Assisted Stretching, also known as partner stretching, is a type of stretching where another person, or partner, is used to help further stretch the muscles. The second person can apply additional force to deepen the stretch. Some people ask untrained friends or family members to assist them with stretching, but due to the greater force applied to the muscles, this form of stretching can be slightly more hazardous. We recommend that you consult a licensed massage or physical therapist trained in Assisted Stretching when you begin. We will guide you to stretch each other properly and avoid injury. If you do not have a trusted exercise partner, you can continue to work with your therapist to keep Assisted Stretching as part of your program.
How Does Assisted Stretching Differ From Other Stretches?
In Static Stretching one places the body into a position that engages the stretch as they “relax into it,” whereas Active Stretching requires the active use of other muscles to engage the stretch. With the additional force applied by the second person, Assisted Stretching allows for what cannot be obtained through self stretching: maximal resistance.
Why Try Assisted Stretching?
Shortened muscles become fragile and weak—adding unnecessary pressure on tendons and pulling bones out of their natural alignment. This can result in muscle, joint and back pain, as well as related injuries. One of the biggest benefits of regular stretching is to lengthen the muscles, thereby reducing the stress and pressure on the tendons and joints. Other benefits of stretching include:
- Enhanced Muscular Coordination
- Increased Circulation
- Increased Energy
- Increased Range of Motion
- Reduced Muscle Tension
Assisted Stretching does more than just deepen the basic stretch. With a partner’s assistance a greater number of muscles can be more effectively stretched and trained through all their planes of movement. Widening the range of motion and deepening the initial stretch both provide for more efficient results.