About Shape Stretch
Inventor John DiMarco examining factory samples.
The Inventor's Story
Shape Stretch Inventor, Professor John DiMarco, Ph.D. earned a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do at age 16 and was fascinated with how much the "older guys" at the dojo had to stretch out for so long before class. When he hit his 40's and 50's he understood as his flexibility and consequently his athletic and everyday mobility became impaired by tension and lessened range of motion (ROM).
DiMarco invented and Patented Shape Stretch® The Stretch and Yoga bar to help people (like him) find their flexibility. By using science based approaches to myofascial stretching techniques he focused on imbalances in posture and range of motion exercises, which have been shown to improve with at-home or in-gym assisted stretching programs. The Shape Stretch Bar and Online Programs emulate the techniques used by Stretch Coaches and Athletic trainers to help increase flexibility (ability to stretch) and mobility(joint range of motion) and aid in muscle recovery.
Shape Stretch started in 2017 in Massapequa, New York.
- In 2017, the product was invented by John DiMarco, Ph.D., a 20+ year designer, educator, and information scientist, in his basement, to help him fully regain his flexibility and active lifestyle after turning 40 and losing flexibility. He researches and buys a few stretching products, but nothing has the stability he needs to stretch with confidence and consistency at different positions.
- Dr. DiMarco begins to research peer reviewed articles looking for data and recommendations on the benefits of assisted stretching, termed in physical therapy as "passive" stretching.
- DiMarco realizes that there are no portable, strong, but light products that can stabilize while performing assisted stretching. He continues researching and begins working on physical designs.
- In 2017, initial existing product design research reveals that stretch straps and stretch bands are not rigid enough to sustain standing stability and peak balance during stretching.
- 2018, Product prototypes for a stretching bar based on geometry are produced and research on user benefits continue.
- 2019 Final product designs are completed, US patent is filed.
- 2020 Educational materials are finalized based on recommendations from experts in Physical therapy, Athletic training, Martial Arts, and Chiropractic – the ShapeStretch System is born.
- 2021 Design patent #D910,126S is issued for a body stretching bar.
- 2021 Shape Stretch Trademark is issued
- 2022 Dr. DiMarco earns the credential of Certified Stretching and Flexibility Coach from NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). He also becomes part of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) to help further expand and share knowledge on flexibility and stretching to help people lead better lives.
- 2023 Dr. DiMarco earns the NASM Golf Fitness Specialist Certification.
- 2023 Dr. DiMarco and Board Certified PT, Dr. Sheryl Comet undergo clinical studies on the Shape Stretch Bar at St. John's University.
- 2023 Dr. DiMarco provides in-service training to St. John's University's Sports Medicine department to gain feedback on Shape Stretch.
- 2023 Dr. DiMarco provides in-service training and demo units to Northwell Health's Orlin & Cohen Physical Therapy Offices to gain product feedback.
Dr. DiMarco's vision...
" I set out to create a better tool for stretching and functional flexibility. So I studied motions in fitness, athletics, and yoga to understand how stretching is being done by trainers, athletes, practitioners, and fitness coaches. After my research, I realized I could innovate a better solution for stretching that emulated a trainer – based on geometry and stability, rather than resistance. That's when I designed Shape Stretch"
DiMarco using the first Shape Stretch Bar prototype in 2018.
Shape Stretch inventor and founder Dr. John DiMarco is a Ph.D. and a professor of communication and design at St. John's University in New York. His Ph.D is in Information Studies with a focus on education and instructional media.
Building Knowledge and a Product
His expertise is in teaching design and creating tools that make people's lives better. Shape Stretch is a passion project that turned into a patented product that has helped change lives.
Through his studies and professional research, Dr. DiMarco observed how professionals executed stretching on clients based on leverage and gentle tension to find stretch resistance and explore new tissue engagement. – He created a device and stretching program that emulated their techniques called the SHAPE STRETCH Body Bar.
The mission of Shape Stretch is help people to find their flexibility. The hope is to provide the most productive and safest self assisted stretching and flexibility experience available.