Athlete/Celebrity Workouts

Stretch Like the Pros of the NFL

Meet the NFL's secret weapon for flexibility.

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Ann Frederick first stretched Randy Moss before a game in a hotel room in 1999—the future Hall of Fame wide receiver’s second season in the NFL. When Frederick finished her work, Moss left the room and sprinted down the hallway.

He was impressed and declared himself ready to play. “He came back the next day,” says Frederick, “and said, ‘Stretch Lady, I’m faster. I’m Randy Moss, and you got me faster.’”

Frederick, who owns the Stretch to Win Center and Institute in Tempe, AZ, with husband Chris, has been stretching elite athletes for more than two decades. Utilizing a technique rooted in her extensive dance background, she’s managed to win over the likes of Terrell Owens, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Leonard Davis, Tim Hightower, and Donovan McNabb, with whom the Fredericks have worked since his rookie season. Several NFL players have even paid for their personal therapists to travel to Phoenix for Stretch to Win certification courses, which attract trainers, physical therapists, and coaches from around the world.

What it Does

Lie down on a Stretch to Win table for 30 minutes and let Ann Frederick go to work on just one side of your body, then stand up and see how it feels. The resulting sensation, which keeps Stretch to Win’s clients coming back year after year, will amaze you.

“If we work just one leg,” says Chris Frederick, “then get up and do a squat, you’re going to be all twisted up, but in a good way. One side will just drop, while the other side is still restricted. On the field, after running and cutting, our NFL guys say it’s like someone just released their parking brake.”

How it Works

If there’s a secret to the Stretch to Win method, it’s the way the Fredericks decompress their athletes’ joints—an action that forces an almost immediate relaxation of the surrounding muscles. Their technique is known as fascial stretch therapy, which unlike traditional isolated stretching is a global approach that works the entire body’s connective tissue system.

“They all get massaged,” says Chris Frederick, “but you can’t touch that joint capsule with your hands because it’s too deep. This method can. We ‘unglue’ the hips from the deepest level by getting the muscle around the joint capsule to let go.”

This ungluing is in large part a neurological response. Instead of attacking an athlete’s central nervous system (CNS) with aggressive static stretches, the Fredericks “romance” it—calming down the CNS and causing muscles and connective tissue to relax and come unbound.

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