Bend it, stretch it at these classes in Hong Kong that will have your joints and muscles more limber in no time
Ever since your very first Physical Education class in school, you’ve probably heard that stretching is crucial to improve circulation and prevent injury. As a fitness junkie who has recently written about fitness trends in 2019, outdoor fitness classes and plogging in Hong Kong, I can’t stress enough the importance of stretching. But as you get older, and your time gets shorter, you might be tempted to skip the stretch altogether in order to log a few extra minutes of cardio or hit the weight room – don’t.
Whether you’re about to go for a run or have been sitting all day and could use a break, stretching is a healthy habit that really pays off. Regular stretching can be just as daunting as starting out on your fit journey, but after looking to stretch further, I uncovered a whole world out there ready to help make my muscles and joints more limber, and these Hong Kong experts explain more.
These experts tell you the importance of stretching in Hong Kong
When founder Adrian was talking about the importance of stretching, he told me that I would feel “lighter and younger” after one of their signature full stretching sessions. He wasn’t kidding. After an hour of passively lying on the table and being pulled in all directions, I floated back onto the floor with seemingly longer limbs and a head that felt like it was being held upright by a thread.
Stretching helps enhance unrestricted movement of the major joints of the body, including key areas that are designed to be mobile, such as the hips and shoulders.This new studio in Central, also provides a range of sports massage therapy and personal training.
We Stretch, 13/F, Wong Chung Ming Commercial House, 16 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, p. 2328 7000, 中環雲咸街16號王仲銘商業大廈13樓
Being able to move is key to my job as a coach. Through Kinstretch, I have changed the way I look at movement. Kinstretch is a practice that focuses on body control, strength and flexibility. To the untrained eye, it looks like yoga and pilates, but in fact it’s nothing like them. Instead of doing your downward facing dog, Kinstretch encourages you to isolate your joints (shoulders, hips and ankles) and expand your pre-existing ranges of motion.
Kinstretch strengthens the muscles and connective tissues (i.e. ligaments) around the joints. So that impossible-to-do squat you’ve been working on? Easy as pie after practicing certain Kinstretch positions.
Kinstretch trials at Momentum continue for the month of March.
Momentum, 68 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, p. 9339 3202, 中環威靈頓街68號
Stretch Therapy is a comprehensive system that includes stretching, fascial remodelling, strengthening, neural re-patterning and relaxation. In simple terms, the goal is to allow students to experience grace and ease in daily movement, whether you are an elite athlete, office worker or a retiree.
Founder of Monkey Business, Czon Wong says, “in Stretch Therapy, it is not the end form or the pose that we are focusing on, but rather the sensation we experience during the stretch. How we can relax our bodies under these sensations, or what we can do to increase or decrease such sensation, which brings us more awareness and closer connection with our bodies. Many of us have taken for granted. Most new attendees would have a completely different idea and understanding of what stretching is like.”
The release of muscle tension and the subsequent ability to get deeper into a stretch, lies on whether you can let go and breathe naturally under a point where there is a stretch sensation. I found this was the key learning point in each of their workshops, to practice letting go and relaxing under stress. “It is not uncommon to see students having a huge emotional release after a stretch with stronger sensation and having a glimpse of insight of their life or situation.”
Monkey Business, 22/F, The Strand, 49 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 上環文咸東街49號慶豐商業大廈22樓
You can find many fitness classes to sweat at around town. But few provide both the sweat and the stretch. Spin studio Torq offers a special Release class – 30 minutes on the bike, followed by 15 minutes on the floor rolling it out. Using form rollers and dynamic stretching, I found my body becoming greatly appreciative after being stuck from all that sitting and high intensity work.
“Regular stretching helps the body to ensure the muscles on each side of a joint to maintain an equal degree of pull so that the joint is able to move freely and efficiently in all directions, allowing for optimal movement and less stress on the body.”
The combination of sweat and (dedicated) stretch was the perfect balance to a well rounded class fitness experience.
Check out these other fun workouts in Hong Kong
Torq, 3/F, Abdoolally House, 20 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong, 中環士丹利街20號鴨都喇利大廈三樓
Co-founder of Trybe Teddy Lo believes the majority of the population can benefit immensely from adding a little more stretching into their routines. “The biggest benefit is reduction of injury for those looking to increase their athletic abilities. Stretching becomes more important, as lack of mobility often hampers power input and requires the body to compensate somewhere else.”
Trybe offers two types of stretch-based classes. Full Body Fix is a rehab/prehab program that focuses on correcting weakness and misalignment. Superhero Flex is suitable for everyone looking to increase their range of motions for whatever sports they are pursuing.
Trybe, Unit 209-210, 2/F One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, p. 3427 9017, 黃竹坑香葉道2號One Island South 2樓209-210室