Stretch of the Week: Partner Down Dog Stretch

by Rachel Lackowski | Leave a Comment

Welcome to my favorite season, Fall! Since Sweetest Day is in October, I thought it would be fun to do a month of partner stretches. So grab the sweetest person in your life for the next few weeks of fun!

The first week of October is a Partner Down Dog Stretch. One person will get a really good hamstring stretch, and the other person will get a front body stretch. If you have significant weakness in your upper body, injuries in your shoulders, wrists, hands or hamstring injuries, please skip this week’s stretch.

How to perform:

  1. Partner one will get into the downward dog position as shown in photo marked “1.” Important things to remember in this position: spread your fingers very wide. Press the space between your thumb and index finger firmly into the floor. Squeeze your armpits like you’re trying to squeeze an apple under your armpit. Draw your bellybutton back toward your spine to engage your abdominal muscles. Press your hips back and up. Bend your knees slightly if your hamstrings are very tight. Reach your heels toward the floor.
  1. Partner two will stand in front of partner one, just on the inside of partner one’s forearms as shown in photo marked “2.”
  1. Partner two will then squat down very gently and set their sit bones onto partner one’s upper back as shown in the photo marked “3.” Partner two will keep most of their weight in their legs and heels.
  1. Before partner two goes any further, both partners need to communicate to see if the weight placed onto partner one feels okay. If partner one feels okay with the weight, then partner two can begin to gently lay back onto partner one. Partner two will straighten their legs and firm their feet into the ground, while also pressing their belly button back to their spine for stability. This gentle pressing back to back will stretch Partner one’s hamstrings, but it is important to keep the knees slightly bent if your hamstrings are tight! Partner two will continue to check in with partner one throughout the stretch. If partner one is doing okay, then partner two can begin to take their arms up overhead as shown in the photo marked “4.” This will stretch the front of partner two’s body.
  1. Stay in this stretch for five breath cycles (inhale and exhale equals one cycle). To come out of this stretch safely, partner two will come back to the squatting position and gently press back up to standing. Partner one can then bring their knees down to the floor. Switch positions and repeat!

stretch of the week partner down dog stretchInterested in learning more? Email me at rachel.lackowski@athletico.com

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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