If we missed something, please send us an email.
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 SZM®, 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®, Inc. provides services through licensing agreements, 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 deconditioned, 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, SZ 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® Conversion Kit was built to conveniently convert any standard massage 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 the 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 overstretching. 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 the Stretch Zone®?
There are many benefits from working with the muscle tonus (muscle’s nervous tension) in a scientific way:
The benefits of the SZM® 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® 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 overstretching 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?
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® Conversion Kit on a massage table, 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, Upstate 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!!!
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.
1. Pilates (/ p ɪ ˈ l ɑː t eɪ z /; German: [piˈlaːtəs]) is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, and popular in many countries, including Germany, 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.