Stretching with or without a Partner

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Stretching with assistance—from a partner or training band—will improve your flexibility. Tim Robertson, co-owner and operator of Speed Strength Systems in Cleveland, promotes it before and after every workout, as well as on days you don't train. "Many athletes lack flexibility, which limits them from reaching their potential speed and strength," Robertson explains. To limber up like Speed Strength's star clients, Phoenix Suns' Leandro Barbosa and Denver Nuggets' Nene Hillario, try the following three drills. Each one has a band and partner variation, either of which will boost your performance and prevent injuries.

Hamstring Stretch

If you have a band... • Keep knee locked and leg straight as you pull on band • Pull leg in and out of brief, gentle stretch • Hold last of 10 reps for 10-15 seconds • Perform with both legs

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By Chad Zimmerman

Stretching with assistance—from a partner or training band—will improve your flexibility. Tim Robertson, co-owner and operator of Speed Strength Systems in Cleveland, promotes it before and after every workout, as well as on days you don't train. "Many athletes lack flexibility, which limits them from reaching their potential speed and strength," Robertson explains. To limber up like Speed Strength's star clients, Phoenix Suns' Leandro Barbosa and Denver Nuggets' Nene Hillario, try the following three drills. Each one has a band and partner variation, either of which will boost your performance and prevent injuries.

Hamstring Stretch

If you have a band...
• Keep knee locked and leg straight as you pull on band
• Pull leg in and out of brief, gentle stretch
• Hold last of 10 reps for 10-15 seconds
• Perform with both legs

If you don't...
• Repeat same stretch, but against partner's resistance

IT Band Stretch

If you have a band...
• While left leg is extended across body, keep right hip flat on ground
• Make sure to straighten leg and lock knee against band's resistance
• Pull leg in and out of brief, gentle stretch
• Hold last of 10 reps for 10-15 seconds
• Perform with both legs

If you don't...
• Straighten leg against partner's resistance

Hip Flexor/Quad Stretch

If you have a band...
• Pull on band until thigh raises off ground
• Pull leg in and out of brief, gentle stretch
• Hold last of 10 reps for 10-15 seconds
• Perform with both legs

If you don't...
• Repeat same stretch, but have partner provide resistance


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: STRETCHING | WORKOUTS | TRAIN | RAISES | HAMSTRING STRETCH | SPEED AND STRENGTH | IT BAND