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Seated Overhead Stretch 101 Video Tutorial

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Seated Overhead Stretch
Seated Overhead Stretch

Exercise Synopsis

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The Seated Overhead Stretch is a beneficial exercise aimed at improving flexibility and mobility in the upper body, specifically targeting the latissimus dorsi muscles while also engaging secondary muscle groups such as the shoulders, traps, and upper back. With no equipment required, individuals can perform this stretch comfortably seated on a chair or bench. The movement involves lifting the arms overhead with palms facing forward and gently reaching upwards to elongate the spine while breathing deeply and evenly. This stretch helps alleviate tension in the lats and surrounding muscles, promoting better posture, range of motion, and overall upper body health.

How to Perform

  1. Begin by sitting comfortably on a chair with your arms relaxed by your sides, maintaining a straight posture to ensure proper alignment of the spine.

  2. Interlace your fingers and rotate your palms to face forward, preparing to lift your arms overhead.

  3. In a controlled motion, raise your arms upward towards the ceiling, keeping your palms facing upward as you extend them overhead.

  4. As you reach upwards, focus on gently lengthening your spine, allowing for a deep stretch in the latissimus dorsi muscles and the surrounding areas of the shoulders, traps, and upper back.

  5. Hold the stretched position for a few seconds while maintaining even and steady breathing, allowing the muscles to relax and elongate.

  6. To conclude the stretch, slowly lower your arms back to the starting position, maintaining awareness of your posture and alignment throughout the movement.

  7. Repeat the stretch as desired, focusing on maintaining smooth and controlled movements to maximize the effectiveness of the stretch and prevent any unnecessary strain or discomfort.

  8. Incorporate this stretch into your routine to promote flexibility, alleviate tension, and improve mobility in the targeted muscle groups, enhancing overall upper body function and comfort.


  1. Begin seated on a chair with arms relaxed and palms facing forward.

  2. Interlace fingers and lift arms overhead, palms facing upwards.

  3. Engage core muscles to maintain a straight spine throughout the stretch.

  4. Focus on reaching upward while gently lengthening the spine.

  5. Hold the stretched position for a few seconds to feel the stretch in the lats and upper back.

  6. Maintain steady and controlled breathing throughout the stretch.

  7. Avoid shrugging shoulders or tensing the neck; keep them relaxed.

  8. Slowly return arms to the starting position with control.

  9. Repeat the stretch as needed, aiming for a comfortable range of motion.

  10. Incorporate into a regular stretching routine to improve flexibility and reduce tension in the targeted muscle groups.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid slouching or leaning forward in the seated position; maintain an upright posture to ensure proper alignment of the spine and maximize the stretch in the lats and upper back.

  2. Do not rush the movement; perform the stretch with controlled and deliberate motions to prevent strain and allow for optimal muscle engagement.

  3. Avoid gripping or tensing the hands excessively; keep the grip relaxed to focus the energy on the targeted muscle groups rather than the hands or forearms.

  4. Prevent excessive arching of the lower back during the stretch; engage the core muscles to stabilize the spine and avoid hyperextension, which can lead to discomfort or injury.

  5. Avoid raising the shoulders towards the ears or tensing the neck muscles; keep the shoulders relaxed and away from the ears to allow for a deeper stretch in the lats and upper back.

  6. Do not hold your breath; maintain steady and controlled breathing throughout the stretch to facilitate relaxation and enhance the effectiveness of the stretch.

  7. Avoid bouncing or jerking movements; perform the stretch with smooth and fluid motions to prevent unnecessary strain on the muscles and joints.

  8. Do not force the stretch beyond your comfortable range of motion; listen to your body and only stretch to the point where you feel a gentle pull, avoiding any sharp or intense pain.

  9. Avoid neglecting proper form and technique; focus on maintaining alignment and stability throughout the stretch to ensure maximum benefit and minimize the risk of injury.

  10. Do not skip incorporating this stretch into your routine; regular practice can help improve flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and enhance overall upper body mobility and comfort.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


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Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.


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