AUG 2019

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Assisted Stretching A fi tness industry favorite, assisted stretching is a technique where instructors or therapists help guests improve their fl exibility and range of motion. How it works: Practitioners use a hands-on approach to guide clients, gently intensifying their stretches. "People new to exercising often have trouble fi nding the muscles they want to stretch," says Lu Mueller-Kaul, owner of massage therapy clinic Balance Orlando in Florida. "Assistance helps them gain that awareness." That said, it's also popular with fi tness buffs and athletes who want to take their fl exibility to the next level, or better stretch areas that can't be reached without some help. Popularity points: Unlike exercise classes, assisted stretching gives clients more results- oriented, individualized attention. "In classes, instructors might walk around and lightly touch a body part to bring awareness to that area, but they don't deepen or intensify the stretch," says Mueller-Kaul. Balance Orlando provides a 45-minute introductory session for $45, along with additional nonmember options (30 min.-120 min./$55- $190). "Our therapists often use assisted stretching together with massage," Mueller-Kaul says, noting that it's simply incorporated into bodywork services as needed. u August 2019 • 77 © GETTY IMAGES

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