Kin-what? Kinetic stretching, labelled “Kinstretch” (FRS – Functional Range Systems) has been the single most influential piece in my health and wellness journey for the last 2 years. Professionally and personally, kinstretch has changed my life and I’m hoping my story will influence you to take a chance, open your mind and see how it can benefit yours.
Let’s start with professionally. My personal training career started much like every other weekend course certification and continued on over the years doing certifications on body building, fat loss and performance optimization but always fell short when it came to a mobility limitation. I’m using the word “mobility” to refer to someone’s ability to move into the ranges they have in order to perform the exercise/activity they want. As a lifetime athlete, I understand movement but at this point in my career I was still missing something. The knowledge I had acquired wasn’t enough and my clients were still unable to increase their capacity for movement. I needed to understand why, how and what exactly to do so which is when I was introduced to Functional Range Systems(FRS), primarily Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) and everything changed. This system was everything I had been searching for, everything I strived for and everything I needed.
The knowledge FRC brought was scientifically driven, effective and essentially the bread and butter of understanding how to optimize human movement through joint specific training. I started immediately implementing the system with my clients and the influence was incredible. Wanting to reach more than just one client, I took the Kinstretch course which embodies the principles of FRC and gives coaches the ability to teach them in a class/group setting. Again, this addition to my repertoire was everything I had been searching for and as I met some key people within the system such as Dr. Roger Menta who has been involved with FRS for the past decade and also an assistant instructor, my passion was growing stronger along with my career path becoming more clear. With his guidance of the system and my curiosity now filtering into manual therapy I decided to dive into becoming a massage therapist. Fast forward a year and a half, with therapist status, I was now able to continue on with the system and become certified in some manual therapy courses FRS had to offer such as FRA (assessment) and FR upper limb (functional release for the upper limb). Needless to say at this present time, the FRS system has undoubtedly shaped my practice and each and every course that I have completed is a huge part of my patients’ care. I assess through FRA, use FR techniques to treat, and FRC principles to coach them through their rehab, all while implementing Kinstretch to aid in body control, injury prevention and continued joint health and longevity. The beauty about Kinstretch is that no matter where you are in your prehab, rehab, building or maintenance, it can have such a positive impact on your continued success. Whether or not this cycle of holistic treatment is solely through me or other providers of the system, I am extremely grateful to have been introduced to it and for it to be a part of my practice. It has shaped my path as a therapist/coach, yielded incredible results with my clients and will continue to do so throughout the rest of my professional career.
My personal journey started after I became certified however, the impact was pivotal after my 2nd ACL reconstruction surgery in July of 2019. The rehab protocol in comparison to the first involved FRC, FR therapy and yes, you guessed it, kinstretch. Of course I still implemented other modalities at the first few weeks post op but the one aspect of said rehab that was incorporated in my training and is still a huge part of my life is kinstretch. I never thought I would be capable or comfortable in my knees ability again but kinstretch has allowed me to completely change that perception. I was running (only 20 minutes) at 5 months post op, skiing at 7 months, hiking at 9 months and multiple other activities with my feelings of hesitation decreasing more and more. My body, for the first time in a VERY long time felt capable. I was confident in my knee and now, more confident than ever in my body’s ability to take on anything I wanted to throw at it. Over the years I had been so used to solely strength training and stretching for 30-60 seconds which evidently through my injuries simply wasn’t enough. As an athlete repeatedly getting injured and as I mentioned above, having a reinjury of my ACL and meniscus, what I was doing wasn’t enough, there was something missing. My body did not have the capacity for what I was trying to do with it and at the time of my reinjury, a small volleyball approach to jump onto the plyometric box exceeded my ability. To give some context to my physical state at that time, I had been powerlifting for a few years and competing nationally so, if I may, I was pretty strong. Feeling this way however, clearly wasn’t a reflection of my body’s ability or my joints capacity for movement and load. I was strength training 4-5x/week, very little aerobic component and essentially no joint specific training which led to said big injury. If I knew then and even growing up as an athlete suffering multiple injuries what I know now, I can’t imagine what I could have been.
Kinstretch continues and will always continue to be an incredibly large part of my training and life routine. It keeps me aware of each joint’s usable range of motion whilst giving me the tools to challenge myself if I want to expand, strengthen or reduce specific ranges. In the recent activities I have tried, my body has responded incredible well. I move better than I have ever moved, I feel better than I have ever felt before and I look forward to so many things I can try and experience through movement. I am not scared, I am not discouraged and I am not hesitant to move which is the most incredible feeling. My shit works nice and I’ll explain a little more why you should want yours too as well.
“Making shit work nice” is somewhat of the slogan of FRS and it couldn’t be more simple or true. When you make shit (meaning your joints and tissues) work nice (the way they should), you can do anything you want to do. Fundamental joint function of individual joints is essential for them to work independently therefore the better your shit (specific joints) works, the better you work, the more activities you can do which helps in overall better feelings, decreased risk of injury, increase in confidence, the list could go on and on. So, I want to help give you the capacity to do whatever you want to do. That’s the reason I do kinstretch, I teach it, and I love educating people, because like me, I want them to have the same level of confidence and ability to do whatever it is they want and ultimately, have their shit work nice! In current times we have been bombarded by a state of nonsensical home workouts that have been done over and over but now the access to online resources or information is increasing and the quality is available at our fingertips, it is upon your eyes right now as your read this blog post and it’s a click away from giving your body the best thing you can. How can we exist in a world of external stimulus in which our joints are prepared to receive all stimulus in a healthy way vs a body that isn’t prepared and can’t react? Kinstretch is the answer and I can’t wait for you to feel it. Let’s make your shit work nice together.
Sam March, RMT, PT
JOIN SAM FOR THE 6 WEEK CLASS SERIES: KINSTRETCH 101
– IN PARTNERSHIP WITH KINSTRETCH WITH ROGER
Jan 26 – Mar 9
Time: Tuesdays 5:45-6:45
Cost: $90 (can covered under Chiropractic Benefits)
Register at Ascent’s Front Desk 403-764-1200