What is Kinstretch?
by Bridget McElvain
Kinstretch is a movement enhancement system designed to increase flexibility, maximum body control, and USABLE ranges of motion. It is a group class you can attend where you will learn about and get to train your joint range of motion! What does that mean, exactly?
Let me back up a bit. Kinstretch is a concept and application derived from the training approach of Functional Range Systems. FRS is a system that utilizes an interpretation of the most up-to-date scientific literature on injury recovery, mitigation, and resiliency training that fills a very distinct and important niche in the health and fitness field that is missing from mainstream healthcare and training. The system is broken up into two pieces: the manual therapy side being Functional Range Release and the training/application side being Functional Range Conditioning. FRC is specific to what individuals need. Kinstretch is the outgoing child of FRC and a group mobility training class you attend to improve your overall mobility.
Functional Range Conditioning was created upon the widespread and ever-increasing rates of injury, repeated injury, and general physical issues that so many of us struggle with on a daily basis to which we are not receiving the care that makes real, lasting results. So, what gives?
A great way to sum up the premise of FRC is this quote by FRS founder, Dr. Andreo Spina:
The more control you have over your joints, the more control you have over your body. The more control you have over your body, the more control you have over your movements. The more control you have over your movements, the less likely your movements will falter. If your movements falter less, then the less likely your chances are for injury. Says the vast majority of science (in my opinion).
With that said, FRC is highly specified strength training. Many styles of training focus exclusively on movements, i.e., the squat, deadlift, press, etc. while FRC takes a closer look at the components of what make those movements go well. Are the joints being used healthy on their own without the addition of external load, yes or no? The answer to this question, while extremely simple, is crucial and provides a map for us to determine which movements are the right movements for each of us. We call this, having the “prerequisites.” Each movement will have its own prerequisites, aka, the things you need to be able to perform that movement well and efficiently.
Instead of exclusively training movements themselves, we strive to incorporate an all-encompassing picture in our Kinstretch classes. We may be training specific joints, but the idea is that training the smaller pieces will contribute to an over-all better working and feeling larger piece.
Training your joints serves a very important purpose: not only will you learn invaluable education about your body that you likely never received, but you will get to experience mobility training for yourself. The vast majority of our students comment on how much better they feel after taking a mobility training class than when they came in, and to us that is priceless. In our classes, you will get a chance to move your entire body, every class, with an emphasis on body control so that every part of you gets to feel the mobility love. Don’t be mistaken by the “stretch” part of Kinstretch; you will work hard in this class, probably make some weird faces, and probably feel interesting sensations, but it is all part of the process of becoming body-aware and movement-prepared.
My name is Bridget McElvain and Traci Bennett and I are your Kinstretch Instructors here at Mecha Fitness. You can find our weekly classes at Mecha on Tuesdays from 5:00 pm until 5:55 pm and on Thursday mornings from 8:10 am to 9:00 am. The part of Kinstretch we love the most is its accessibility and versatility: all levels are welcome and no experience is required. You can come to one of our mobility classes as a tool for active recovery, a hard training day, or a warm-up for your Resistance or CARDIO+ workout. It is truly, the swiss army knife of fitness.
Traci and I love to engage with our students, ask compelling questions, answer them together, and help facilitate your learning. We are always available for questions and you can find out more information at vitalrootsmvmnt.com, our Instagram account @vital.roots and Facebook page Vital Roots Movement.