Shared Stretching

by Irene Lewis-McCormick, MS on Jan 22, 2014


Pair up boot camp participants in this creative cool-down.

It’s important to end a hard workout with a proper cool-down to ensure that participants transition safely to “regular” activity. Teamwork is a focus in most boot camp classes, and partner stretches create a social environment where people can interact and find support.

Supine Hip Press With Partner Plank

Partner A lies supine on floor, head relaxed, knees and hips flexed, pulled as close to shoulders as possible; feet are dorsiflexed. Partner A stands facing partner B, feet hip-width apart, and then places hands on soles of partner B’s feet, leaning forward into variation of plank pose. Partners hold stretch for 6–10 seconds and then switch positions.

Cuing, Coaching and Communicating Image

Cuing, coaching and communicating. Partner A needs to communicate comfort level, and partner B must maintain strong plank. Partner B walks forward to decrease intensity of partner A’s hip stretch and walks backwards to increase intensity.

Standing Quad Stretch to Figure Four and Hip Extension

Partners stand facing one another and take each other’s right (R) arm at wrist or forearm. They grab their own left (L) foot with their L hand, stretching quad. When ready, partners transition L leg (at or above ankle joint) onto R thigh, while simultaneously reaching for each other’s L hand, creating double-arm grip. They then sit back into figure-four stretch, holding for 6–10 seconds.

When both are stable, partners remove L leg from R thigh and lengthen through L hip and knee, hinging forward from hip and creating long, extended leg and spine. (They may need to adjust grips to accommodate forward hinge.) Each partner balances on one leg, with both arms clasped together for stability. Partners hold stretch for 6–10 seconds, return foot to floor, and switch legs.

Cuing, Coaching and Communicating Image 2

Cuing, coaching and communicating. Partners should maintain stability before moving into each stretch. Cue them to connect and assist each other with balance by moving at a speed equally manageable to both. Partners should replace foot on ground if either of them loses balance.

Front Lunge With Overhead Reach to Lateral Lunge

Partners stand to each other’s R side (facing away from one another) and place R hands and forearms together vertically; elbows are flexed; palms are touching or fingers clasping. Partners lunge forward with L leg, dropping back knee toward floor. They use forearm connection to create leverage and allow shoulder and chest to open. When both partners are ready, they reach L arm up, stretching spine laterally and holding until both partners are stable; then they step out of lunge, returning to standing position.

When upright, partners change elbow/forearm connection to clasping wrist position and step sideways into lateral lunge. They hold for 6–10 seconds and return to upright posture—and then switch sides.

Cuing, Coaching and Communicating Image

Cuing, coaching and communicating. Cue partners to adjust standing position so it works for them both, and to communicate pace. For shoulder/chest stretch, have them align forearms and adjust standing and lunge positions as needed.



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About the Author

Irene Lewis-McCormick, MS

Irene Lewis-McCormick, MS IDEA Author/Presenter

Irene Lewis-McCormick, MS, C.S.C.S. is an international fitness educator, twice published author (Human Kinetics) and 30-year fitness industry veteran. Irene is faculty at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and SCW Fitness. She is the Education Director for Octane Fitness, an Orangetheory Fitness coach and a RYKA Fitness Ambassador. Irene contributes to several fitness and consumer publications, is a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for ACE and NASM, an IDEA Fitness Expert, and contributing author to the newest release of the AFAA Group Fitness Instructor Manual. Irene holds positions on the advisory board for Diabetic Living magazine and the Egg Nutrition Council. Irene has starred in dozens of DVD's, has written 13 fitness instructional manuals (pre-natal, water fitness, small group training, kids fitness, HIIT program design, strength training, group exercise, etc.) and is a master trainer for TRX, Savvier Fitness, Power Systems, SCW Fitness Education, JumpSport and KnotOut. Her primary certifications include NSCA, ACE, ACSM, AEA, AFAA and YogaFit.