Do Arm Circles Really Work?

Arm circles are a common facet of many home workouts. Whether they're part of the stretching portion of the workout itself, they seem a little too easy to have an effect. MSN Health and Fitness considers them a beginner exercise focused on mobility more than anything else, one that mostly engages the biceps and deltoids. The biceps are familiar to most people, but the deltoids are less commonly talked about. The deltoid is a large triangular-shaped muscle that helps move the arm, according to StatPearls.

There are many exercises that can strengthen both the biceps and the deltoids, but exercises intended to improve their mobility are just as important. When it comes to increasing mobility, do arm circles really work? If they do, what about these simple moves makes them effective at improving mobility? To find out, we looked at the reasons certain workout routines include arm circles as a part of their foundation.

Arm circles are a dynamic stretch

Short and sweet, the answer is that yes, arm circles do work. As Jaeger Sports puts it, they help increase blood flow to the shoulders and arms without straining the joints. It is equated to stretching before a run and preparing the muscles for the workout ahead of them.

Arm circles are good for this because they are dynamic stretches, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Dr. Amy Ashmore, a physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, says that dynamic exercises mimic the same movements a body is put through during a workout.

Her advice is then tempered by specific suggestions for people with arthritis, but dynamic warm-ups are a great option for everyone. The American Council on Exercise suggests doing exercises that move the body in full ranges of motion. Arm circles fit the bill perfectly and prepare your shoulders for whatever workout you have planned. They might seem simple, but they are an incredibly effective warm-up with a variety of modifications, making them easily accessible for most people.