An assisted hamstring stretch can help you to increase flexibility and to prevent injury. If you train with a partner, ask them to help you stretch your hamstrings before working out together. Make sure your partner listens to you for guidance when they stretch your hamstrings, so they don't accidentally pull one of your muscles.
There are several methods you can use for an assisted hamstring stretch. You can have your partner help you stretch both legs at once, or one leg at a time. You may want to have your partner stretch your legs, then switch roles and you assist your partner with a hamstring stretch.
Before you have a partner perform an assisted hamstring stretch on your legs, it is a good idea to first stretch on your own. Do a variety of single and double leg stretches for a few minutes, until your muscles are warmed up. Once you're ready, ask your partner to help with the assisted stretch.
Performing a Single Leg Assisted Hamstring Stretch
To perform a single leg assisted hamstring stretch, have your partner kneel in front of you and then place one of your ankles on their shoulder. Ask your partner to hold your ankle with both hands, then have them slowly stand up to assist you with the hamstring stretch. Repeat the stretch with the other leg.
Another single leg assisted stretch to try is having your partner give you a push while you reach for your toes. To perform this stretch, sit on the floor and extend one leg in front of you with your toes pointed up. Tuck the other leg by your side, so your knee faces forward and your ankle touches the floor. Reach for your toes with both hands, and have your partner assist by gently pushing your back forward.
Performing a Double Leg Assisted Hamstring Stretch
To do a double leg assisted hamstring stretch, stand up straight and then cross your feet so your outer ankles touch. Slowly bend from the waist and reach for your toes with both hands, while your partner pushes down on your back. Don't bounce when reaching for your toes. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, then relax and repeat the movement several times so you get a thorough stretch.
Increasing the Intensity
You don't necessarily want to increase the intensity of an assisted hamstring stretch, but you can increase the difficulty by having your partner make you work harder during the stretch. For example, during the seated single leg stretch, have your partner apply more pressure to your back so you stretch farther toward your toes.
To increase the difficulty of a double leg assisted hamstring stretch, instead of having your partner push down on your back, have them grab your arms at the wrist. Once you're bending from the waist, reach back for your partner instead of for your toes, and have them grab your wrists and pull your arms toward them. Make sure your partner pulls gently on your wrists during the stretch, or you may injure your shoulders.