Will Stretching Studios be the Latest Boutique Fitness Craze?

After realizing that the majority of her classmates never took time for post-SoulCycle stretches, and that more than 80% of Americans don’t get enough exercise and stretching, HSBC’s former global head of advertising, Dawn Fichot, decided to do something about it. Enter Racked: a mobile stretching concept aiming to focus on post-exercise stretching. Customizable across a various range of needs — running, cycling, tennis or relaxation — class prices start at $40 for a 20-minute stretch.

“We do a lot of things to our body that are slightly unnatural, like sitting for 10 or 12 hours a day looking at screens, or carrying our phone around,” says Fichot, according to Fast Company. “This isn’t the way that our bodies are meant to be moving.” Created in partnership with chiropractor Keren Day, Racked is one of the many deep-stretching studios popping up across the country, named by ClassPass as one of the year’s fastest-growing trends.

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Other stretching gyms and studios creating a name for themselves this year include Strech*d Studio, a model in which instructors hold a client down, using a strap to lengthen limbs for more effective one-on-one stretches. StretchLab is another one-on-one assisted stretching program in which professional “Flexologists” must complete an intensive and thorough Flexologist Training Program before becoming a certified coach. Even mainstream membership-based Massage Envy offers a new head-to-toe stretching service called Streto.

“The thing I love about stretch is that it is literally complementary to everything,” says Anthony Geisler, CEO of stretch and exercise studio Xponential Fitness, noting its importance in nearly every fitness category. “It’s the only modality where nobody tells you it’s bad for you or you could do too much of it. It’s almost like vegetables–people don’t say, oh you’re consuming too much fresh food . . . With stretching, people feel like they did something good for themselves.”

Learn more about stretching experiences here.

Photo credit: StretchLab