It’s common knowledge that flexibility is an important part of overall fitness, yet many people still neglect this key component of a well rounded exercise regimen.
One way to make stretching more interesting (and in many cases more effective), is by having a partner or trainer to assist you.
One great stretch to do with a partner is for your hamstrings and inner thighs. Start by sitting upright with your legs stretched out in a V shape.
Have a partner sit across from you in the same position with one person’s feet pressed up against the other persons ankles. The person with shorter legs should have their feet on the inside (see photo). Grab your partners wrists and have them pull you in.
Keep your back straight and your chest up and take the stretch in your hips and legs. Hold for at least 20 seconds and then switch and stretch your partner.
Another great stretch to have a partner assist you with is the one pictured to the left.
Sit with your hands behind your head and your fingers laced together. Have your partner stand behind you and pull back on your elbows. It may be helpful to have your partner’s knee or torso pressed against your back for leverage. You will feel this stretch in your chest and shoulders.
Remember to breathe deeply and try to stay calm while stretching. Of course, thinking about relaxing always makes it harder! Simply focus on your breath to help you relax.