A FLEXIBILITY-FOCUSED FUTURE
Heard this. Ignored that!
“Don’t forget to stretch!” This is one of the most popular and often-ignored phrases ever to be uttered. Well, guess what? Times are a changin. More than ever, the fitness scene is starting to emphasize stretching and low impact movements, just as much, if not more so, than heavy cardio and weight lifting. In fact, P.C. (pre-Corona) stretching studios were popping up all over the US, as rapidly as their boutique spin studio predecessors. According to this recent Fast Company article ClassPass recently named stretching as one of the fastest-growing trends in fitness, with group and one-on-one stretching sessions becoming the new norm.
Slow motion for me
Advocates of stretching and recovery trainers & studios point out that stretches, if performed without proper knowledge and technique, can cause injury. For example, do you know the difference between dynamic stretching which is usually done as part of a warm-up to prep your muscles versus static stretching- which involves holding a position for ten seconds or longer in place? If not, it may be worth the investment to learn how the correct stretching can actually increase your athletic performance and be guided through the process to avoid further injury. However, unless your quarantine crew consists of the professional physical therapists, you may be seeking other alternatives.
$135? That’s a stretch
Speaking of investment, Corona has hit the economy hard and our wallets are really paying the price (no pun intended). With stretch classes ranging anywhere from about $30 for a single group class, to upwards of $135 for a one-on-one stretch session, it has us wondering if it's really worth the hype? And cash? That depends. Experts still can’t seem to agree on the benefits of assisted stretching, more specifically if it can actually benefit your physical performance or reduce injuries. But needless to say, it's most likely not an option in your immediate future, so what are your options to bend it like Beckham?
Since assisted stretching is a yet another pre-Corona luxury that's temporarily fallen by the wayside, there’s also the possibility to stretch on your own and cross off saving and recovery from your list simultaneously. If that’s the case, here are the best recovery stretches to get you started.
Mirror mirror on the wall who’s the fittest of them all?
From Peloton and The Mirror to the WHOOP performance strap and AI-powered personal trainers, smart and streaming workouts are all ze rage. Before they were trending simply because they HAD to be, the smart fitness industry was predicted to hit an estimated $27.4B in 2022. There’s little doubt now that connected equipment and tech-enabled workouts are looking like the future of fitness. So are these smart machines really all they are cracked up to be?
No gym rats allowed
Working out when you want to. Not dealing with the weirdos (and germs) at the gym. Keeping track of your fitness goals with data. Zero commute. These are all major draws of the smart fitness movement. Not to mention, while right about now we might be desperately craving that intimidating feeling you get upon entering a traditional gym (just to be out in public am I right?!) this is a huge perk, particularly for beginners.
The social network
On the flip side, critics argue that not all the data coming through via these devices is accurate, that smart fitness denies us of the same level of guidance available with an in-person instructor. While sheltering in place, we're all getting to experience this new-age fitness fad first hand (like it or not). Has bringing home your workout boosted your confidence & the time you can spend working out, eliminating commuting times, or do you feel robbed of the important social connections you form being around like-minded people during a gym session or exercise class? #FindYourTribe
Make it personal
This question is what consumers, trainers, and investors of the fitness industry are asking themselves as a predictor to what things could look like once we're allowed out of our cages...I mean homes. Before you spend any money hopping on the smart fitness bandwagon, do your homework, and specifically consider your unique workout personality. Some questions to ask yourself might include: Do you easily get bored of the same workouts? Maybe skip installing that Peloton if that’s the case. Are you motivated by working out with others? Or do you prefer to go it alone? In other words...be smart before you get smart.