In most athletic activities, when one is not knowledgeable enough about what one is doing, there is a risk of having an accident or suffering an injury. This is just the same when it comes to stretching exercises, but when we stretch in pairs, there is a portion of the activity we do not control and which relies on the knowledge and experience of our stretching partner. Therefore, there are certain guidelines that should be followed which, in addition to preventing injuries, optimize the work and the results. Here are a few of them:
• It is necessary for both partners to know each other and exchange impressions, they should communicate adequately and know the physical shape and the limits of each other.
• The best results are obtained with pairs who are of similar height, weight and physical shape, and who share similar goals.
• Since it is difficult to know the precise moment to stop when one is stretching another person, it is imperative to establish a gesture between the two that tells the person doing the stretching not to take the movement any further. It can be a slap on the ground or something similar.
• Before beginning a stretch, both partners must know and agree between themselves as to what exercise is to be performed and up to what point it will be performed.
• If the general rule in individual stretches is the slowness of movement, this is even more so when it comes to stretching in pairs. Any movement that is “not slow” will trigger a defensive contraction reflex in the other person and prevent any proper stretching.
• When stretching in pairs, it is imperative that the holds and manipulations by the other person be performed with respect, both physical and moral.
• One must try to make the partner´s respiration natural and comfortable.
• Given that concentration is important, outside noises and conversation should be limited to the bare minimum.
• The person who is receiving the stretch should trust his partner, otherwise the individual will remain tense and this will prevent any progress.
Practically all the areas of the body may be stretched individually, but working in pairs always provides a little extra motivation, which undoubtedly will lead to improvement and continuing with the training.