For many of us, stretching is like flossing — tedious but necessary. When someone helps you stretch, however, it can change the equation altogether.
“Humans are social animals,” says Los Angeles–based yoga and martial-arts instructor Steven Schilling. “Helping another person stretch appeals to our caretaking impulses.”
Working together also provides valuable feedback. “Alignment is crucial,” says Schilling. “But not everyone can see what their back, toes, or chest is doing when they’re in a deep stretch.” The extra pair of eyes helps ensure that you’re lengthening the correct muscles without putting undue strain on your joints.
After your next workout — or any time you’re feeling stiff — grab a friend and run through these four moves. Take turns as the stretcher and stretchee, assisting with the stretch and allowing yourself to be stretched in turn.