Jeremy Mayer (chief Stretch*r), co-founders Vanessa Chu and Amanda Freeman, and Jeff Brannigan (chief Stretch*r) pictured in front of the new Stretch*d studio in the Rye Ridge Shopping Center, which is now offering virtual sessions.
Stretching to Great Lengths Virtually
By Georgetta L. Morque
Runners, cyclists, desk sitters, Type A’s, over-exercisers, and, more recently, the stressed and homebound, will find needed relief for tight and sore muscles from Stretch*d, a personalized one-on-one assisted stretch studio that opened in early March at the Rye Ridge Shopping Center. While temporarily closed due to the coronavirus, stretching continues virtually. In fact, it appears to be having a resurgence with assisted stretching as one of the latest trends.
At Stretch*d, specialized professionals help individuals achieve a more comprehensive and deeper stretch to help reduce pain and stress, increase range of motion and flexibility, and aid in recovery and relaxation. Co-founder and COO Vanessa Chu feels the current focus on stretching is a response to the proliferation of intense workouts. “Most people are not used to working out this hard and ending up sore or injured,” said Chu. A former competitive gymnast and collegiate springboard diver, she knows first-hand the importance of recovery, which she sees as a missing piece in many workouts today.
Chu and co-founder and CEO Amanda Freeman, a health and wellness industry guru, opened their first studio two years ago in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. Freeman is also the founder of the popular SLT (Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone) studios, one of which is located at the Rye Ridge Shopping Center, and co-founder of Vital Juice. She has an MBA from Harvard. Chu, the niece of former Rye City Councilman Franklin Chu, had worked in the wellness industry with Organic Avenue and Project Juice and is also a certified yoga teacher. She has an MBA from Columbia and worked previously in investment banking and asset management.
Together, they aim to provide the best stretch experience possible.
The digital Stretch*d program, similar to its in-person sessions, offers 30-minute, customized, one-on-one consultations with a pro Stretch*r who will advise and demonstrate stretches that can be done at home with or without a partner. Sessions can be tailored to individual’s needs, problem areas, and goals, such as desk stretches for work-at-home, as well as stretching for relaxation and for better sleep. Pro Stretch*rs have backgrounds in body work — massage therapy, yoga, personal training, and other modalities. They also undergo specialized training in Stretch*d’s proprietary method. In addition, Stretch*d will be hosting live stretching classes via Instagram live and through its native Instagram feed.
Appropriate for all, from those with mobility disorders to elite athletes, Stretch*d offers dynamic stretching with movement, along with a warm-up and cool down. There are 60 different exercises with modifications and variations. Short repetitions are utilized to slowly build flexibility.
When Stretch*d reopens at 13 Rye Ridge Plaza, customers can look forward to a serene atmosphere with nature-inspired green colors, six beds for stretching, and a playfulness in the fun messages on the walls, such as “Get Loose” and “Psoas I was saying…..”
For more information, visit stretchdspace.com.
— Photos by Phoebe Cheong Photography