A fitness center dedicated entirely to stretching and relaxation has eased into Dallas-Fort Worth. Called Stretch Zone, it offers practioner-assisted stretching at two locations now open: a new-ish one in Dallas at Preston Center, and another in Plano where it made its area debut in 2017.
Two more locations are anticipated to open in DFW in 2019, in Southlake and Fort Worth. There are more than 50 locations across the United States.
Stretch Zone was founded in Florida in 2004 by Jorden Gold, who witnessed the impact of his practitioner-assisted stretching on his grandfather, then on athletes and teams from the NFL, NBA, and other professional sports leagues.
Trainers use equipment to stabilize the body for prime, targeted stretching.
Becca Menhart, who is general manager of Stretch Zone Dallas and Plano, says in a release that it's simultaneously functional and relaxing.
"Everyone's in the best mood when they come to see us," she says. "It's the one time in their day they can relax and zone out without work, meetings or even having to think."
Certified personal trainers, called "stretch practitioners," work in a zone to offer a lighter stretch, which deepens as the session continues. But the goal is never to stretch so deep and evoke pain. The goal is to improve circulation, resting muscle tone, and flexibility.
It sounds like the most deliciously lazy workout in the world, but it really does help. "We have clients come in who didn't feel well enough to even approach a workout," Menhart says.
The concept works with all types of clients with different wellness goals in mind. The minimum age is 14 years old, but many clients are high school athletes.
Clients get strapped to a table to prevent them from falling off. Working one-on-one with a practitioner encourages a relaxed experience that's more efficient than what one could do on their own.
"We like to describe ourselves as an effortless yoga: we do all the work and you get all the benefits," Menhart says.