HAMBURG, NY (WIVB) – You always hear of the importance of stretching before a workout, but a new business in Hamburg is helping people gain flexibility for the long-term, in every part of their lives.
When you walk into StretchLab for your first appointment, you’ll start at a machine that grades your flexibility. And News 4’s Kelsey Anderson learned her overall mobility wasn’t great: 30/100.
But that’s ok. Carrie Klauk, a co-owner of the business, said she tests her clients every month and said she’s only ever seen numbers improve.
“It’s a really good way to chill people out (and) put them in a parasympathetic central nervous system phase,” Klauk said. “And we do all the work.”
Klauk was a personal trainer who started stretching out her clients years ago. She learned about StretchLab, an LA company, and wanted to open a franchise. One of her clients at the time, Melanie Allesi, was also interested. So the two teamed up and opened the first WNY location, back in October.
Since then, they’ve helped more than 300 clients achieve goals in flexibility and mobility.
“We have a lot of people right now who are getting ready to run the Buffalo Marathon; we have people who sit at a desk all day; I stretch my 92-year-old grandpa in here; so it’s really all over the spectrum, ”Klauk said. “We have gymgoers, but we also have people who garden and need some movement.”
They also have student-athletes as clients, and people overcoming injuries.
If you don’t have a specific goal in mind, there’s a basic routine that will be done with you, which includes dozens of different stretches.
And each session is one-on-one with a staff member called a ‘flexologist.’ The 13 ‘flexologists’ there all have bodywork backgrounds; personal trainers, massage therapists, etc. They all have at least two years of experience in their field and went through 60 hours of StretchLab training.
And StretchLab is still hiring because in the next two years, Carrie and Melanie plan on opening two more locations. One will open at Transit and Maple Roads, the other is still in the works.
“To see the progression that they have made, whether it be touching their toes, or crossing their knees after having surgery, to improving a golf game, it just becomes so satisfying to see how stretching can improve everybody’s everyday life,” Allesi said.
The first time you visit, sessions are 50% off. A 50-minute stretch at StretchLab will cost you $ 49. If you want a 25-minute session, it’s $ 29 for first-timers.
Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.