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General fitness - Week 3

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Stretching and flexibility

If your work involves sitting in a chair for long periods of time, it is important to get up and stretch muscles that tense up over time. Improving flexibility takes time. Create a stretching routine and try to complete it daily if not weekly.

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ListCat: Stretching Tips
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Build it into your day

(check out our weekly workout video for more ideas)

Stretching can be done any time of the day. The stretches below can be done at your desk and in-between work tasks.

  • Hamstring stretch by placing foot on chair
  • Chest stretch on wall
  • Lean to the side for a side stretch
  • Round your back and pull arms forward
  • Neck stretch by tilting your head
  • Shoulder stretch with one arm across the body

If your work involves sitting in a chair for long periods of time, it is important to get up and stretch muscles that tense up over time.

Stretching and Flexibility

(check out our weekly workout video for more ideas)

Improving flexibility takes time. Create a stretching routine and try to complete it daily if not weekly.

  • Hamstring Stretch
  • Quadriceps Stretch
  • Hip Flexor Stretch
  • Standing Calf Stretch
  • Chest Stretch
  • Glute Stretch
  • Childs Pose

Stretching should be slightly uncomfortable but never painful. Focus on your breath to ease your body though any discomfort.

Please check out the program and video, Stretching 101 for additional exercise ideas and guidance.

Hold each stretch for 5 to 7 breaths. Clear your mind. Focus on the muscle being stretched.

Remember to take a movement break every 30 minutes. Stretch, walk, dance and get some fresh air.

Stretching 101

  • Start by moving around to warm up your body before you start stretching. Why not turn on some music and dance or get some fresh air in your yard.
  • Move in your pain-free, strain free range of motion.
  • Breathe slowly as it will relax your body so you can stretch and clear your mind. Focus on the muscle being stretched.
  • Hold each stretch 5 to 7 breaths. Focus on your breath.
  • If you find you are holding your breath you are going to deep into the stretch. Always ease into a stretch slowly so your muscles can relax to stretch.
  • Stretches should be felt in the belly of the muscle never at a joint.
  • Avoid locking your joints (knees and elbows), always keep a little micro bend at the joint.
  • Stretch any body part that feels tight.
  • Keep your spine in mind, if doing a stretch for your legs or arms, keep your spine in neutral.

Large range of motion activities count as dynamic stretching, slow and controlled movements like shoulder rolls, hip circles and leg swings are equally as effective when it comes to increasing a joints range.​

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side bend stretch 

1. Side Bend Stretch

1 Set, Hold: 30s

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ListCat: Stretching side bend
ID: 4453

Stand straight with your feet hip width apart and look directly ahead of you. 

Lift one arm up above your head and slowly bend sideways while reaching down with the opposite hand, until you feel a stretch at the side of your trunk.

Maintain the stretch without twisting or leaning forward. Slowly return to initial position.

Repeat on the other side.​​

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Hamstring stretch 

2. Hamstring Stretch

1 Set, Hold: 30s

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ListCat: Hamstring stretch
ID: 4454

Place one foot forward while pressing your heel into the ground and toes towards your shin.

Keep your back in neutral as you hinge forward from the hips. Keep a little micro-bend in the knee to avoid locking it. Lower the torso until there is a slight pull in the back of the thigh.

Repeat with the opposite leg.​​


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Chest stretch 

3. Chest Stretch

1 Set, Hold: 30s

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ListCat: Chest stretch
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Place your palm on the wall with your arm outstretched horizontally, at or slightly below 90 degrees, with respect to the body.

Keeping your palm on the wall, twist the torso away from the direction of the hand, until a stretch is felt in the chest muscle.​​

Hold the position for the recommended time and breathe slowly.

Repeat on the other side.​​​​


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hip flexor stretch

4. Hip Flexor Stretch

1 Set, Hold: 30s

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ListCat: Stretch your hip flexors
ID: 4458

In a split stance with the rear leg internally rotated/slightly turned in. Tilt your pelvis forward trying to round the low back. Feel the front of the hip being stretched.

Next, raise your arm, the same side as the back leg, up and over the opposite side while maintaining the hip position.

Repeat on the other side.


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stretching the side leg


5. Stretching the Side Leg

1 Set, Hold: 30s

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ListCat: Stretch the side of your leg
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​​Stand next to a wall with the legs toward the wall. Cross over the leg furthest from the wall and push your hips towards the wall until you feel a stretch on the side of your thigh and buttocks.

Keep the foot of the stretched leg pointed forward. Hold the stretch.

​​Repeat on the other side.

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Outer thigh stretch

6. Inner Thigh Stretch

1 Set, Hold: 30s

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ListCat: Stretch your adductors
ID: 4460

​​Sit in a chair, facing the back of it. Be aware of your posture and sit with a long spine.

Widen your legs and move/hinge forward from the hips towards the chair back-rest so as to stretch your groin muscles.

​​Hold the position.

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Stretching your SCM

7. Neck Stretch

1 Set, Hold: 30s

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ListCat: Stretch your SCM
ID: 4461

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Sit and place both hands over the collarbone.

Gently pull it down towards the floor with your hands. You should essentially feel the skin moving downward gently. 

Raise your chin and lean your head sideways away from hands until a stretch is felt along the side of the neck.

Your head should be moving slightly away from the hand that is on the collarbone. Maintain the stretch.​​

Repeat on the other side.​​​​​​


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back stretch

8. Back Stretch

1 Set, Hold: 30s

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Row Count: 1
ListCat: Stretch your back
ID: 4462

​​Hold a stable object in front of you with one hand using an overhand grip (palm down).

Lean forward by bending at the hips while pushing the hips backward.

Turn your hips slightly to one side to accentuate the stretch along the opposite side of your armpit and shoulder blade. Hold the position for the recommended time.

Repeat on the other side.​​


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standing calf stretch

9. Standing Calf Stretch

1 Set, Hold: 30s

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ListCat: Standing calf stretch
ID: 4463

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Stand and place both hands on a wall, with your feet about half a meter from the wall.

Place one leg behind the other and lean your body forward without bending the back knee until you feel a stretch in your back lower leg (calf). Maintain the stretch and relax.​​

Repeat on the other side.​​​​


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stretching glutes

10. Glute Stretch

1 Set, Hold: 30s

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ListCat: Stretch your glutes
ID: 4464

​​Lie on your back with your knees bent, place one foot over the opposite knee.

​​Grab behind the leg that is on the ground with your hands and pull it toward you until you feel a gentle stretch. Maintain the position and relax.

You can guide your knee backward slightly to increase the stretch. *If your neck is uncomfortable, place a folded towel under it so that your neck is neutral.

​​Repeat on the other side.

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