StretchLab Rittenhouse shows benefits of stretching move past physical health


You hear in life that stretching is essential for certain things like flexibility and posture. But at the StretchLab, you also see the other side of the coin in the realm of benefits for the act—and that’s stress relief.

The Rittenhouse venue located at 1616 Walnut Street (on the first floor of the building) is part of the StretchLab brand with locations all over the country. This Philly-local operation sticks with the format of the company, which is built on 25 or 50-minute stretch sessions with their trained specialists, aka “Flexologists.”

The experience starts with a body scan via a screen on the wall. The scan finds out things like where you’re tightest in your body, or which parts of you may be imbalanced, and it gathers all of that information by having you do three stationary squats. After which, the Flexologist goes over the information with you, and it also helps them customize your stretch to fit your specific needs.


That all sounds great in theory, but it’s not really until you get on the table that you realize just how tight and how different some areas of your body truly are versus others. The specialist works with you on your body using the PNF system of stretch, aka Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation.

PNF is a stretching technique utilized to improve muscle elasticity, and how it works is simple: While stretching, the specialist gets you to push with whatever muscles you’re using against them and then release, in doing so, your body gets a bit more range of motion.

In areas where you’re tight, it’s obviously not as much of a breeze versus the parts of yourself that are in need of stretching, but one of the main factors of the session is that nothing is supposed to hurt per se. You guide the specialist with what you can handle, so, for those who like to take it easy, that’s an option, and for those who like a bit of pain and gain—that can be an option as well.

Some people come to get stand-alone sessions (walk-in slots are available, but they do recommend making an appointment), and some choose to come back regularly and work with their Flexologist for long-term goals.

The benefits of stretching and with StretchLab specifically go past just the typical idea of the act. Some are looking to improve their sports performance, some are looking to decrease joint pain, and there are some with more specific goals in mind—like someone who is looking to lose weight and doesn’t know where to start with working out, so it’s about getting your body prepped to do it, and do it right.

The idea of being able to do the stretches with a trained professional also helps you reach those goals a bit faster, and the added benefit of their knowledge goes a long way. You might not realize how uneven your body is on one side compared to the other or how tight your hips might be, if you carry your stress in your shoulders, or even if there’s a part of you that is sneakily in pain.

It’s also a point to take a breath, take a minute and be fully present with yourself and your body—and that’s a nice pill to swallow when you realize the chaos of the city that’s situated right outside of the StretchLab’s windows.


The brand also offers group stretching on top of one-on-one sessions at some locations, and there are additional monthly memberships available for those looking to prolong their experience and make it a regular occurrence (a complete list of options is available online) and price-wise, options range. First-timers can get a 50-minute stretch for $49 (though a one-time stretch normally is $105), and membership or starter pack rates also range from $275 to $499.

When you become a member with StretchLab, you unlock a lot of virtual offers as well (like a partnership they have with Territory Foods) but the main pull of the the brand is really just having that option to fully immerse yourself in the world of self-care. The time you spend here fully invests in your health—both physically and mentally—and the me-time you get out of the whole experience is just an added bonus.

To find out more information on the StretchLab Rittenhouse and other locations, visit