Hello! I’m super bendy and excited to share some tips on stretching with you today. I’m working with Massage Envy to learn about their new and tried and true services to share information with you. Massage Envy has … massages (Hey Captain Obvious!) but they also have several types of facials and assisted stretching. Over the next 3 months I’m going to try a service in each of those categories and share my thoughts and tips on how to optimize each area for runners.
This week I tried the Assisted Stretch Service. I didn’t even know they offered this! If you’ve followed Run Eat Repeat for more than 3 minutes you know I talk about stretching all the time. I know stretching is very important – especially for runners! I interviewed a Sports Medicine Doctor about injury prevention in runners and she told me we should be stretching after EVERY run. I told her I try to stretch after 2 runs a week and she was not budging on her suggestion.
In related news… that RUNNER BINGO game I posted on Instagram only had 1 person get ALL the spaces filled. But several people got all except 1 square… the 1 square was “Stretched After Every Run”. Busted!!
So, I’m sharing my experience with Assisted Stretching at Massage Envy and some tips on How to Measure if You’re Stretching Enough.
Bonus: I ran the OC Half Marathon last weekend and Massage Envy was there in full force. They turned the post-race party into a massage party and gave free massages to the runners!! Isn’t that the best??!!
Assisted Stretching at Massage Envy
The company has a proprietary stretching method called the Streto Method. It was created by a chiropractor, massage therapist and an ergonomist to stretch your whole body with the assistance of a therapist.
I had never done assisted stretching before. It’s something that makes me think of professional athletes! I’ve seen a lot of runner documentaries and I just picture elite runners doing this with a stretch coach after a workout. It’s fancy!! So, I was super excited to try it myself.
The Assisted Stretch Session: You stay full clothed and the stretch specialist explains how the session works. They do a top to bottom stretch starting with your neck and targeting major muscle groups down your body. You hold each stretch for 60 seconds, breathing through it and focusing on relaxing the target area.
The stretch therapist will help you hold each stretch, make sure you are targeting the right area and support you in proper form. They keep track of the time and encourage you to breathe through it.
My favorite take-away from the session was the Stretch Scale. It makes so much sense – but this isn’t something we use when we’re stretching alone!!
Once you’re in the right position the Stretch Specialist will help you get a complete, challenging stretch of your muscles – but to avoid injury they ask where you are on a scale of 1 to 10. Ideally you should hold each stretch when you’re around a ‘6’ on the scale. If you are not challenging your body – you won’t get the full benefits of the session. But if you are pushing too hard you can get injured. It’s important to listen to your body and adjust as needed.
I really enjoyed it and it made me feel so fancy. This is something elite athletes do!! And they offer 30 minute sessions for stretching!
Envy offers a monthly membership where you get one 60 minute service. Since the Assisted Stretching offers 30 minute sessions you can do 2 of those instead. That’s perfect for someone who needs a lot of stretching support while training for a race.
I did the session a few days after the half marathon. I think it was perfect timing for me to check in with my body and make sure I was recovered from the race so I could move forward with training for my my next race.
They also gave me a list of stretches I could do at home.
I realized that we often stretch solo and don’t check in with each move to make sure we’re pushing it enough but not too much. The 1 to 10 scale reminded me!!
Anytime you stretch – aim to stretch yourself to a 5 or 6 on the effort level scale. You should feel a good stretch and be able to breathe through any tightness without pain. If it’s too challenging you’ll tense up and not be able to relax into the stretch or you get hurt yourself!
Check out this How to Stretch Scale for a guide on how much to push each stretch.
You can get more information on Massage Envy here.
Question: Did you stretch today?
This post is sponsored by Massage Envy. All opinions are my own.
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