actually been doing them almost every day, and I’m noticing a difference in my upper back (tight from boxing, as I’m sure you could imagine!)
The stretch is obviously amazing, but the best part about Stretch Relief is it’s accessibility. Classes in New York expensive. Getting around is expensive. Breathing the oxygen is expensive. Stretch Relief classes are super fair and run at $25 a class. They also have an unlimited class option for $149 a month if you think you’ll need extra TLC (maybe if you’re running a race, etc!) And attention Classpassers: Classes are available to book through CLASSPASS! Have a few extra credits? Want to try something new? Book through your CP membership! (42credits/class!)
Interested in trying for yourself? You can head here to check out the schedule and book your next class!
Have you ever tried a guided stretch class? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!