This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
This shoulder warm-up exercise puts your rotator cuffs through a full range of motion, prepping them before you workout to help prevent injury. You can use a dumbbell or a weight plate, but either way the challenge is to keep a consistent motion.
Stand with feet roughly shoulder-distance apart. Take a light dumbbell in one hand, holding the dumbbell by the end cap. If your dumbbells only have large end caps, then use a weight plate instead. Keeping your arm straight, lift the arm holding the weight until it held out at shoulder level (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, begin moving the weight in a large forward circle, using the shoulder as the pivot point. Your arm should remain extended throughout your movement, and your body should turn as little as possible (see Photos 2 and 3).
- Do 10 large forward circles, and then reverse the movement and do 10 large backwards circles.
- After you have completed the forward and backward reps with one arm, switch the weight to the other arm and repeat (see Photo 4).