Arm Circles

What’s an exercise you can do right now, no matter where you are, that will help you get buff shoulders and improve your upper body power? It’s the simple, unassuming Arm Circle.

This little exercise is a staple of physical education classes for a reason. It’s effective, easy, and let’s be honest, it causes enough discomfort that it’s a little fun. When we’re exercising, one way that we know that it’s working is because of the burn. Arm Circles definitely elicit the burn. They’re also effective. If done regularly, these little movements will produce big results in terms of size of the deltoid muscles. 

Dynamic Muscle Building

Arm Circles are a dynamic muscle-building exercise. They’re often used in warm ups to help get the body ready for bigger workouts. 

This exercise was originally part of calisthenics; they work the shoulders, biceps, triceps, and back muscles. Different sized circles work slightly different muscles, but they all build that muscle. 

Perfect for Computer Users

Many of us spend large chunks of our days in front of computers. That means that we’re not only being sedentary and could use some exercise to help invigorate the body and mind, but it also means that certain muscles get tight and tense. Among the tightest and tensest are the same muscles that Arm Circles work.

Doing exercises that increase blood flow to the shoulders, arms, and wrists is a good thing for anyone who is performing the repetitive motion of typing on a keyboard. Arm Circles increase blood flow to all of those areas as well as help to improve muscle tone. Doing this exercise can also help to prevent headaches and neck pain.   

Round Instructions

Though this is a simple exercise, it’s still important to get the form right in order to keep your body healthy and free from injury. Here are simple instructions to help you get this exercise just right.

  • Stand with your arms straight out to the sides, forming a T. Arms are parallel to the floor in this position, and at a ninety degree angle relative to your torso. 
  • Tighten your core and push out through your shoulders. 
  • Breathe at a regular, relaxed pace.
  • Moving from your shoulders, make circles with your fingertips that are about one foot in diameter. Breathe with each circle. 
  • Keep circling your arms as you slowly count to ten, then reverse your motion so that you’re drawing circles in the opposite direction. 

The movement will become more difficult through the ten count. If you’re struggling to keep up, try to push through, but if it’s impossible, just continue to work this exercise regularly. Endurance will improve with practice! 

A Circle of Variation

There are plenty of variations of Arm Circles that can increase the difficulty of the exercise. These include adding weight, making the diameter of the circle larger or smaller, or using exercise bands.

All of the variations of Arm Circles continue to focus on the deltoids. Beginners should start off with simple Arm Circles, then progress to adding weight if desired. The addition of weights will have a big impact on the ability to build strength with these exercises.

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