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Optimized Performance Through Mobility (Studio Three Review)


Optimize performance with mobility at the new Performance Stretch class at Studio Three! Then link up with Running Coaches Corner!

Studio Three offered me a few classes for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own.

Studio Three is a boutique fitness facility located in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, IL. Even if you don’t live in Chicago, the concepts that Studio Three employs in the creation of its workouts and programming are applicable in your own fitness program! Learn how their multi-faceted, stackable workouts can help you become a better, more complete athlete and runner!

Optimize performance with mobility at the new Performance Stretch class at Studio Three! Then link up with Running Coaches Corner! @suzlyfe

Three Fitness Disciplines = Complete Athlete and Total Wellness

Studio Three offers 3 unique environments Interval Training, Peloton Cycling, and Yoga/Performance Stretch to help you revolutionize your training:

The classes are designed to create balanced, full-body workouts for our clients. From cardiovascular conditioning to intense strength and interval training to energetic shifts and a mindful practice in yoga: Studio Three offers a variety of classes tailored to your changing needs presented by the industry’s top instructors. (From the Website)

There is variety within each discipline, as well: there are different interval training classes, different types of yoga classes (from hot to gentle), and different lengths of cycling classes (remember how I tried out Peloton cycling at Sweatworking?). The classes are scheduled so as to be stackable–so that you can go to a cycling class and then follow up with a yoga class or Performance Stretch, and completely new and unique class concept that I am really excited to tell you about.

I got a taste of Performance Stretch at Sweatworking, but I wanted to talk to Caroline, the head of the yoga and mobility program at Studio Three, a bit more in-depth about the new class and how she thought it fit into building the complete athlete.

Performance Stretch : Optimize Your Performance

Though Performance Stretch was created as a follow up class, it has quickly become a class that stands on its own. I loved when Caroline said that she views this class as bringing the gym full circle, that it is just as important as the classes where you come and the sweat drips down into your eyes. In her words, this is the perfect class to “Optimize your performance” by improving your mobility, improve posture, increase mind-body connection and awareness, and release those knotted muscles. 

Classes begin with yoga-based moves that go through the 6 directions of the spine and begin to activate the muscles. Next, the instructor leads participants through muscle release and self massage using the therapy ball. Each class has a focus, though all classes work on the whole body. The final part of class returns to recheck the mobility of the the target area with more passive stretches.

As someone who sits on the floor with a lacrosse ball underneath her hamstrings every morning, I LOVE this idea! Anyone can utilize the class, but it is particularly helpful for those of us who are endurance athletes who then have to sit at a desk, or in the car, or what have you (or for those triathletes who spend a lot of time on the bike!). A great deal of time is spent opening up the hips and shoulders and then releasing the quadriceps and hamstrings.

My Performance Stretch Experience and Review

Optimize performance with mobility at the new Performance Stretch class at Studio Three! Then link up with Running Coaches Corner! @suzlyfe

I had two experiences with Performance Stretch, and two completely different (but equally beneficial) experiences! I took both the Performance Stretch 60 and Performance Stretch 45 classes (I took the 45 minute after a spin class to see how it helped me recover). The heated room, on a very cold day in Chicago with chilly muscles, was instrumental in getting the most from the class! I also loved the aesthetics of the space (exposed brick and large windows).

Monica, who led the 60 minute, prefers the use of yoga tune-up balls, which are a bit softer on the outside than lacrosse balls. We used a yoga strap to stretch our hamstrings, calves, and hips, then we stretched out our side bodies and finally our shoulders and necks. I thought the neck stretching was really interesting–I have several clients who have major neck issues, and there were a few variations on our typical neck stretches that I want to incorporate. 

After our stretches and a “control” pose (to be compared before and after the myo-fascial release with the tune up ball), we used the wall so that we could control the amount of pressure against our soft tissue. We then used different types of pressure to loosen up muscles in and around our shoulder blades (the focus for this class). Finally, we compared with the control pose (in this case, reverse crucifix) and then used the bolster underneath us to allow the gravity and relaxation to help keep the muscles from going back to their previous tightness (due to muscle memory).

My 45-minute class with Stephanie was far less structured, and much more based on our needs at that time. I mentioned hamstrings, someone else wanted to work on hips and hip flexors, and so we focused on both of those areas with lacrosse balls. I loved this class because, once again, even though I might not have felt that I needed help on those hip flexors or calves, but by the end, I was so glad that we had worked on them! And yes, my hamstrings felt MUCH better after 😀

EVERYONE needs mobility work from classes like @studiothreechi Performance Stretch! #runchat Click To Tweet

Bottom Line

Through my experience with Performance Stretch, I completely understand what Courtney meant by the purpose of the performance stretch class–this is a class for and benefiting EVERYONE–athlete, couch potato, young, mature, existing injuries, never been to PT. The only way to make it better would be more classes and knowing what they would be working on beforehand (so that you can make sure to go to a class that worked on an area of the body that you needed work on) but I also love that I went to a class that worked on areas of my body that I wouldn’t have said needed work! And while some instructors come in with a set plan, others like a bit more of a free-flow., which would make it a bit more difficult to “schedule.” Regardless of which type of class, there is a great benefit to incorporating any sort of mobility work into your day, and Performance Stretch is a great vehicle for that education.

Optimized performance, indeed!

Do you take the time to do regular mobility work?

What is your tightest and most troublesome area? Don’t forget that the massager giveaway is still active!

I am linking up with myself, Rachel, Lora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPatty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday, and Ilka and Angela for Food and Fitness Sunday. 

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