How should I do shoulder circles?

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Edward Phillips
Physical Therapy
Here's how to do shoulder circles:

Reps: 20 per arm
Sets: 1
Intensity: Light
Tempo: Slow and controlled
Rest: No rest needed

Starting position: Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a 1- to 3-pound weight in your right hand with one end of the weight hanging down toward the floor.

Movement: Bend your knees a bit and slightly hinge forward from the hip so that you're holding the weight between your legs. You can rest your left hand on your left thigh for support. Make 10 circles in one direction with your right arm as if stirring a large pot. Pause, then reverse direction for 10 circles. Repeat with your left arm (again performing both clockwise and counterclockwise circles). This completes one set.

Tips and techniques:
  • Hinge from the hips without bending or arching your back.
  • Maintain neutral posture with your shoulders down and back.
  • Allow the weight to hang like a dead weight.
Too hard? Perform the exercise while seated, or try it standing with no weight.

Too easy? Make a larger circle.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.