How To Do Arm Circles (Shoulder Circles)

Arm Circles Exercise

Arm Circles is an excellent dynamic stretch exercise to prime your shoulders, upper back, scapulae, traps and elbows before training the upper body.

You can use Arm Circles to loosen up your shoulders prior to doing Squats and Deadlifts.

If you like to do overhead and forward pressing exercises you need to start your workout with Arm Circles.

Dynamic stretching exercises activates the muscle fibres to react faster to applied resistance and is considered as the best way to warm up any body part.

Arm Circles will improve mobility and flexibility to your shoulders and upper back.

Arm Circles How To

  • Stand in a shoulder width position and place your arms alongside your hips. Push your hips and chest out to maintain a flat back position.
  • Raise your arms up to the side until it is at the same height of your shoulders. Keep your arms straight. Rotate your shoulders backward with your arms making small circles then gradually building up to larger full circles.
  • Once you have completed the targeted number of reps going backward, change direction and rotate your shoulders going forward. Again, start with small circles building up to larger full circles.
  • Another version is to do large circles with one shoulder rotating backward and the other rotating forward. Once you’ve completed the targeted number of reps, change direction and repeat the exercise.
  • Perform the exact number of reps in both directions.

Form and Technique

Arm Circles is basically a shoulder rotational exercise with arms to the side.

Start out slow and once you have warmed up, you can repeat the exercise with a faster cadence. The faster you go the more fibres are primed up for work.

A good routine for Arm Circles is to do 2 sets of 30 reps.

The first set is backward Arm Circles and the second set is forward Arm Circles; slowly build up to the larger circle by doing the first 15 reps in the small circle pattern.

Do another 2 sets if you are not yet fully warmed up.

Variations: Arm Swings

Routine 2 sets x 30 seconds

Arm Circles