By Amanda Grayson
The proper and full movement of a joint is referred to as range of motion (ROM). When your ROM decreases, it can have a serious impact on everyday activities such as bending down to pick up something from off the ground, lifting your arms over your head to put a shirt on or simply turning your head to look at something over your shoulder. Obviously, ROM can be impacted by an injury, but often times it’s a result from sitting too long at a desk, exercising and/or playing sports all without incorporating stretching into your routine. Loss of flexibility can be prevented and at least partially restored by stretching. That’s where the guys at Flex-Able come in. Gentric and Ross have created a company that focuses on using a strategic sequence of progressive stretching techniques designed to relieve joint pain, reduce stress and improve athletic performance because they believe that real health and fitness is about functional movement. Flex-Able offers one-on-one stretching sessions with a stretch therapist or two types of group stretching classes: the Flex-Able Movement Class, which is designed to use your body weight and the assistance of a yoga strap to lengthen and elongate your muscles, and the Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) class, which utilizes foam rollers to break up myofascial knots. These classes teach you the proper ways to stretch specific muscles without hurting yourself and the proper way to use a foam roller, both in a group setting.
Gentric and Ross graciously hosted an Oblique FitGurl event that allowed several people to try the one-on-one stretching sessions and then facilitated two classes for us. The one-on-one sessions and classes lasted 30 minutes each. Jessica Drost, one of our fellow Oblique FitGurls, did the one-on-one session and group class and said, “I am so happy I joined the Holy City Fit Chicks for the Oblique FitGurls event at Flex-Able. After a personal stretch from Ross I felt amazing and noticed an immediate difference in my posture. I also learned some of the best ways to stretch myself in the group class. In my opinion, this is something most of us are probably missing in our self-care routines!”
During the Flex-Able Movement class, Gentric and Ross led us through a series of stretches using the yoga straps. Most of us had never used the yoga straps before so it was nice to have someone explain the proper technique, walk us through how they are used and show us where they should be placed to maximize the benefits of the stretches. Each stretch was held for 30 seconds and during each stretch, we were encouraged to take a deep breath and on the exhale gently push a little deeper into the stretch until a just a tiny bit of discomfort or tightness was felt. Doing so helps increase flexibility. Our stretches were focused on the lower body, concentrating on various stretches used to loosen the hamstrings, quads, thighs and hip flexors.
The classes at Flex-Able was a nice change of pace from the usual classes that we do with Oblique FitGurls. It felt good to focus on loosening up our muscles and improving our range of motion. A lot of us felt very relaxed after the class and walked away with a series of stretches that we could do on our own. Thank you so much, Gentric and Ross, for hosting and teaching us the importance of stretching.
For the second half of our fusion workout, trainer Josh led us through the HY, which is the studio’s version of high-intensity interval training in its state-of-the-art facility. There are a series of bikes and rowers for the cardio stations, and the sculpt stations consist of dumbbells, battle ropes, benches and more. The vibe in the HY room is very cool. If you could envision a club-type environment with dimmed lighting, upbeat music and high energy, that was exactly the HY studio! We had only 25 minutes in there so he sent us straight to work! Half of our group started on a bike or rower, and the other half started in the back at the sculpt stations. It was easy to go through the intervals because there are TV screens throughout the studio displaying how long you are to spend in work and rest mode on your bike. The screens also displayed the workout sets the women were doing at the sculpt stations for easy reference. We really enjoyed rotating between stations and how well Josh kept us pumped up and motivated. He was a great class leader.
Once the workout was done, we ended with a little celebration. Thanks to Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, we enjoyed some fabulous Greek food to go along with our delicious cocktails! Everyone knows that the best fitness events incorporate fun! Not to mention, it was a great opportunity for us to cool down after that awesome workout.