16:43 PM

Stretching studios are popping up everywhere. Are they worth it?

CNN interviews Jesse N. Charnoff, MD, physiatrist at HSS about the rise in popularity of stretching studios. 

Stretching sessions are the hot revival fitness fad, popping up in strip malls and street corners, offering tight and achy people one-on-one stretching sessions with “flexologists” and “stretch therapists.” 

It’s not yoga, physical therapy or a massage — these sessions focus only on stretching. In a one-on-one session, an instructor will assist people with back, hamstring, shoulder and other stretches.

Stretching studios and gyms make claims such as “perform better,” “eliminate chronic pain” and “relieve soreness.” But these claims are overblown, sports medicine doctors say.

In fact, there is little evidence that stretching prevents injuries. Some sports medicine doctors say functional and strength training and cardiovascular exercise offer wider benefits for most people than stretching. 

Instead of spending time and money on a stretching class, most people would be better served going for a brisk walk or some other moderate physical activity.

“I would much rather see people work on strengthening than stretching,” said Dr. Charnoff.  “If you put that same amount of time and energy into walking, cardio exercise and strengthening, you’d probably have more benefits.”

Read more at CNN.com.