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How To Do The Arm Circle Exercise

The arm circle movement is an exercise designed to strengthen and warm up your shoulders, upper back, biceps (front of your arms), triceps (back of your arms), and upper chest. The trick to this exercise is to make sure your shoulders are set in the proper position prior to performing this exercise (see below). This is very important because this exercise is great for warming up your shoulders but if your shoulders are not situated in their proper position, the exercise will cause more harm than good. I personally use the arm circle as a warm up to my shoulder routine and will also include them in my low impact cardio routine as part of a combination movement (with the hook and knee or short squats).  

How to do the arm circle exercise

Position for the arm circle exercise

Stand straight with your feet spaced at shoulder width. Retract your shoulders back and down and puff your chest out. Arch your lower back slightly and bend your knees a bit. Keep your head level and your gaze forward. Raise your arms until they are level with the ground.

How to perform the arm circle exercise

Using your shoulders (and not your upper back), make small clockwise circles for a series of repetitions. Stop and perform another series of repetitions moving your arms in a counter clockwise motion for a series of repetitions. Once complete stop and lower your arms.


Take deep breaths in and out in a natural fashion as you rotate your arms.

Important notes about the arm circle exercise

·         Do not allow your shoulders to move forward. Keep your shoulders retracted and your chest puffed out. Stand straight and proud as you perform the arm circle exercise

·         Do not look down as this will round your back and move your shoulders forward

·         Try and pick a spot on the wall just above eye level to focus on as you perform the arm circle exercise.

Video on how to do the arm circle exercise

Related Exercises:

Hand raises

Reach ups

Rope pulls

Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

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