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 chose JKC originally to help prevent rowing injuries. I’m a rower and we won the St. John’s Regatta in 2019 but I rowed through a rib stress fracture and missed significant time in the boat during the racing season. Training at JKC consistently since the pandemic helped me stay injury free this year and made me the strongest I’ve ever felt, which helped me help my team win the 2021 St. John’s Regatta! Jon adds variety and mixes the exercises up well so that the workout goes by quickly and strength is gained. The gym is very personable and I like the eclectic mix of people that are there. JKC is much more intimate and personal than other gyms.

A few years ago, I pinched a nerve in my neck which led me to be stationary as any form of movement would cause extreme pain. During this time, my fiancé (Sean) started at JKC and loved it!! Once I overcame the nerve issue, Sean spent a long time trying to convince me that JKC is exactly what I needed to safely start working out again (I’m slightly stubborn and was super scared of re-pinching the nerve). Long story short, Sean was right… as much as I hate to admit it!

I never had luck at gyms, if it started to hurt I would call it a day. At JKC that is not an option, as Jon & Thomas will push you to finish the workout, whether you want to or not! Working out in a group setting is also a big benefit of working out at JKC, if you’re not feeling motivated you can simply feed off of someone else’s energetic vibes.

lisa jumping onto a box

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 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.

My original reason for joining JKC was to get some sage advice to help with my running. I had been looking for awhile, came across Jon, met for an assessment, and was quite happy with how that all went. Apart from the running specific strengthening and conditioning approaches, JKC is different from other gyms as I am a fan of the small group sessions where everyone has their own goals and individualized programs. As well, the run coaching is super. All the coaches go the extra mile to make sure you get the best out each training session. They are fantastic motivators! My favourite memory is deadlifting 330lbs. Making a lot of great friends and meeting some really cool people is pretty high up on that list, too.

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