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8 Partner Stretches For Full-Body Tension Relief

7 min read
a couple, man and woman, are stretching, sitting back to back, partner stretches
David O'Connell post Reviewer David O'Connell post Reviewer
Verified by David O'Connell
Certified Active Isolated Stretching Therapist, Licensed Orthopedic Massage Therapist, Corrective Exercise Specialist

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If partner stretches are your favorite way to stretch sore muscles post-workout, these two-person stretches should be your go-to. 

Check out our top picks for full-body partner-assisted stretches that guarantee #partnergoals. We’ve also got tips on how to do them, what muscles they target, and their benefits. These are perfect for you and a bestie to try at home or in the gym, as a standalone stretching session or post-workout cool-down. Let’s get to it. 

4 Upper-Body Partner Stretches You Need to Try

Here are four upper-body two-person stretches designed to fire up and stretch your upper and lower back, chest, arms, and shoulders. 

Cross-Legged Fold

The simple but spicy stretch targets the muscles in your back, especially the mid back. Benefits include releasing tension around the spine and targeting muscles like the erector spinae, traps, hips, and groin.

a couple, man and woman, are stretching, doing Cross-Legged Fold_partner stretches

How to perform:

  • Sit cross-legged facing your partner with enough space to fold forwards
  • Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, fold over your legs 
  • Partner A: lightly grip your partner’s hands and pull them towards you
  • Gently pull them further to deepen the stretch
  • Hold for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat

Variations and Tips: 

  • Play with the amount of pressure you apply
  • Breathe expansively into your back and apply pressure on the exhale
  • Alternatively, stand behind your partner and gently press into their shoulders

Behind the Head Chest Stretch

a couple, two men, are stretching, doing Behind the Head Chest Stretch_partner stretches

The stretch targets the muscles in the fronts of your shoulders (anterior delts) and pectoral muscles. You should also feel a gentle stretch in your biceps. 

How to perform:

  • Start cross-legged with your partner standing behind you
  • Place both hands behind your head
  • Inhale and lift through your spine
  • As you exhale, your partner will gently pull your elbows back towards them to open your chest
  • Hold for 30 seconds, swap, and repeat. 

Variations and Tips:

  • For extra support on your spine, ask your partner to rest their knee behind your neck and between your shoulder blades to stabilize your back.

Back-to-Back Twist Pose

a couple, two women, are stretching, doing Back-to-Back Twist Pose_Parivrtta_Sukhasana_partner stretches

In yoga, twisting poses are thought to “detoxify” the body using gentle rinsing motions. This stretches your chest and back, targets spinal muscles, and deepens your connection with your partner. 

Check out our 13 BFF 2-person yoga poses for how to do this stretch and variations to try. Use your exhales as an opportunity to find more depth.

Heart-Opener Stretch

a couple, man and woman, are stretching, doing Heart-Opener Stretch_partner stretches

The stretch is a perfect heart-opener and targets the muscles in your chest, fronts of shoulders, and hamstrings if you opt for legs outstretched. It’s a good go-to if you suffer from bad posture or rounded shoulders. 

How to perform:

  • Sit back to back with your partner with legs crossed or outstretched 
  • Person A — lift both arms with bent elbows at shoulder height, palms forward
  • Person B — interlock your arms through your partners to secure them
  • Person B — gently lean forward and pull your partner’s arms back to open the chest and fronts of the shoulders
  • Hold for 30 seconds then swap, breathing deeply throughout.

Variations and Tips:

  • Communicate with your partner and keep pressing your upper backs together
  • Widen your elbow position and pull slightly more intensely for a deeper stretch

4 Lower-Body Couple Stretches

These partner leg stretches are top-tier for improving range of motion and flexibility.

Seesaw Pose

a couple, man and woman, are stretching, doing Seesaw Pose (Dandasana Paschimottanasana)_partner stretches

The seesaw pose made it into our coveted round-up of 13 BFF 2-person yoga poses to try — where you can find out how to do this stretch. If you’re a keen yogi, this variation will give you extra support from your partner. You’ll feel it in your hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, calves, and lower back muscles.

If you’re a beginner, try this with knees softly bent until you develop flexibility. Try a gentle grip on your partner’s hands, wrists, or arms, and keep your chest lifted and shoulders down with an engaged core. 

Butterfly Fold

a couple, man and woman, are stretching, doing Butterfly Fold_partner stretches

This stretch targets the adductors (inner thigh muscles), hips, and mid-lower back muscles and supports the muscles around your knees. 

How to perform:

  • Sit back to back with your partner, and both place the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to fall wide
  • Sit tall with upper backs touching 
  • Both take a deep breath in, and on the exhale, person A will begin to fold forwards walking hands as far as possible
  • Person B — rest your back on your partner and lean backward to support the stretch
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then switch over and repeat. 

Variations and Tips:

  • To add intensity, extend your legs into a wide splits position to extend the stretch down the legs
  • Breathe deeply into your back rather than your chest and apply pressure on the exhale

Reclined Partner Pigeon Stretch

a couple, man and woman, are stretching, doing Reclined Partner Pigeon Stretch_partner stretches

The stretch releases tension in your glutes and deep gluteal muscle — the piriformis. Regular glute stretch can help release lower back tension and prevent injury. Partner assistance will help you get more from it. These eight dumbbell glute exercises will build a rounder peach. 

How to perform:

  • Person A — start on your back and place your left foot over your right knee
  • Person B — rest your partner’s right foot onto your stomach or chest and gently walk towards your partner, drawing person A’s thigh closer to their chest on every exhale
  • Hold for one minute, then switch sides
  • Switch over and repeat. 

Variations and Tips: 

  • Hold the stretch for 15 seconds, then gently move closer to your partner to deepen — keep repeating until your partner tells you to stop
  • Breathe and adjust on the exhale
  • Lift your partner’s foot to your shoulder for an even deeper stretch.

Back-to-Back Lunge

a couple, man and woman, are stretching, doing Back-to-Back Lunge_partner stretches

This stretch works your hip flexor muscles and quads. Tight hip flexors are a result of sedentary lifestyles and desk jobs. This simple stretch is intense but worth your while, helping you achieve better hip mobility and flexibility.

How to perform:

  • Face away from each other in a low lunge with your left leg forward and right knee supported on the floor
  • Right legs should be parallel to each other on the floor and touching
  • Place your hands down for support, then move your right knee further back to deepen the stretch in your hip
  • Lift your right foot onto your partner’s lower back, then remove your hands from the floor and stand tall
  • Link arms for extra support
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat. 

Variation and Tips:

  • Work one at a time and hold your partner’s foot instead
  • Place blocks next to you for stability

Rules For Successful Partner-Assisted Stretching

We like to play nicely, so here are some rules to remember when trying couple stretches. 

  • These stretches are suitable for beginners, but always reduce intensity and pressure if your partner is very tight.
  • Add bolsters, blocks, or props for extra support.
  • As the stretchee, always communicate what you need.
  • As the stretcher, keep your core engaged and adopt a stable stance to absorb impact.
  • It should be uncomfortable but not unbearable — there’s a difference.
  • Hold stretches for at least 30 seconds and build gradually.
  • Ask your partner to stop applying pressure if you feel the pain to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Remember to breathe.

Final Words

Benefits and tips of partner stretching:

  • Partner Assisted stretching can help deepen a stretch, improve flexibility, and target hard-to-reach muscles.
  • Always communicate with your partner and communicate your needs. Couples stretching should be a fun and creative way to recover — we also love this 10-minute cool-down yoga routine for more ideas.
  • Check out our workout app and fitness app for more inspiration. 
Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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