If intense boot camps and sweating a lake (or two) have deterred you from the gym, then maybe this new workout trend is more up your alley: Stretching. Yep, passive stretching (in which resistance comes from gravity or the body weighing down on itself) can be your entire workout. Here’s what you need to know.
Wait, why stretching? The big wave of Cross Fit-type workouts has actually led to an appreciation of passive mobility, increased range of motion and that whole recovery aspect of exercise. (Yeah, we’re guilty of skipping that part, too.) Think about it: All those jacked-up muscles from your intense workouts need to relax.
So where can I do it? Boutique places to get your stretch on (with some guidance) are popping up all over Los Angeles. Here are a few to try:
The Venice location has a 1,620-square-foot “stretch lounge” with 30-minute classes that focus on the same muscles (abs, rear end, arms, etc.) that were sculpted in that day’s classes.
Here, physical therapists and personal trainers are dubbed “flexologists.” They lead you one-on-one through your limbering up, and it’s tailored to whatever your fitness or pain relief goals are (from 20 minutes for $25). So it’s sort of like a massage, but bendy.
With two locations in the San Diego area, this studio caters to everyone from couch potatoes to triathletes. The assisted stretch sessions are designed to encourage a fuller functional range of motion while also eliminating stiffness, pain and fatigue.
Now how often should I go? A stretch sesh should come following or before a bigger muscle workout. While we wish all workouts could be passive stretching, it’s all about balance.