When working with weights, it's always a must to spend some time working on your flexibility. Utilizing stretching techniques before your workout warms up your body and gets your blood flowing to the muscles that you will soon be placing under stress. Stretching after a workout helps flush the lactic acid out of the muscles you have just worked, thus diminishing the chance for soreness after the workouts. Enlist your workout partner to help you walk through the following stretches, and you should notice a positive change in your routine. Try to remember to breathe easily throughout all of the stretches.
1. Partner Back Stretch
Start off by assuming a kneeling position with your partner kneeling on your left side. They should place their right hand on the small of your back and their left hand towards the middle/upper portion of your back. Pressure should be gently applied through both hands. Slowly lower your glutes to your heels and your torso to your knees, with your arms pointing straight out in front of you until they come to rest flat on the floor. Hold this stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.
2. Partner Groin Stretch
Lie completely flat on the floor, making sure that you have your lower back and shoulders pressed into the ground. Cross your right foot over your left thigh just above the knee. Your partner should position themselves at your knee and place their right hand on your left hip and their left hand on the inside of your right knee. Pressure is then gently applied to both hip and knee to ease the right knee closer to the floor (keep the hip pressed to the floor). Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and then repeat on opposite side.
3. Partner Hamstring Stretch
Lie completely flat on the floor, with your lower back and shoulders pressed into the floor. Your partner should then position themselves to one side of you kneeling, and then take hold of your left leg at the back of the ankle and just above the knee, to keep the leg fully extended. They then gently raise the leg towards your trunk as far as possible, making sure that your hips are still pressed firmly to the floor. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, repeat on other side.
4. Partner Chest Stretch
You begin by sitting tall on a chair or bench, holding both arms straight out to the side. With your partner standing directly behind you, they place their hands around the front of your upper arms, above the elbow joint. They then gently ease your arms backwards. Hold this stretch for 10 to 15 seconds and then repeat with your arms at different angles.
Using stretching techniques with a partner will allow you to push yourself beyond the normal range of motion that you can obtain alone. With a little added pressure, you will begin to add flexibility to your muscles and over time, this will help increase your range of motion throughout your weight lifting exercises. It will also decrease the amount of post-workout muscle soreness.