The magic of the Physique 57 method is our unique fusion of interval overload, isometrics, and lengthening stretching exercises. This revolutionary combination is the secret to boosting lean body mass and transforming your body!
Today, we’re going to focus on one key aspect of our method — stretching. Stretching often gets overlooked, but it’s essential for creating lean, gorgeous muscles and getting the most out of your workouts.
At Physique 57, we do stretching a little differently than other workouts (because you know we love to stand out from the crowd!). Instead of just stretching pre- or post-workout, we incorporate stretching between sets to maximize the effectiveness and get you the best results.
We’re breaking down all the science-backed benefits of stretching, how we do it at Physique 57, and why it works.
The Top 5 Benefits of Stretching:
1. Stretching lengthens your muscles
Every time you stimulate a muscle through exercise, you’re teaching it something. When you activate a muscle in a pulse or hold, you’re attempting to rewire that muscle’s neural pathways to keep it in a moderate state of contraction (aka your baseline), rather than just hanging there limp. Over time, your muscles learn that shorter, tighter, and contracted is “normal,” so when you finish a series of reps, your muscles will be shorter and tighter than they were before.
This is where stretching comes in and why it’s so important! Stretching during your workout allows you to reclaim the full length of the muscle while still maintaining the baseline of activation you achieved during your reps. This trains your muscles to lengthen after contracting. The result: you’ll create a long, lean, lithe shape!
2. Stretching protects you from injury
Stretching has important orthopedic perks — it protects your beautiful body from strain and injury. Tighter muscles that cannot easily take their full length can put pressure on joints and make them more likely to tear, whether you’re on a hike, carrying heavy groceries, or just moving through your day. Regularly lengthening your muscles alleviates that joint strain.
Stretching also has your back when it comes to back pain. Tight muscles lead to a decreased range of motion, which can cause strain in your back muscles. Stretching can help heal and prevent back injuries ¹.
3. Stretching can improve flexibility & mobility
Stretching your muscles on a regular basis increases your range of motion, which gives you more freedom of movement in your workouts and your everyday life. Research shows that dynamic stretching (active stretches like the kind we do at Physique 57) enhances range of motion ².
4. Stretching reduces muscle soreness
Research shows that stretching regularly can help improve circulation ³. This in-turn increases blood flow to your muscles, which helps you recover faster and reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). You’ll be back at the barre and feeling your strongest in no time!
5. Stretching improves your posture
The combination of stretching and strengthening your muscles promotes proper alignment and improves posture ⁴. This will help you stand tall and confident at the barre and everywhere you go!
How Stretching with Physique 57 is different:
Stretching is always essential, but we make it even more effective! In a lot of workout classes, you’ll notice they stretch for a few minutes before and/or after class as a warm-up or cooldown. At Physique 57, we intersperse stretching between sets throughout the entire workout. This is part of our exclusive formula to maximize your results in the shortest amount of time.
It helps improve muscle recovery during your workout
Releasing your muscles between sets gives them a chance to recharge so you can start your next series even stronger! Our clients have said if they don’t stretch between sets, they feel less limber throughout the workout and can’t give each series their all. Stretching also makes the most of your recovery time — you’re actively working on lengthening your muscles instead of just resting.
It builds long, lean muscles
Stretching throughout your workout instead of waiting until the end is one of our major secrets to producing a long, lean shape. Think about your thigh series: Imagine you’ve done all your pulses, tucks, and circles and your thighs are on fire! Stretching right after the series not only gives you the release you’re craving, but it also trains your muscles to always take their full length. Over time, your muscles will take those cues and learn to lengthen.
Stretch better when your muscles are warm
Stretching immediately after a series, right after you’ve generated all that heat, allows you to go as deep as possible into the stretch, lengthening and smoothing the muscles with less risk of an injury or tear.
Workout more efficiently
Our classes move fast! You’ll notice that we don’t spend a lot of time on each stretch — about 20 to 30 seconds each — because we want to keep your heart rate up and keep you in the calorie-burning zone. You don’t need long periods of stretching. Research shows that the maximum benefit you can get from a stretch is achieved between 15 and 30 seconds ⁵, so we’re right in that sweet spot. We know you’re busy and we value your time, so we give you the maximum benefits of working out in the most efficient way!