Fitness

The Beginner’s Guide to Stretching Studios in and Around Boston

Loosen up your muscles with a little help from a stretch therapist.


Photo courtesy of Bdy Sqd

Boutique recovery services are hot this year. But navigating the growing trend can feel impossible, especially for those of us that just learned what a vinyasa is. Lucky for you, there’s likely a stretching studio in your neighborhood or just down the street from your favorite workout class. So next time your muscles are aching post-bootcamp, you know exactly where to turn.

Bdy Sqd
Close to: Back Bay Boxing, TITLE Boxing Club (Newbury)
Champions Kickboxing, CorePower Yoga, Urbanity Dance (Ink Block)

You’ve likely spotted Bdy Sqd’s 30-minute, ultra-efficient recovery sessions on Instagram, at a pop-up fitness class, or at a wellness expo in the past year. Coaches from the popular studio use a technique known as myofascial release to loosen up the connective tissue attached to your muscles. After the deep stretch, Bdy Sqd recommends a “detox” sesh to flush out toxins and oxygenate your cells in their on-site infrared sauna. The studio also offers NormaTec Compression Therapy Boots, which knead the muscles of your legs to encourage blood flow and reduce soreness. Accessible package options include everything from one-time recovery sessions to eight stretches a month. And in advance of the Boston Marathon, Bdy Sqd offers monthly plans to runners looking to prevent injury and mitigate muscle pain.

349 Newbury St., Boston, 617-904-7414, and 34 Traveler St., Suite G, Boston, 617-313-9080, gobodysquad.com.

Photo courtesy of Lymbr

Lymbr
Close to: Pure Barre

The founders of Lymbr opened the studio to address the gap in recovery services following the growth in popular boutique fitness classes. Lymbr offers one-one-one stretches in your choice of location—at home, in the studio, or at your office with mobile stretch tables and chairs. Using progressive emphasis stretching, a technique that combines continual movement with short reps, Lymbr’s stretch sessions lengthen your muscles and increase blood flow and space in your joints. Afterwards, your body will feel more flexible, and your athletic recovery time will shorten. Plus, you’re in super qualified hands when you stretch with Lymbr. Stretch therapists must complete 150 hours of training through Lymbr Academy and either hold a degree in kinesiology or exercise science, or a personal trainer certification.

792 Beacon St., B1, 617-581-0684, belymbr.com.

StretchLab
Close to: Club Pilates, Pure Barre (Wellesley)
Orangetheory Fitness, Pure Barre, TITLE Boxing Club (Burlington)

In dozens of locations around the country, StretchLab’s one-on-one sessions customize stretches to meet clients’ individual needs. Stretch therapists, called flexologists, study a rigorous 70 hours of theory during their training. They learn a technique known as proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, or PNF. PNF is a stretching technique that pushes muscles to their limit, forcing them to relax in response. During your 25 to 50 minute session with a flexologist, they’ll instruct you to relax and contract your muscles as they move your body in various positions. Guided group sessions are also an option. If you love their recovery services, StretchLab offers monthly memberships to help clients track their progress.

200B Linden St., Wellesley, 339-217-0217, and 85 Middlesex Turnpike, RM 3090, Burlington, 781-653-4549, stretchlab.com.

StretchMed
Close to: Btone Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, The Bar Method (Wellesley)
Boston Body Pilates and Simply Yoga (Belmont)

StretchMed therapists use a combination of static, or still, stretching, and PNF to loosen tight muscles, improve flexibility, and maximize blood flow during one-on-one assisted stretching sessions. StretchMed certifies every therapist with a program that includes a deep dive into advanced 3D human anatomy software. Clients can also customize their sessions with meetings up to 4 times a week at increments of 25 to 50 minutes. And unlike combination workout and stretching classes like yoga, StretchMed sessions allow clients to completely relax while therapists stabilize your joints and apply gentle tension on your muscles.

85 Central St., Wellesley, 508-383-4044, and 438 Common St., Belmont, 617-721-8681, stretchmedstudios.com.

Stretch therapy photo courtesy of Justin Chien

Stretch Therapy Boston
Close to: Achieve Fitness, CrossFit Somerville

Longtime yoga instructor Justin Chien trained in Kit Laughlin and Olivia Allnutt’s Stretch Therapy technique in 2009. The program takes a contract-relax approach to stretching, a PNF technique where the muscle moves as it flexes. Chien is one of under ten therapists in the world certified to teach Stretch Therapy. He hosts weekly group classes and regular training workshops at Shobu Aikido, a martial arts center in Somerville. His classes provide personalized approaches to stretching for any client’s need—from boosting athletic performance to improving alignment. Classes currently take place every Friday from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Shobu Aikido, 34 Allen St., Somerville, 978-549-1865, stretchtherapyboston.org.

Swet Studio
Close to: Champions Kickboxing Shawmut Yoga, Urbanity Dance

Swet Studio’s floating-hammock style stretch classes are unlike any other on this list. The studio offers three stretching-style classes along with aerial yoga, aerial barre, and other unique airborne workouts. Swet Studio’s deep stretch classes are slow-paced and focused on muscle lengthening. They begin and end with a fun, hanging inversion to decompress your spine. But don’t worry, instructors won’t surprise you with any flips or tricks. For athletes recovering from a tough workout, Swet Studio’s restorative class features levitating meditations and joint-opening poses. The studio also offers classes that begin with 10 minutes of gentle stretching followed by 40 minutes of meditation. (Or napping—no shame.) Along with group classes, private workshops are also available.

480 Tremont St., Boston, 617-670-0631, swetstudio.com.