Before getting into a workout, you may be used to starting with some basic stretches to prep your body. But have you ever thought about creating a stretching routine that serves as the main workout? Or even bringing your partner along for the “stretch?” Stretching alone has many benefits such as improving your flexibility, athletic performance and mood, but partner stretching can also benefit your relationship, too.
Partner stretching is stretching with the assistance of another person to increase your range of motion and flexibility. Working through each stretch together allows each partner to be in tune with the other's body and needs. Studies show that couples who exercise together are generally more satisfied with the relationship. Not only are you able to spend quality time together, but it also increases communication and intimacy.
Stretches to try with your partner
1. Partner Backbend
Make the most of your stretch routine by implementing the partner backend. This will improve your physical fitness and can be performed pre or post-workout. Start by facing each other, then grab your partner's forearms and have your partner do the same.
Both of you will lean backward simultaneously. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds until you feel a stretch in your core. If it's comfortable, you can lean your head back to increase the stretch through your core and spine. Stand up and then repeat. This will help to build trust when holding each other up.
When trying to successfully execute a good stretch, it'll be best to have on some gear that will allow your body to move freely. Opt for comfortable yet stretchy workout leggings and a sports bra or loose shirt that you can comfortably stretch in.
2. Hamstring Stretch
The hamstring stretch is all in the legs. This movement can help improve your flexibility and posture, reduce workout-related injuries and improve balance, while also strengthening your relationship together.
Start with one partner lying on their back with their legs straight. While lifting one leg in the air, have your partner hold your leg. Your partner will then push gently on your leg until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, then switch legs. After you have completed stretching both sides, trade places with your partner and follow the same steps.
3. Calf Stretch
This is another stretch that is aimed at improving flexibility, posture, and balance. One partner will begin by laying flat on their stomach, with one knee bent so their leg is at a 90-degree angle. To keep your heel in place your partner will gently apply their weight on it. Then, your partner will push down on the front of your foot until you feel a stretch in your calf. This position should be held for 20-30 seconds on each leg. Once you have stretched both calves, switch places with your partner and follow the same steps.
Exercising can make a person happier overall, but doing it with your partner focuses on connecting with them as opposed to just yourself. Motivating each other to hold your stretch and moving so closely together increases intimacy and better communication in your relationship. Couples who sweat together, stay together. To experience the benefits partner stretching can bring, have your partner join in on your next session.
For more ideas on stretches you and your partner can add to your routine, check out the infographic below.