Stretch Pilates

Ambitious, innovative and decisive – co-owners and husband and wife team, Stefan and Jenna van der Merwe, recently opened their fourth Stretch Pilates studio at FITPOD at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre.
Founded six years ago, Stretch Pilates (now in Durban North, Hillcrest, Mount Edgecombe and Ballito) is unlike any other in the province.
With plans of eight reformer machines in the FITPOD studio alone – allowing for group reformer classes from July 2024 for the first time ever in KZN – and a highly professional business model and management style, Stretch Pilates is unique, welcoming and results driven.
And it’s easy to see why. Both incredibly motivated and enthusiastic about health and wellness, Stefan is a qualified dietician and nutritionist, and Jenna is a biokineticist. The couple met while studying at Stellenbosch and were married in 2010. They have two children (2 and 9 years) and enjoy an active, outdoors and relaxed lifestyle. They are also, according to Stefan, serial entrepreneurs!
It was after spending a year living in the small town of Manguzi near Kosi Bay, after getting married and while Stefan was doing his community service, that they decided to settle down in Durban. “We had fun while we were there – we lived in a ‘park home’ and spent a lot of time surfing, doing Pilates and holidaying in Mozambique! When we moved back to Durban in 2012, we opened our Dietetics and Biokinetics practice in Durban North.”
Stefan and Jenna were also doing Pilates classes part-time at the local bowling club. “We didn’t take it very seriously,” says Stefan “and we weren’t running it very well, but somehow it grew organically.” They formalized the business in 2018 and launched Stretch Pilates in Durban North. In just six years they have gone on to open three more studios.
Both Jenna and Stefan did the BASI Pilates comprehensive teacher training so they could train their clients using BASI systems equipment, which they also started selling in South Africa. Their second branch opened in Hillcrest in 2021 and the third at Flanders Mall in Mount Edgecombe 18 months later.
Now they have 13 instructors working for them and are hoping to take the Stretch Pilates brand national one day.
Jenna, still a practicing biokineticist, is a skilled Pilates instructor and she works hard to ensure there is consistency across all four studios. Stefan stepped away from private practice to work in nutrition labelling and analysis in the food industry, while also managing Stretch Pilates. “Our goal is to help as many people as possible to move more, move better and be in less pain. We are determined to change the industry in SA and pride ourselves on running a highly professional business. Our clients become part of a community when they join Stretch Pilates. We have proper structures in place to ensure the entire journey – from signing up to achieving your health goals – is a fulfilling one. And anyone can do it. We have a range of class offerings, from foundation to intermediate. Our studios are non-threating and welcoming with a maximum of eight clients in a class.”



08:00 – 09:00 – Pilates Core Recovery


BOOKINGS : 076 807 7405