Do a quick search for mobility and posture exercises online, and you'll see that many of these exercises—especially the shoulder openers—involve standing or lying on the ground. According to Alexandra Ellis, a mobility coach and yoga instructor, these types of exercises typically aren't accessible for people with disabilities or mobility issues, like individuals with limb loss or limb differences.
Ellis recently shared a shoulder-opening exercise on TikTok, improving posture and easing tension without standing or leaning against a wall.
Sit in your best posture in a chair. This means placing the feet on the floor and sitting tall for most people.
Place an object, like a foam roller, vertically between your back and the back of the chair.
Grab a strap or towel in your hands, then bring it behind the foam roller. The key is to bring your elbows forward and keep your hands at the back.
Draw an imaginary circle (from side to side) behind your head. Make sure you keep your elbows from rotating back or your rib cage popping forward.
Draw as many circles as you can in either direction while maintaining a good posture.
However, if you don't have a foam roller or cannot sit up straight, Ellis recommends doing the exercise with just a towel or a strap behind your head.
Always remember that pain-free movement is critical. If you feel discomfort or added muscle tension, then this exercise may not be the right fit for you. Instead, we highly recommend asking your physical therapist for other seated exercises you can perform.
Have you tried this exercise?