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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JKC was recommended to me by a fellow runner. I was experiencing injuries, and feeling weak and fragile. When I started with JKC, Jon asked me about my goals and my focus. I wanted to concentrate specifically on running, and preventing injury. Jon developed a program for me that has enabled me to focus on my form and strength and has been flexible enough to enable me to train for many different races. I have been training with JKC for six years, and during that time I have enjoyed Jon and Thomas’s expertise in a very warm and supportive atmosphere.

I had signed up for other gyms in the past and never went or rarely went. Something always got in the way or I was just too tired and lacked motivation to go. This way I’ve made a commitment to Jon or Thomas and I try very hard to keep my sessions once I’ve booked in. JKC is different from other gyms that I’ve tried in the past because no one is there to be “seen”. We are all there to get a good workout in and go on with our lives. And it’s a small gym so you get to know everyone and it’s like a big family. When I joined JKC, I couldn’t do a chin up with an elastic band, but I’ve slowly worked up to 10 free hanging chin ups. That was big because I hate chin ups.

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