THE METHOD EXPLAINED

The Stretch Zone Method® addresses flexibility from a neurological perspective. This is achieved by dealing with the muscle’s nervous tension (“tonus”) to reach an optimal active range of motion. The goal is not to make a person more “flexible” or “elastic,” but rather enable you to move more functionally by re-establishing a more ideal resting muscle tone. By re-educating the associated nerve-muscle reflex, the Stretch Zone Method® leads to movement becoming easier and more efficient.

Rather than creating soreness by pulling on our limbs to extremes, the Stretch Zone Method® works through the nervous system to achieve lasting gains in flexibility and range of motion. The method rests on the notion that changing and re-educating our muscle’s nervous energy is a major factor in unleashing our body’s intended function. This nervous energy, known as the stretch reflex, is our body’s automatic defense against the dangers of over-stretching. Any movement that goes too fast or too far, or is held for too long, will cause your body to resist with the stretch reflex. Once the reflex is activated, your body has effectively said “no more” and resists the stretch. Any further attempt at stretching becomes counter productive and may even cause long term damage.

How it Works

The Stretch Zone practitioners work with the stretch reflex and some lesser known but extremely powerful principles of neuromuscular behavior.  Utilizing our patent pending equipment, our stretch practitioners follow specific methods and protocols to properly position, stabilize, isolate and manipulate muscles in a scientific way.  When your body is correctly stabilized, fear is reduced. Your body is better able to relax and allow for the full stretch. The great benefit of Stretch Zone’s practitioner assisted stretching is the ability to control and alter the timing of and even overcome the stretch reflex.

Consider how a car seatbelt works. If pulled too quickly, the belt locks. If the belt is forced at this point, you are just stretching the material itself and this is where injury occurs. However, if a car seatbelt is pulled smoothly and controlled, the belt will fully extend.

Traditional stretching methods attempt to make you more “flexible” or “elastic”. However, the Stretch Zone Method® works by increasing your active range of motion and the quality of those movements.

How We Help

How We Can Help

Feel Lighter & Younger

Most people are not fully aware of their slow and steady loss of flexibility. Thanks to the modern sedentary lifestyle, starting around 30 something most lose flexibility at an average rate of 1% a year. The cumulative repetition of strains and micro-stresses compounded over time can cause muscles to become “glued together. This “glue” or scar tissue tightens the surrounding tissue and inhibits our range of motion.   It doesn’t take many years until the snowballing loss of flexibility ages you.

Stretch Zone’s isolation of individual muscles within a muscle group breaks up the “glue” and unwraps the strangle hold that one’s own body has on their posture and valuable energy. This restores free movement and balance back to the body.  With proper stretching, you slow down the aging process and even grow younger by improving posture, circulation and easy pain free full range of motion.

Increase & Maintain Range Of Motion

Stretch Zone is not in the business of making people more flexible.  Well, not at least by the traditional definition of flexibility.  Stretch Zone is in the business of re-educating the associated nerve-muscle reflex, which can enhance one’s own ability to move more functionally, with greater active range of motion, and with less effort. You see, our goal is not to make you more “flexible” or “elastic”, but to increase one’s active range of motion, so that you can move further before you even feel a stretch.  Stretch Zone works through the nervous system to achieve lasting “flexibility” gains.

Relieve Stiffness & Soreness

Due to sedentary lifestyles and over worked and stressed muscles, people develop excessive resting muscle residual tension or “tonus.” When you flex a muscle, you create excessive tonus in the muscle for just a moment. When you leave the gym with a pump you have excessive resting muscle tonus for an hour or so. A certain amount of resting muscle tonus is necessary to keep form and posture.  But when you have excessive resting tonus, movement becomes more difficult and cumbersome.  Many people walk around tight and stiff every hour of every day and it’s not from the gym. Stretch Zone works with the central nervous system to re-establish a more ideal resting muscle tone. Stretch Zone is not just about increasing one’s range of motion but in making movement more efficient, effortless, and pain free.

Enhance Physical & Athletic Skills

The Stretch Zone has enjoyed helping many pro-athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB, & ATP reach their athletic best. Sports celebrities from the U.S. Open Champion to the NFL’s Most Valuable Player to the IBF Light Heavyweight Champion of the world have entered the… Stretch Zone.

Enhance Athletic Performance 

  • Discover and enhance physical abilities. The concept of dynamic assisted stretching applied only as a means of a warm up or cool down is archaic. Physical abilities can be discovered and further enhanced when an athlete reaches their optimum functional flexibility.
  • Greater reaction time. A flexible system is an open system, awakening inherent and instinctual movements requiring less thought and greater reaction time. The athlete becomes an automatic, highly responsive system through flexibility, often developing a greater sensory awareness of their surroundings.
  • Spatial awareness, defined as the sensation of the body both internally and with regards to the environment is enhanced with practitioner-assisted-stretching. Athletes who are introduced to practitioner-assisted–stretching learn to sense their bodies, resulting in greater assessment of the state of their muscles and injuries. This awareness aids in developing a greater sense of control and confidence, ultimately determining peak performance.

When flexibility training is done properly and the integrity of the connective tissue and muscle is maintained, one can increase their ‘set muscle length’. This increased active range of motion allows movement to be executed without excessive tension. It also decreases the resistance of the extended muscles and serves as a safe guard against injury.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

Check Out Our FAQs
How much does Stretch Zone cost?

Session prices range depending on the package purchased.  Packages are available that fit most budgets.

What differentiates the Stretch Zone Method® from other modalities?

Naturally, the Stretch Zone Method® has similarities to other modalities, but it has many differences as well. Like Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), Facial Stretch Therapy™ and others, the Stretch Zone Method®, rests on the premise that the limiting factor to achieving full range of motion is not the length or elasticity of muscles but the nervous control of their tension via the stretch reflex.

Yes, AIS, PNF & Facial Stretch Therapy are effective forms of table stretching.

Each works with the nervous system in different ways to achieve optimal flexibility. They all have merit, yet are all limited by their own fundamentalism. Stretch Zone has its methods but is not fanatic about adhering to a specific modality or methodology. The Stretch Zone Method® is not a one size fits all methodology. The only thing that Stretch Zone is dogmatic about is the proper positioning, stabilization, isolation and stretching the muscles in a purposeful order and doing so with some regards to the stretch reflex. Ergo, the Stretch Zone Method® is not just complimentary to, but enhances the effectiveness of many
other modalities.

Another big difference is that the educators of most modalities teach their brands of stretching as a tool for therapists and/or trainers to use to enhance or compliment their trade.

What makes the Stretch Zone most unique is that it’s the only complete proprietary system of methods, protocols, educational workshops, retail applications, staffing, and hardware that includes the innovative Stretch Zone Table and Stretch Zone Conversion kit. Stretch Zone is creating a new vertical in the health/wellness/fitness industries focusing on stretching. Stretch Zone provides services through corporate wellness programs, retail locations, and an extensive educational program.

Is the Stretch Zone Method® Active or Passive?

The Stretch Zone Method® is neither and it is both. You see it depends on the circumstances. For instance, is the stretch before an athletic activity then active? After a marathon it is passive. Many factors such as: Is the muscle in a tonic protective contraction to prevent an injury; is it a muscle in a shorten position from repetitive overuse syndrome; Are you working with a person with a neuromuscular condition (Parkinson’s, M.S. cerebral palsy, etc.) Is the person servilely de-conditioned, or elderly all determine whether the stretch is
passive or active.

How long does the Stretch Zone Method® hold the stretch for?

With regards to tempo, Stretch Zone prescribes to a 2-second hold in some cases 6-8 seconds or longer in others. Research indicates that 2-second holds can work well with weak phasic muscles, but tight tonic postural muscles (i.e. erector spinae) need at least 6-8 seconds to fully respond. We believe that tempo is contingent upon other factors as well, such as… is the stretch before or after an athletic activity. Is it in the morning or evening? Is the stretch for stress reduction, performance or rehab?

Does Stretch Zone utilize any special equipment?

Another difference is that Stretch Zone takes the positioning and stabilization of clients to a whole new level. The patent pending Stretch Zone Stabilization System was built to conveniently convert any standard table (stationary or portable) into a practitioner-assisted stretching table and is easily added to or removed in under a minute. The adjustable belts, pads and straps allow for the speedy extension of muscles further than the central nervous system would normally permit making an imprint on neuromuscular
system.

Is there any science behind what Stretch Zone offers?

Stretch Zone adheres to the practical application of Wolff’s and Sherington’s Laws, the stretch reflex, reciprocal inhibition and some lesser known but extremely powerful principles of neuromuscular behavior.

Think of a car seatbelt. If you pull too quickly it locks. If you continue to force it, you‟re just stretching the material itself—that‟s what it means to micro-strain a muscle, But if you were to pull your car seatbelt nice and smoothly and in control, it will come out much farther.

Rather than pulling on our limbs to the point of soreness, Stretch Zone works through the nervous system to achieve lasting flexibility gains. The method rests on the notion that manipulating our muscle‟s nervous energy is a major key to unlocking our body‟s functional flexibility. This nervous energy, known as the stretch reflex, is our body‟s automatic defense against the dangers of over-stretching. Any movement that goes too far or too fast or is held for too long, past that current active range of motion, your body will resist with the stretch reflex. Once the reflex kicks in, your body has effectively said “no more” and resists the stretch. Any further attempt at stretching becomes futile straining.

Current research shows that if we can avoid the ‘stretch reflex’, our muscles can lengthen by 160 percent. (wang et al 1991)

When your body is stabilized correctly, it doesn’t have fear. It can relax and allow the full stretch to occur. Stretch practitioners are taught to position, stabilize, isolate and manipulate muscles in order to work with that nervous tension. The great benefit of practitioner assisted stretching is the ability to control and alter the timing of and even overcome the stretch reflex.

What are the health benefits working with Stretch Zone?

There are many benefits from working with the muscle tonus (muscle‟s nervous tension) in a scientific way:

The benefits of the Stretch Zone Method® include:

  • Correcting compensational shifts and muscle imbalances
  • Increase and maintain range of motion
  • Enhance physical and athletic skills
  • Improved Sleeping Patterns
  • Increase muscle relaxation
  • Relieve stiffness and soreness
  • Feel lighter & younger
  • Reduction in Stress
Can Stretch Zone improve my game?

The Stretch Zone has enjoyed helping many pro athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB, & ATP to achieve their peak athletic performance. Among the many sports celebrities who have “entered the Stretch Zone” are a U.S. Open Champion, a NFL’s Most Valuable Player, and an IBF Lightweight World Champion.

The Stretch Zone system has been successfully adopted by several professional NBA and NFL teams.

The Stretch Zone Method® (SZM) can assist the athlete and coach with all three phases of conditioning: The General Training Phase, the Preparatory/Competitive Phase and the Recovery Phase. The Stretch Zone Method’s ® practitioner-assisted stretching has the ability to accelerate recovery from workouts or competition, increase work capacity and enhance physical performance. Athletes will develop greater body awareness, greater fluid movement patterns, and will be able to generate more power through a symmetrical use of muscle groups that are not affected by habitual compensatory muscle shift. With a balanced system, the athlete will reach their true maximum potential. Armed with a systematic approach to training, the SZM® is best able to help an athlete be fully prepared for competition, as well to recover both mentally and physically afterwards. Athletes who are introduced to the SZM® learn to better sense their body condition, resulting in a greater understanding of the state of their muscles and helping to prevent and limit injuries. This awareness aids in developing a greater sense of control and confidence, ultimately affecting peak performance.

Who is the Stretch Zone really targeted for?

Stretch Zone is for anyone wanting an active lifestyle: One that allows you to strengthen your performance in every area: from perfecting that swing on the golf course to reaching down to tie a shoe lace. Whether you are repetitive walking, climbing stairs, or sitting long hours at the desk, getting stretched is important.

Stretch Zone “re-educates the muscles,” which often result in baby boomers living a more active lifestyle. Whether you are repetitive walking, climbing stairs, and sitting long hours at the desk, getting stretched is
important.

Will stretching make me taller?

Yes, proper stretching can help you grow and/or appear 1-2 inches taller by:

  • Expanding the cartilage between your bones.
  • Correcting muscle imbalances can improve your posture and effectively add 1-2 inches
Will I be sore after stretching?

Not as long as you don‟t compromise the integrity of the muscle, fascia and other connective tissue, there should be no soreness. However sometimes there are adhesions that are making muscles to be “glued” together inhibiting your full range of motion. The precise isolating and stretching of these muscles can cause these adhesions to break-up resulting in a minor soreness similar to that felt after lifting weights.

This is different from over-stretching where  you have stretched the muscle beyond what is normal and caused damage to the fibers. Stretch Zone improves your range of motion without compromising the
integrity your joints or muscles.

I have a Hip Replacement, can I get stretched?

YES

Hip replacement traditional posterior approach

  • No adduction (crossing the affected leg past the midline of the body) for 3 months, and limited adduction for another 3 months after that.
  • No internal rotation for 3 months, and limited internal rotation for another 3 months after that.
  • No flexion past 90 degrees for 6 months, and limited flexion past 90 degrees for another 6 months after that.

Hip replacement anterior approach

The conservative cautions are opposite to those for the posterior approach:

  • Limited abduction (separating legs at wide angle) for 6 months.
  • Limited external rotation (turning thighs out) for 6 months.
  • Limited extension (stretching backward) of the hip joint for one year.
Who does the stretching with Stretch Zone?

Most Stretch Zone practitioners begin as massage therapists, sports physiologists, personal trainers, physical therapists or chiropractors and seek additional training through the Stretch Zone Institute’s thorough certification training program. Using the proprietary Stretch Zone Stabilization System, they are taught to position, stabilize, isolate and manipulate muscles in a purposeful order while working with that nervous energy through hands-on training. Once certified, practitioners are also required to earn continuing education credits every two years. Practitioners perform the Stretch Zone Method® in spas, fitness centers, physical therapy offices, chiropractic and massage offices, privately at home and the workplace.

Does Stretch Zone partner with local gyms, health practitioner offices and more?

Stretch Zone has a growing network of locations and practitioners across the United States, including 30 locations in South Florida, six in New York City including Bliss Spas, the PGA Resort & Spa in Palm Beach County as well as new practitioners and sites debuting in Washington D.C., North Carolina, New Jersey, Up-state New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and more opening weekly.

The company has newly formed partnerships with the St. Louis Rams and with Educating Hands School of Massage, one of the country‟s top massage schools. Stretch Zone has various business relationships including licensing and direct-to-the-public service via the Corporate Wellness Division.

I have read an article arguing against stretching being beneficial?

In short, there are too many mysteries and variables in muscle and connective tissue physiology, too many different stretching methods, and too many vague goals for it to ever be possible to categorically say that stretching does not “work.” What kind of stretching, and for what? For every answer about stretching there are ten more questions and for every safe assumption there‟s a selection of exceptions.

The origin of most of the bad press on Stretching is coming from a meta-analysis on ‘stretching and injury prevention’ called (The Impact of Stretching on Sports Injury- Risk: A Systematic Review of the Literature) where the majority of the studies were on static stretching vs. injury prevention on runners. This review is not very comprehensive in scope and with so few controls and way too many variables to be
meaningful.

Some authors have cherry picked from individual parts of the mega study to justify their biases. The problem is that the „authors reviewing the study‟ start by saying that the evidence was not of sufficient strength, quality, and generalizability for their opinion to be worthy. “That further research, especially with well-conducted randomized controlled trials, is urgently needed. And ends with…”In conclusion, there is not sufficient evidence to endorse or discontinue routine pre- or post-event stretching to prevent injury
among competitive or recreational athletes.”

The biggest part of the health and fitness care community widely advocates stretching as an essential part of
fitness and well-being.

How does Stretch Zone compare to massage?

Massage stimulates mostly superficial muscles. Stretching can activate the deep postural muscles… For example to massage the psoas, massage therapists must dig their fingertips deep between the superficial muscles of the groin area (not very comfortable to the client). Where via stretching, the Psoas can be isolated and stretched throughout its entire length without pain or discomfort.

Stretching is more appealing to men. Men do not have the same issues getting stretched by another man as they do getting
massaged by another man.

Stretching is with the clothes on and requires no draping. Can be performed in public and therefore create a buzz of interest from
people walking by.

The results of proper stretching are felt and measured instantly. ( I can touch the floor for the first time in (x) years)

And before you ask…

Yoga & Pilates are not synonyms for stretching!!!

Yoga n.

  1. A Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility. 2. A system of exercises practiced as part of this discipline to promote control of the body and mind.

Yoga is used to prepare the body and mind for meditation and healing from everyday stress. Yoga means “to join or yoke together,” and it brings the body and mind together into one harmonious experience. What most people associate with Yoga practice is Hatha Yoga which incorporates physical movements and postures, plus breathing techniques. The long held “stretches” within Yoga are to get into and maintain postures. The real purpose of practicing yoga postures is to develop the strength of body and calmness of mind in order to sit in meditation for 30-60 minutes without moving. This is far from the goal of achieving functional
flexibility.

Pilates n.

  1. Pilates (/pɪˈlɑːteɪz/;[1] German: [piˈlaːtəs]) is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, and popular in many countries, including Germany,[2] the United States and the United Kingdom.

Pilates is a body conditioning routine that may help build muscle tone, balances musculature, supports correct posture, and teaches to move with ease and grace. The Pilates method seeks to develop controlled movement from a strong core and it does this using a range of apparatus to guide and train the body. Each piece of apparatus has its own repertoire of exercises and most of the exercises done on the various pieces of Pilates apparatus are resistance training since they make use of springs to provide additional resistance. Pilates Principles are: concentration, control, centering, flow or efficiency of movement, precision and
breathing.

Again, where Yoga is used to prepare the body and mind for meditation and Pilates is a body conditioning routine… the Stretch Zone is about creating functional flexibility.

TESTIMONIALS

What Our Customers Have To Say
Debbie

I’ve been going now for 20 weeks, back pain gone, sciatica pain gone.

Rick

Stretch Zone is critical for the lifestyle I want to achieve.

Sue

As a teacher, I look forward to stretching to ease the tension from the day. Love this place!

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