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Exclusive: This new studio is dedicated to fitness insiders’ latest obsession—stretching


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Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

When you’re known for creating one of the hardest workout classes in New York City, what do you do for a second act? For SLT founder Amanda Freeman, the answer was to do what appears to be a fitness 180—open a studio where the sole focus is stretching.

On May 13, she and her business partners, Vanessa Chu, Jeff Brannigan, and Jeremy Mayer, are launching Stretch*d the latest in a growing list of prehab/rehab-specific studios (see: ReCOVER, NapYork, Stretch Lab, and Le Stretch), where the goal is to get your stretch—rather than your sweat—on and loosen up.

“With the rise of boutique fitness and texting, coupled with an aging Boomer and Generation X population, never before have there been so many people living with tightness and pain in need of a good stretch,” says Freeman. “We’ve seen the emergence of various recovery and self-care techniques and spaces devoted to them. Stretching is the most beneficial way to recover from the wear and tear of daily life.”

“Stretching is the most beneficial way to recover from the wear and tear of daily life.”

Located in the Flatiron neighborhood of Manhattan, Stretch*d will offer one-on-one assisted stretch appointments with movement experts called Stretch*rs (cute name, right?), all of whom have past bodywork experience and go through a strict training program to learn the Stretch*d method. (If you’ve ever taken one of SLT’s Megaformer classes, you know what a stickler Freeman is for talent and execution.)

You have the option to book three different services: Quick*e (25 minutes for $45), Flex*d (55 minutes for $100), E*longated (75 minutes for $135) inside one of eight semi-private rooms. All sessions will have the option to add 5 or 10 minutes, at the cost of $2 per minute. For those who really want to amp up their stretch game, monthly membership options are available ranging from $120 for three Quick*e sessions to $480 for three E*longated sessions.

“The space is high-end feeling; we want it to feel personalized, and we have lots of cute touches,” says Freeman. “There are cool quotes on the ceiling that relate back to stretching, a funhouse mirror where you look lengthened…we’re not taking ourselves too seriously. It’s playful, but luxurious and modern.”

There’s also an area to stretch or foam roll on your own, get cozy in a massage chair, use PowerDot electronic muscle stimulation, or slip into a pair of NormaTec compression boots (for $5–$20 depending on the add-on). Not in the mood to actually go to the studio? Not a problem. Similar to popular on-demand massage services Zeel and Soothe, the company will offer a Home Stretch*d option in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn for people who want to stretch in the comfort of their own home or office, starting at $150.

“We want to create something that’s for everybody and every body,” says Chu. “Stretching has been around. It’s not a brand new thing. But the problem is that it’s usually an afterthought. People leave their spin class before stretching because they don’t have time for it, and it’s hard to make it a priority when you’re doing it yourself. We’re here to help change that, and keep your bodies healthy.” And if it can help counteract a bad case of computer neck or sad desk bod, all the better.

If you’re looking for a way to loosen up and aren’t in New York, check out these massage ball stretches you can do on your own or the WGS (world’s greatest stretch)

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