Flexing Its Muscles
By Annika Tomlin
Jennifer Gage was visiting California during a summer trip when she was introduced to StretchLab.
“I play tennis, and I suffered a shoulder injury playing (in California),” Gage says. “A girlfriend of mine had taken me to her Pilates class, and the Pilates instructor asked if anyone there had heard of the new StrechLab that just opened.”
After the class, Gage immediately walked to the StretchLab and booked a session before coming back to Arizona.
Now, Gage is the franchise owner of StretchLab studios in Arcadia, Gainey Village and Grayhawk.
Recently, she opened a studio near Tatum Boulevard and the Loop 101. She hopes to open six additional locations in the next four years.
“We are thrilled to be expanding StretchLab in Arizona,” Gage says. “Stretching caters to everyone from professional athletes to those recovering from injury or those experiencing stiffness from working at home. It’s meant for all ages and body types.
“Our clients can expect a fully customized routine catered to their mobility and goals that will leave them feeling refreshed and reenergized.”
Founded in 2015, StretchLab offers a one-on-one assisted stretching service for clients of all types in a fun and energetic environment to gain a wider range of motion and flexibility. Gage brought the California-based company to Arizona in 2018.
StretchLab is taking all the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of its guests. All staff and clients are required to wear face masks, the number of studio benches have been reduced and spread out, and guests can opt to be stretched outside or schedule a time to be treated alone in the studio.
“I felt so much relief from that single stretch that I had that when I got home, I looked up StretchLab and there wasn’t one in Phoenix,” Gage says.
“I’m the founder of GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center in Phoenix, and I had been in the nonprofit space for the last seven years. I thought the next natural progression would be something in business, and I love the concept (of StretchLab). I believed in it because I was a customer first.”
StretchLab offers a variety of programs. The standard 50-minute stretch is a deep and extensive full-body stretch that focuses on all major muscle groups and extremities.
The maintenance 25-minute stretch concentrates only on major muscle groups and can help alleviate muscle tightness.
In group settings, a “flexologist” guides the class on how to use stretch tools like stretch straps and foam rollers.
“It’s different than massage,” Gage said. “Massage is a wonderful modality. It is very needed, and it gives a sense of immediate relief.
“Stretch is a little bit different because it lasts throughout the week. If you come in once a week for a stretch, you feel it throughout the rest of the week and it allows you to do the things whether you like to play tennis or if you sit at a computer all day. It just really gives our members the ability to be more flexible and feel better.”
To become a “flexologist,” trainers must complete 60- to 70-plus hours of theory and hands-on training. Flexologists use the Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation method in one-on-one sessions to increase range of motion for maximum benefits.
“I really like helping people, and I think when I’m in the studio and I hear a conversation between the ‘flexologist’ and our members, our members feel so much better. They’re making those connections and they’re getting help,” Gage says. “I feel partly responsible for that as far as bringing it here.”
21050 N. Tatum Boulevard, Suite 19, Phoenix
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