02 Mar StretchSpot Trainer: Ellen
When did you become a Certified StretchSource Trainer?
I became a certified StretchSource Trainer in January 2018. As a yoga instructor, I was searching for an industry-adjacent training to enhance my 16 years as an instructor. I met Mara Kimowitz, the creator of StretchSource, and was so impressed with her knowledge and passion for stretching, that I immediately signed up for her certification course. Now, 4 years later, I am still so happy to work for an amazing company and with other highly trained and diverse stretch trainers!
What made you want to become a stretch trainer?
Professional growth is important to me. After applying the StretchSource method to my clients, I witnessed their steady and positive results. It validated that a consistent routine of stretching increases flexibility and range of motion in joints, improves performance in physical activity, increases blood flow to the muscles, improves posture, prevents injury and is great for stress relief! In addition, working with people to achieve their health and fitness goals is my passion. I feel so fortunate to have dedicated clients who keep me challenged and motivated every single day!
In your opinion, what is the most important muscle to stretch?
Stretching all the major muscle groups is vital for overall health. In my opinion, the most crucial muscles to stretch are the hamstrings. Your hamstring muscle runs along the back of the upper leg and is responsible for hip and knee movements in walking, running, squatting, and bending the knees. Shortened hamstrings cause a rounding of the back. This position can stress the back muscles creating the potential for injury and general soreness in the low back region. Even if you only have a few minutes, stretching your hamstrings each day gives you the greatest overall return.
What kind of physical activity do you practice?
My main physical activity is daily stretching and my yoga practice. Also, I walk my dog AJ everyday for fresh air and Vitamin D! I need to be pushed when it comes to cardio and strength training, so for that I rely on Orange Theory Fitness. Great workouts!
What is your greatest piece of advice when it comes to stretching?
I have 2 pieces of advice when it comes to stretching. First, a dynamic warm-up is vital to each stretch session. Dynamic stretches are active movements where joints and muscles go through a full range of motion. They are meant to get the body moving before the start of any exercise routine. The next piece of advice is slow down and breathe deeply in each stretch. Holding your breath or taking shallow breaths prevents oxygen from reaching your muscles. The muscles need to pause in a lengthened position to avoid injury. I encourage my clients to breathe, feel, and really notice the signals that their bodies are giving them.
What are your go-to foods?
My go-to foods are a variety of soups, salad, and protein. When I am not working, I am in the kitchen cooking, baking and swapping recipes with friends. Any cheesy Italian food is my go-to comfort food!
What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about being a mom to twins and being blessed with a supportive, loving husband and close family and friends.
What would your ideal day look like?
My ideal day would be waking up to the sunrise over the water, sipping coffee, reading for inspiration, listening to and watching wildlife, and meditating. Next, some form of activity: hiking, kayaking, working out, or even going to work at StretchSource! Then rounding out the day relaxing by a fire with family and friends, great food and fun!
There are way too many! I love the folk rock of Neil Young to the funk rock of Prince to the classic rock of the Rolling Stones! But right now I am loving “ILY (I Love You Baby),” Surf Mesa’s remix of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” originally recorded by Frankie Valli. Songs that remind me of where I came from, make me happy to be where I am.