We’ve all been guilty of sneaking out of class before that end stretch or skipping the post-run stretch because we have a million other things on our to-do lists. We also know that stretching is really important when it comes to keeping your muscles warm and helping them recover. Even if you have to sneak out of class early, getting a stretch in later in the day will still prove beneficial.
If there is one person that knows the importance of stretching, it’s Stretch*d co-founder and COO Vanessa Chu. Stretch*d is the stretching destination, offering personal one-on-one stretching sessions with trained “Stretch*rs.” From when to stretch to the benefits, Vanessa is sharing all of her stretching wisdom below.
When it comes to stretching, what’s the most important thing to keep in mind?
It's important to remember that consistency is key when it comes to stretching. Even stretching for 5-10 minutes a day is better than nothing at all. You also don't have to stretch immediately before or after a workout. If you don't have time, it's ok. Stretching later is still better than not stretching at all!
What do people tend to get wrong about stretching?
As mentioned, with stretching, people tend to think that they must do a full, comprehensive stretch immediately before or after a workout. Even if you do your stretching a few hours later, your body will still reap benefits.
Also, people think that stretching is supposed to hurt. It's not! Our method at Stretch*d is designed to be gentle and pain-free. Feeling a sensation is good, if you are highly mobile in a particular area, you may not feel a strong sensation but that's ok. Even just getting blood flow and mobility to that area still has benefits. Pain is not the game when it comes to stretching.
What is the biggest difference between stretching before and stretching after a workout?
The goal of stretching before a workout is to make the muscle more ready to withstand strenuous weight or movement. Dynamic stretching in particular warms the muscles up by sending blood flow to them. This helps prevent injury.
Stretching after a workout reduces inflammation and soreness. The boost of circulation that comes with dynamic stretching helps flush out waste matter and toxins that contribute to soreness.
How long should you be holding a stretch for it to be effective? And how my “reps” should you be doing?
The Stretch*d Method is based on active isolated stretching, which is dynamic and movement based. In this method, we don't hold stretches for any longer than 2-3 seconds. We do sets of multiple reps (10-12) to gently build flexibility with each rep. The reason why we apply this method is because we believe it is the safest, most effective way of stretching that can be applied to almost any body.
What are some easy ways to enhance your stretching routine?
We love enhancement tools! We designed a custom Stretch*d strap that helps assist you into stretch*s you do own your own at home. While you might not have the extra hands of a Stretch*r at all times, you can at least you this strap to make your toes feel a little closer to your nose!
We also use the Hypervolt percussive massage gun during sessions to help break up knots or muscle adhesions to improve the effectiveness of the stretch.
We also are fans of CBD. We use a CBD cream during the stretch to also help relax the muscles and reduce inflammation.
Visit Stretch*d at 27 W 20th Street, New York, NY 10011