StretchIt and the Middle Splits Challenge: First Impressions

God I’m such a sucker for a challenge, it’s kind of pathetic.

I got an email from StretchIt yesterday re: joining their 30 day middle splits challenge. I probably got this because I downloaded the app and then was like lol no when I realized you have to pay for it. MONTHLY. (I’m one of those awful people who will put a stupid amount of time and effort into not paying for something that’s just a couple of dollars. Why are we like this??)

I’ve kind of been hungry for a new goal in my life, and StretchIt has a free 7 day trial so I was like, sure, why not. I’ve also been curious about it for quite some time, because, as I’m sure many polers do, I get the ads and hear about it in pole groups a lot.

I’ve taken two classes so far, the 30-minute full body stretch labeled “7” and the 30 minute middle splits stretch labeled “1.” Still figuring out the order here, so I’ll let you know if the numbers seem to correspond with the workouts getting harder.

Here are my initial thoughts:

1. Is that… Alison Wardwell???

…it really looks like her.

I should probably Google this, but it sure as hell looked like her for both classes. Alison’s a former instructor at Body and Pole and former ballerina with SICK flexibility. I used to take her “vertical barre” class at B&P and loved it. This gives me more confidence in the program, but also makes me feel like damn, how is the world so small? Hard to confirm though without her voice, as these programs use narration instead.

2. Nice warm up!

My shoulder is still fragile, so I appreciated the gentle, progressive warm up. And there was no real divide between “warm up” and “okay let’s stretch the f*** out of our bodies now” which I really enjoyed. Movements flowed together and there was an easy alternation between active movements and holds.

3. God this is so much easier than flex class at B&P

Probably because it’s only a half hour, and not an hour and a half. Tough poses don’t last too long, and there’s usually a movement aspect to focus on (like waving your spine in a pigeon pose) so it’s a little less mentally painful, if not physically.

4. But…. the narration doesn’t always sync with the video.

And was there no music? It felt like there was no music. I rely on music a bit to take the edge off.  At least the audio was clear, which is a problem I’ve encountered with other online workout programs.

5. This is a great way to gently work on flexibility at home with no equipment (so far)

um, I have a long way to go.

Maybe straps and stuff are required later on, but so far, I’m impressed with how accessible this program is, and how I felt like a got a nice, well-rounded stretch out of it–without the seemingly endless torture, and scary shoulder feels I usually associate with flexibility training. 30 mins also felt like enough time to both get properly warm and get a satisfying session in, but without feeling torturous or like too much to fit into a pre-work morning routine.

Treat yo’self [while you stretch yo’self]
Also fun: the “scheduled” workouts (which tricked me into thinking my class was live at 9:45pm last night and got my ass running into my workout room) give structure and even prompt you to take progress pictures, which is great.

But I guess those pictures will also be the judge of whether “pleasant” and “not too long” actually render results or not. I come from the stretching school of no pain, no gain, so… we’ll see. I’d love for this to be effective though. I’m rooting for you, StretchIt!

Anybody else tried this and have thoughts and feelings? I’d love to know if you used it for a specific goal (like middle splits) and how much progress you saw. (And also whether this gets much harder and I’m in for a nasty surprise).

OH, and can’t recommend this enough: make wherever your stretch fancy and inviting if you want to get into a routine. I bribed myself with this on-brand scented candle and it really goes a long way towards making me feel like stretching is fun, spa-like self-care and not like, a slog. Also helps combat sweaty mat smells! #winwin

Dets: the app is $4.99 a month for videos on your phone, $7.99 to stream on your laptop (which I prefer, at least while I’m not actually paying yet…). You get to try all the programs during your 1 week free trial, but after that the cost only covers one program at a time, which seems like good burnout prevention. Let me know what you think and if’ you’ve tried this–or something better! So far I’m into it, but not sure I’ll actually pony up the dough come renewal time. Stay tuned!

 

 

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