New Kid on the Block: Outer Reach

Fidi resident Aimee Cho has had some interesting jobs in her life – the first one out of college was as Anna Wintour’s assistant, and she’s gone on to start a contemporary trench coat business (Gryphon), a fitness blog for women (The New Jock) and a line of elevated basics named for the Golden Ratio (1.61). But this is the only gig so far that could fix a frozen shoulder.

It was a few years ago, and Cho was running and boxing regularly (plus raising two kids, one of whom is now at Peck Slip School) when she hurt her shoulder. After two years of doctor’s visits, physical therapy, failed diets and holistic treatments, “none of it got me to where I wanted to be.” Finally, it was a trainer at the gym – Mendez Boxing – who first stretched her, setting her on a path of research and devotion that brought her to found Outer Reach.

“I felt rejuvenated. I would feel taller, looser, in a way I had never felt before.”

Early in the process, Cho was introduced to stretch expert (and professional dancer) Toni Melaas; her approach struck a chord. In early 2018, the two started refining Melaas’ method so she could train workers, and the team had their first intensive training this past January. (Just for the record, Lymbr opened on Jay in February 2018.)

Stretching at Outer Reach is really shorthand for the postural alignment, functional movement training and core strength training they do at the studio. Clients can either take a 30-minute ($59) or 60-minute ($109) one-on-one stretch session, or join a group stretch for $28. Either way, what you do in the studio is meant to be taken on the road. “We want to give people the tools to understand their own body,” said Cho. “We want people to walk out knowing more about themselves.”

Cho makes sure she gets a one-on-one stretch each week and layers in one class as well. And she thinks the rest of us should be doing the same thing – and she may be right. Most health experts now say that stretching – perhaps more than exercising – is the key to keeping muscles strong and flexible and maintaining a good range of motion in joints, especially as we age.

“It’s wild that stretching is something that everyone knows about but does not take seriously,” said Cho, whose super fit 75-year-old father stretches for an hour every morning. “Now rather than have someone fix me, I know how my own body works.”

Outer Reach
345 Greenwich (Jay and Harrison)