There’s a new group of businesses on the block, ready to repair sore muscles after those tough lunchtime gym sessions and loosen up keen golfers’ arms for a better swing.
The rise of inner-city workouts and bad posture has created a brand new niche, reports The New York Times this week: stretching exercises.
The value of the simple stretch has been lost in a vortex of CrossFit, yoga and strength classes, and entrepreneurs in Boston, New York and Los Angeles are now promising they can “re-educate” the muscles of adults to improve flexibility and bring people’s focus back to slow movements.
At Power Stretch studios in New York, for example, clients can work towards being able to touch their toes for the first time in years, after taking a series of one-on-one sessions for around $100 a pop.
“There are all these peak fitness places that have popped up. People go five times a week and their muscles are very overworked and contracted,” founder Hakika “Kika” V. DuBose tells the New York Times, reflecting on the appeal of her business.
On Facebook, the business explains that the “Kika” method is about encouraging its users not to give up and to give things a go.
Sports and exercise fads are nothing new, particularly in cities like New York, experts say, but businesses are capitalising on an enthusiasm for stretches at the right time. The pendulum is swinging back from exercise businesses that promise intense workouts to those promoting mindfulness and relaxation.
Then there’s another promise from Power Stretch that could get punters through the door and keep them there: “Come and find out your ‘stretch age’ from one of our amazing stretching coaches,” the business promises on social media.
A quick look at one’s muscles and the Power Stretch staff will be able to give the customer their “real age” based on their ability to stretch—along with a new target age to work towards.