By Thomas King, MSc, CSCS, CEP

With the COVID-19 related mandates, more and more of us are now working from home. In many cases, our at home set-ups for work may not be ideal (I know mine isn’t). You may be lucky enough to have a home office with a decent set-up but many others are likely working from the kitchen table or the living room couch.

These work set-ups are not optimal and make flexibility even more important during this time if you want to avoid a bad back or a stiff neck. Still going into work with your normal set-up? These stretches can benefit you as well.

Stretch 1: Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch With Opposite Side Reach

  1. Assume a “half” kneeling position with one foot forward and one knee on the floor. Place a cushion under the knee on the floor for added comfort.
  2. Tuck your hips posteriorly and engage the abs while simultaneously engaging the glute muscle on the same side as that which is on the floor.
  3. Reach upwards and away with the same arm as the kneeling side.
  4. Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides. Repeat 3 times.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch Front View
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch Side View

Stretch 2: Wall Hamstring Stretch

  1. Lie on the floor next to a door that will allow the necessary space to perform the stretch (See picture).
  2. Lift one leg against the doorframe and attempt to get it as flat to the frame as possible.While doing this, keep your back and neck flat to the ground. Do not let your hips rise from the floor.
  3. Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides. Repeat 3 times.
Wall Hamstring Stretch

Stretch 3: Wall Corner Chest Stretch

  1. Find a corner in the wall of your house with enough space to work in (See picture).
  2. Hold both arms up with your shoulders and elbows both at 90-degree angles.
  3. Allow yourself to “sink” into the wall until you feel a stretch in your chest.
  4. Hold for 20 seconds, rest and repeat 3 times.
Wall Corner Chest Stretch

Stretch 4: Spider-Man with Chest Opening

  1. Take a push-up position on the floor.
  2. Bring one foot up and to the outside of you hand. Only go as far as you can while keeping the foot flat.
  3. While holding this position, take the same-sided arm and reach upwards opening up the chest.
  4. Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides. Repeat 3 times.
Spider-Man Stretch Front View
Spider-Man Stretch Side View

Stretch 5: Cat/Cow  

  1. Assume an all fours kneeling position on the floor.
  2. For the “cat” position, tilt the hips anteriorly while pushing the bellybutton as close to the floor as possible. Hold for 5 seconds.
  3. For the “cow” position, push the center of your chest as high as possible while allowing the hips to tuck into a posterior tilt. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Alternate between positions for 6-8 Rounds
“Cow” Position
“Cat” Position

Try this stretching routine once or (if you are feeling stiff) twice per day over the next couple of weeks. Trust me, your body will thank you for it!

~Thomas 🏋️‍♀️

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I’m 34 and started at JKC in 2015. My wife joined while I was working away in 2015 and started making amazing progress while also completing exercises I’d never perform on my own. I felt I was missing out so I signed up. JKC helps in establishing goals while also having clear direction of what to do, and how, in each session. They also measure your progress which is another means of motivation! At other gyms I wouldn’t have a clear plan and would just use whatever equipment was free, it was hard to see any results. Between setting some personal bests and making good friends its hard to identify a favorite memory.  One that does come to mind was when I hit my target goal/PB in both bench and squats in the same session, big day.

sumo deadlift

I had always wanted to start lifting weights and get stronger, but didn’t know where to start. I was looking not just for a gym, but for training on proper technique to prevent injury and a program designed for my specific goals. I also wanted a fun and supportive atmosphere to keep me coming back. JKC delivered on all of this and more.

Jon and Thomas have a wealth of knowledge that help their clients get the most out of their time in the gym. Programs are continuously modified to keep the workouts challenging. Even through everyone’s program is unique, you always have the coaches and other clients cheering you on and pushing you to achieve new bests.

I’m 36 Years Old and started with JKC in 2013. In the past I’d often have motivated spurts of a gym routine but they would usually only last a month or so. It’s pretty easy to press the snooze button at 530 am when there’s no one waiting for you. The fact that the guys are always on time/prepared and motivated for your session adds a level of accountability to your shoulders to “get out of bed” and bring your best effort each time. From the pressure free trainers to the camaraderie that you create over time with the individuals you’re working out with, JKC is able to offer an experience many other gyms cannot.

I had been struggling with work-life balance resulting in not exercising or playing hockey as much as I had been doing in the past. In addition to being out of shape, I was starting to experience some back/shoulder issues and realized I needed to make some changes. Around this time, a friend (who was also a client) recommended JKC and that’s when I started!

You really feel part of a community where everyone is welcoming and supportive. You get a program that is designed specifically to achieve your goals, with the ongoing coaching, progress tracking and support required to achieve them. The JKC team are very knowledgeable about fitness and conditioning, and very engaging with everyone to answer questions or discuss anything and everything training related. I also like the flexible scheduling and gym times that work for my schedule (I like early mornings and evenings).

I recently visited Newfoundland for one month, and was looking for a good place to train while I was there. Jon and the team at JK conditioning really took the time to assess what I already knew, and set achievable goals for the time that I had with them. The gym was such a great place to push yourself. It had everything you needed, but more importantly it had a well organized, very knowledgeable, and really motivating group of trainers to push you at each workout. Not to mention a really nice group of other members who also motivated me to go that little bit further. I would highly recommend the gym to anyone who has a goal and wants to find a place to help them achieve it.

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