Business Matters: Plymouth’s StretchLab Adds Flexibility to Every Body
Whether you’re an accomplished athlete or a worker with a desk job, there’s another way to improve your mobility and reduce injury.
At StretchLab in Plymouth, Kevin Heck is helping to work out a common problem.
“Most people have really tight hamstrings and calf muscles,” Heck said.
StretchLab is a first-of-its-kind business in Minnesota that’s helping people do something many of us don’t do enough of: stretching.
“Most of the time when people, say their back is sore. Usually their hamstring, or their IT [band] or their glutes or something is tight,” said Heck.
Karla and Shawn Van Drehle opened the franchise in Plymouth. There’s a second location in Minneapolis and a third is coming soon to Maple Grove in the next six to nine months.
“Something that really sells us is that it’s for everybody,” said Karla Van Drehle. “It doesn’t matter, men, women, what age you are. If you work out a ton. If you’re a corporate person, if you’re a student-athlete. It’s for every body.”
StretchLab Provides Really Deep Stretch
StretchLab focuses on the kind of stretching we can’t do on our own. Specially-trained workers called flexologists are here to help.
Anna Twinem showed myself how the stretching works. First, she pulls and shakes out the legs to warm them up. She then applies pressure to the legs, until you feel about a 7 out of 10 on the pain scale.
“You want tension, but no pain,” said Twinem.
Twinem does a special stretching technique called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), which contracts and relaxes the muscles several times to give a really deep stretch.
“Consistency is key. Whether it’s once a week for 50 minutes or twice a week for 25 minutes,” said Twinem.
Individualized Stretching for Every Age
StretchLab has a special computer that uses a camera and sensing technology that measures your movement while squatting, then standing straight. The scan shows areas of your body that need improvement. Mine revealed tightness in the hips and hamstrings.
Karla Van Drehle says assisted stretching not only helps improve athletic performance, but helps with everyday life, no matter your age.
“For someone who couldn’t get in the bathtub, to step up and over. And after a month coming to StretchLab, she’s able to do those daily tasks that she wasn’t able to do,” she said.
Van Drehle said stretching assisted another client with driving by helping to improve tightness in the neck area.
For Mike McMillan, it helped with really tight hamstrings.
“It felt refreshing,” said McMillan, a first-time customer.
StretchLab provides 25 and 50-minute stretch sessions and has times available seven days a week. And you don’t need to wear workout clothes. Some clients come in their suits.
“Some people are saying it’s a stress reliever, better than a message,” said Van Drehle. “It just helps their day, helps their week.”