Stretching and strengthening exercises to do at home or at work - Josh Wood Osteopath

Stretching and strengthening exercises to do at home or at work

Stretching exercises to do at home

Ideally perform these exercises after getting home from work, which may undo the buildup of muscle tension and joint stiffness from a long days work.

Rolled towel stretch

  • Roll a towel up to a fairly firm state and lie on it so your spine runs along it from your head to bottom with arms outstretched in a crucifix position
  • Ensure that the head is supported and is not falling back
  • Lie there for around a minute



Pec stretch

Josh Wood Osteopath Balwyn_Pec stretch


  • Perform both arms at once, or one at a time
  • Hold for about 10 seconds then perform other variations show below



Cat camels

Josh Wood Osteopath Mont Albert_Cat stretch

  • Get down on all fours. Relax your head, and allow it to relax in a drooped position
  • Round your back up toward the ceiling until you feel a nice stretch in your upper, middle, and lower back, being sure to not force it too much
  • Hold this stretch for around 10 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position with a flat back while you are on all fours.
  • Let your back sway by pressing yourstomach toward the floor. Lift your butt towards the roof
  • Hold this position for about 10 seconds
  • Repeat 4 times

Strengthening exercises to do at home

Ideally perform these exercises 4-5 times a week, each time making sure that your posture is in a good alignment, this will be achieved by making sure your core and your pelvic muscles are contracted and working. Do not perform these exercises if they cause pain.

If you can’t do the mentioned amount of reps, start with whatever you can before you tire, gradually increase the amount over time.


Josh Wood Osteopath Box Hill_Clams

  • Lie on your side, bending hips to 45 degrees and knees to 90
  • Bottoms of the feet, lower spine and neck should all be in the same line
  • Breathe in, exhale and brace your core and activate your glute, after doing so lift one leg up whilst keeping the feet in contact with each other, hold for half a second at the top of the motion
  • Breathe in on the way down, relax at the bottom, activate glute and core and go again
  • Do this for 10 reps on each side
  • Placing your hand on your buttocks will help to train the activation of the gluteal muscles


Josh Wood Osteopath Surrey Hills_Bird dog exercise

  • Start on all fours
  • Keeping your spine and neck in a straight line and not lifting the head or neck at all, slowly and controlled lift your left arm and Right leg
  • Making sure your core is switched on activated at all times, if you’re having trouble doing so suck your belly button to your spine ever so slightly to contract the core
  • Hold at the end position for a few seconds then slowly lower to all fours. Repeat the same limbs 5 times before doing the opposite with the other sides
  • If you find the hands and arms together too difficult, try with just the arm or the leg independently prior to doing both


Josh Wood Osteopath Balwyn_Bridges

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Raise your hips up off the floor so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Making sure to feel the contraction through your glutes whilst doing so
  • Pause at the top for about half a second then slowly lower down
  • Important to not dig in with your heels to do the motion and to not go past lockout of the hips
  • Perform 10-15 times

Fire hydrants

Josh Wood Osteopath Box Hill_Fire hydrants

  • Position yourself on all fours with shoulders wide apart and palms flat
  • Keep your knees, hip wide apart and bend them at a 90 degree angle
  • Make sure you keep your back straight, raise one thigh and bring it close to your chest as much as you can
  • Then raise the same thigh out to the side by keeping the hips still.
  • Return your leg to the starting position
  • Repeat this on either side for 10 reps of each

– Ends-

For further information, please contact:
Dr Josh Wood
Spring Osteo Clinic
+61 3 9830 7044
Direct: [email protected]
Reception: [email protected] 

About Dr Josh Wood, Osteopath
Josh likes to employ a direct approach to his treatments, he looks at your primary issue as well as why the injury or pain occurred. He is committed to personalising his treatments rather than providing a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Josh’s main areas of interest are sports injuries and chronic pain recovery and rehabilitation. Josh has prepared this article and the following one which looks at stretching exercises you can do at home due to the number of patients he sees with lower back pain caused from sitting at their desks and couches for hours on end. To make an appointment or to discuss your personal requirements further, please contact Josh on 03 9830 7044 or book online at

About Spring Osteo Clinic
Spring is an osteopathic, clinical pilates and massage clinic located on Whitehorse Road, Surrey Hills, Victoria. We are available to treat your back, neck, headaches, migraines, sports injuries, pregnancy pain, postural related pain and more. We take a holistic approach to your treatment by reviewing your direct problem area as well as assessing your whole body and lifestyle. This helps us to understand the cause of the problem and find ways for you to gain immediate and long-term relief; offer preventative solutions; and equip you with pain management skills. We treat people through all stages of life including babies and children; teenagers with study strains; athletes – beginner to professional; pregnant women and new mums; tradesmen and desk bound workers with postural complaints and more.

Desk stretches picture credits (in order)×217.jpg×300.jpg

Stretch and strength exercises at home credits

Rolled towel exercise –

pec stretch –

cat camels –

clams –

bird dogs –

BRidges –

Fire Hydrants –

This blog post has been prepared by Dr Josh Wood, Osteopath, Spring Osteo Clinic (ABN 71 078 051 387) for general information purposes only. Whilst every care has been taken in relation to its accuracy, no warranty of accuracy is given or implied. Images contained in this website have been used to enable the patient to visualise concepts only, and are not intended to definitively represent the final treatment. If you have a pain or injury please consult your osteopath or medical professional before commencing these exercises. March 2017