If your current fitness regime, job, mommyhood, or LIFE has gotten you tighter than those little orthodontic rubber bands you find EVERYWHERE in your house, I’ve got the two best words ever for you: StretchLab. Wait. Hang on. The best THREE best words: StretchLab Giveaway.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s start at the top. StretchLab. Have you heard of it? It’s a locally owned franchise that’s pretty new to the QC. Owners Steve and Stacey Hitzemann, Charlotteans for the past two decades, came across the StretchLab brand after Steve hurt his back when he turned 40 (of course!) and discovered he had some tightness and imbalances and needed to stretch more to continue to lead his active lifestyle. They first opened a location in Dilworth and just opened their second location in SouthPark in the newly revamped Strawberry Hill (PS – they’ve got plans to open four more!). Smack dab between Neckter Juice Bar and Club Pilates sits the StretchLab SouthPark studio, a little piece of heaven waiting for ANYONE – parents, kids, empty-nesters, great grandparents, athletes, travelers, go-getters, Netflix bingers, you name it – to release the tightness and imbalances brought on by, well, life.
StretchLab recently hosted me for a complimentary 50-minute stretch at their SouthPark location. Although I had heard amazing things about it, I really didn’t know what to expect, but I showed up enthusiastically – tight hip flexors, aching shoulders, and all.
The studio was bright, beautiful, and clean. Highly trained “flexologists” with bodywork backgrounds and specialties in areas such as personal training, massage therapy, physical therapy, and/or yoga worked at tables that lined the perimeter of the studio. Gorgeous, original art adorned navy walls – it was really quite something for a health studio – and a cute retail corner beckoned to be noticed.
Before beginning, Stacey asked me to give her a rundown of my life (four kids that I no longer carry in my arms but rather for HOURS in the car, long-distance running, Pure Barre, computer and desk work, you get it) and what my goals were (release tension, create balance, basically make me like Gumby). She introduced me to my flexologist, Nathan (highly recommend), I slipped on my required sticky socks, and we got to work.
Nathan was super at working within my limitations, but also great at helping me push just a little farther to get the maximum stretch. Flexologists get 70+ hours of training via StrethLab and it shows. He guided me through each stretch and made sure to keep the communication lines open between us so I didn’t leave injured. After identifying some areas of tightness and imbalances and working through those, Nathan recommended a plan for my future stretching to help with my running, reduce inflammation, and just keep me doin’ life a bit better.
The Nitty Gritty
Both StretchLab locations are open seven days a week. It’s not a workout per se, but you’ll definitely leave feeling invigorated. You won’t get sweaty, so it’s the PERFECT li’l addition to your day and healthy lifestyle. Workout gear (think leggings or running shorts) is perfect, and like I mentioned above, sticky socks are required. I LOVED the 50-minute option (it wasn’t too long) but would be down for a weekly or bi-monthly 25-minute to reduce my risk of injury and increase flexibility and mobility – especially as I gear up the miles training for a longer-distance race. Stacy tells me that they see all kinds – golfers, tennis players, teens trying to stay injury-free in their respective sports, grandparents who want to be mobile enough to play on the floor with their grandkids. It really is for everyBODY.
Flexologists do monthly assessments on their clients and keep notes on their visits (think coiffure cards for the body!). Love that personal touch. They also offer a first-time intro stretch at 50% of the drop-in rate – $29 for 25-minute stretch and $49 for 50-minute stretch (regularly $49 and $95, respectively). You can do a la carte services OR sign up for the monthly membership. Monthly memberships are obviously the most cost-effective way to be consistent in your stretching routine. Prices start at $149 per month.
You’ll feel seriously lengthened and rejuvenated when you leave StretchLab – promise.
One lucky Smarty reader will win a 50-minute stretch. Value is $49. Head over to our Instagram page (@charlottesmartypants) for all the details – this is an Instagram giveaway! Good luck. 🙂