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Does Getting Stretched Really Make a Difference?

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Getting stretched is not just a trend. People of all ages and fitness levels are exploring assisted stretching because of its amazing benefits. But many who are still familiar are asking, does getting stretched really make a difference? Can’t I get these same benefits by stretching on my own? Let’s explore what happens when you get stretched and why an assisted stretch is more impactful than just stretching on your own!

What Does it Mean to Get Stretched?

Stretching is the act of extending or lengthening a muscle or group of muscles, usually through a series of movements or positions. Assisted stretching involves a partner assisting the person in holding the stretch longer and deeper. 

While stretching alone requires the person to actively move through a series of movements and positions, assisted stretching is primarily passive for the person getting stretched! The partner, typically a professional, moves the person’s limbs through the stretches and controls them to achieve deeper stretches. This allows for a more targeted stretch, potentially accessing muscles and areas that may be difficult to reach when stretching alone.

 

Solo Stretching vs assisted stretching at StretchLab

 

Stretching on your own is important and should be part of everyone’s daily routine! When paired with assisted stretch sessions, it can help improve flexibility and mobility in a shorter time frame.

“StretchLab Became My Regular Sanctuary”

People all over the country are looking to get stretched because they’ve seen the real impact it can have. At StretchLab, we see people with various needs seek our assisted stretching services because they know it can help them, such as Ashley S.

Ashley, a StretchLab member in Wake Forest, NC, is a fitness fanatic that juggles strength training, cardio, and yoga. She also has a career in Healthcare IT, making her no stranger to long hours in front of a computer with aches in her neck, back, chest, and hips. She combats this with regularly stretching as part of her pre-and-post workout ritual. “Yes, the ability to casually bend over with straight legs and touch the floor at parties is my secret flex,” jokes Ashley.

However, life threw Ashley a curveball when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. “Suddenly, my DIY stretching routine wasn't cutting it,” shares Ashley. This is when she decided to seek out assisted stretching. “Little did I know, this decision would unravel the atrophied mysteries of my body, and StretchLab became my regular sanctuary”.

 

“He’s my stretch confidant and comrade in flexibility”

 

Ashley immediately saw the value in getting stretched, stating, “why not let an expert handle the stretch game?” She cites her Flexologist, Cameron Z, as “an unexpected delight,” saying he turned out to be the stretch maestro she never knew she needed. They partnered together on a weekly basis for a year, focusing on easing Ashley’s tension and pain points while also sharing life stories. 

“Cameron isn't just my go-to stretch guru; he's my stretch confidant and comrade in flexibility. Who knew that stretching, beyond being a physical therapy, could be an unexpected source of amusement and the catalyst for newfound friendships? StretchLab, where professionalism meets playful stretches and unexpected connections!”

StretchLab member sharing why she gets stretched

The Difference of an Assisted Stretch

As we saw, assisted stretching can have added benefits vs just stretching on your own. Getting stretched allows you to:

  • Get a deeper stretch
  • Hold the stretch longer
  • Relax while someone else does the stretching for you

Another important element of assisted stretching is the incorporation of Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching. PNF stretching involves contracting muscles, usually through a push and release technique. This technique helps the muscles get into a deeper stretch, allowing for better improvement in flexibility and range of motion.

While PNF can be done when stretching alone, it still requires the assistance of at least an inanimate object to provide resistance. Stretching with a partner can provide better resistance and control of the limbs and muscles. 

At StretchLab, PNF stretching is regularly incorporated into each of our stretch sessions. A Flexologist partners closely with every member to understand their needs and goals, design a custom program, and ensure members don’t ever strain or push themselves too far during a stretch. As Ashley S said, our Flexologists are here to be your stretch confidant and comrade in flexibility!

See for yourself the difference getting stretched can make for your flexibility. Find your nearest StretchLab to get started.

 

Contributed by Ashley S, member at StretchLab Wake Forest


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