Making Moves

Stretch Lab helps Evansville limber up

Human bodies are workhorses. Whether from manual labor, physical activity, or even illness and stress, our muscles absorb tension that they can’t always release.

StretchLab owners John and Tammy James know this firsthand. John needs to exercise his post-operation knee to ward off stiffness. Tammy’s father suffers from the body rigidity that comes along with Parkinson’s disease. Both sources of muscle tension are miles apart, but stretching helps each.

After learning about the franchise’s assisted stretching services in late 2021, the Henderson, Kentucky, couple started making inquiries and visited parent company Xponential Fitness’ corporate office in South Carolina for their first stretch. (Xponential Fitness brands in Evansville include Club Pilates, CycleBar, Pure Barre, and a Rumble Fitness location opening in September next door to StretchLab.) A two-day training session in Irvine, California, followed, and the Jameses were hooked, even becoming certified in personal training themselves in preparation for opening their own studio.

Twelve flexologists and one lead flexologist staff Evansville’s location. All have a degree or certification in body training. “Flexes,” as they’re often called, have different backgrounds — such as playing sports, dancing, or personal training — that give them first-hand experience in body movement. And that’s the goal: to help clients’ bodies become limber and stronger.

“If you get stretched and move better, you can do other types of activity,” John says. “It’s a gateway.”

Evansville Living visited StretchLab in early July, shortly after StretchLab opened its location at 6432 E. Florida St., Ste. 103. By then, the word was out: StretchLab’s Evansville membership count already had crossed 300.

The Scoop

Each first-timer is scanned while performing a squat to measure their flexibility and range of motion. Flexologists customize a one-on-one session of stretches targeted to those test results, and then it’s time to hit the table. Lying down or sitting up, clients engage in a variety of gentle, slow-moving 60-second stretches designed to relax tense muscles. Clients may find their legs crossed to stretch their quads, arms positioned overhead to benefit their shoulders, or reaching for their toes to limber up their lower back. Flexologists engage a stretch only to the point where a bit of resistance is felt; any more is off limits. Each subsequent session’s goal is to go slightly deeper in each stretch as the client’s flexibility and muscle strength improve.

The Verdict

Whether you follow a regular fitness routine or exercise infrequently, your body will respond to a StretchLab session with gradual relaxation. The combination of relaxation stretches with gentle resistance techniques creates a one-two effect of loosening joints and muscles while building strength. Even muscles tightened by stress can feel a glimmer of relief after a 25-minute session. The gentle push into each stretch recalls the glide-in-and-hold process in slow-flow yoga, and it’s similarly calming. And because each stretch is customized to targeted areas and issues, no two sessions are exactly the same.

Need to Know

Individual 25-minute stretches can be booked for $55, although the Jameses recommend regular sessions to steadily build toward and maintain muscle strength. Memberships start at $159 for four 25-minute stretches a month and are tiered in bundles of 25- or 55-minute sessions. Family plans are available.

Previous article
Next article
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

Related Articles

Latest Articles