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Article by Infofit

The Chair Overhead Reach

Office exercise to help ease trapezius pain.

Upper Back Postural Exercise

The chair overhead reach is meant to help strengthen the upper back postural muscles. It is designed to help release tension held in the Trapezius muscles and relieve neck pain for those who spend long periods of time sitting in their office.

How To..

1. Move away from your desk in order to create space for movement.

2. Sit upright and tilt upper-body slightly forward with arm to the side and elbows bent 90*

3. Extend arms forward and hold for 5 seconds. Continue movement for 5 repetitions.

4. Repeat every 45 minutes

5. When you improve with this exercise, you can increase the intensity by leaning upper-body farther forward with support from foot anshoring (feet forward and heel pressure on ground with toes up.)

6. Extend arms slightly farther forward and hold for 5 seconds, 5 reps, every 45 mintues.

7. When you find you can do this exercise with ease, increase the intensity by leaning farther forward and extend arms until your biceps are beside your ears.


Start with a light intensity and monitor your back over the next 24 hours to ensure it’s been done effectively. No Pain.

The ideal physical feeling within that time should give you a ‘kind reminder’ that you have conditioned your back muscles and NOT hurt them.  If the exercise caused too much tension in the muscles in the following hours, perhaps the exercise was done too aggressively.  Increase your activity level in accordance to how your body feels the next day.

André Noël Potvin, MSc, CES, CSCS, TFL, is a Clinical Exercise Specialist and Owner of Infofit, North America’s Premier School for Fitness Professionals.