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5 Arm Warm-Up Exercises for an Optimal Workout

Discover the 5 arm-warm up exercises to boost flexibility and prevent injuries for a more effective workout from the fitness experts at Vision PT. 
Arm Warm Up
Arm Warm Up

By Mandra Taulu, Director at Wynyard

What do dynamic warm up exercises mean?  

Prior to engaging in a workout routine, it is essential to sufficiently ready your body. Dynamic warm-up exercises, distinguished by movement play a vital role in promoting blood circulation, improved flexibility and an increased range of motion. This contrasts with isometric stretches, also known as static stretching, which entail no movement and are executed in static positions. While static exercises do offer benefits, they are most effective when performed post-workout. This article delves into the importance of dynamic warm-up exercises specifically arm and shoulder warm up exercises, as recommended by Results Coaches at Vision PT. 

The 5 arm warm up exercises  

It’s crucial to incorporate a warm up for arm exercises before strength training to assist in not only readying the body but reducing the risk of injury.  

1. Arm Circles 


  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms out to the sides.

  2. Start making circular motions with your arms, gradually increasing the diameter. 

  3. Perform 10 circles clockwise, then 10 counterclockwise. 

Muscles Targeted: 

  • Deltoids: Engaged as you move your arms in circular motions. 

  • Rotator Cuff Muscles: Activated to stabilise the shoulder joint. 


  • Keep your arms straight throughout the exercise. 

  • Focus on controlled movements to engage the shoulder muscles effectively. 


2. Wrist Extensor Stretch 


  1. Extend your left arm forward, palms facing down. 

  2. Use your right hand to gently press down on the fingers of your left hand. 

  3. Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds, feeling the stretch in your forearm. 

  4. Repeat on the other arm. 

Muscles Targeted: 

  • Forearm Extensors: Stretched during the movement to enhance flexibility. 


  • Maintain a neutral wrist position to avoid unnecessary strain. 

  • Adjust the pressure according to your comfort level. 


3. Triceps Stretch  


  1. Lift your arm (left) overhead and bend your elbow, reaching your hand down your upper back. 

  2. With your right hand, gently push on your left elbow. 

  3. Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds, feeling the stretch along your triceps. 

  4. Repeat on the other arm. 

Muscles Targeted: 

  • Triceps Brachii: Stretched during the overhead movement. 


  • Focus on keeping your upper body straight for an effective stretch. 

  • Avoid pushing too hard; the stretch should be comfortable, not painful. 


4. Resistance Band External Rotation 


  1. Secure a resistance band to a sturdy anchor point at chest height, not shoulder height.  

  2. Hold the band in your right hand, elbow bent at a 90-degree angle, and your upper arm parallel to the floor. 

  3. Keeping your elbow against your side, rotate your forearm outward against the resistance of the band. 

  4. Return to the starting position in a controlled manner. 

  5. Perform 10-12 repetitions on each arm. 

Muscles Targeted: 

  • Rotator Cuff Muscles: Engaged to rotate the forearm against resistance. 


  • Choose a resistance band that provides a challenging but manageable level of tension. 

  • Focus on smooth and controlled movements to target the external rotators effectively. 


5. Band Pull-Aparts 


  1. Hold a resistance band with both hands in front of you, arms extended. 

  2. Keeping your arms straight, pull the band apart by moving your hands towards your sides. 

  3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the end of the movement. 

  4. Return to the starting position in a controlled manner. 

  5. Perform 12-15 repetitions. 

Muscles Targeted: 

  • Rhomboids and Middle Trapezius: Activated during the pulling motion. 

  • Deltoids: Engaged to stabilize the shoulders. 


  • Control the band throughout the movement to engage your shoulder muscles. 

  • Adjust the tension of the band according to your fitness level. 


What are the benefits of arm warm up exercises?  

Engaging in arm warm-up exercises, including resistance band external rotation and band pull aparts, offers a myriad of benefits for your overall workout experience. You’ll want to experience these benefits of warming up, trust us! These exercises not only enhance blood circulation and joint lubrication but also prepare your muscles for the physical demands of your routine, consequently, preventing injury and facilitating the ability to effectively and efficiently overload in a progressive manner. They're even a great addition before long-distance running. As a result this will help you work towards achieving your long-term fitness goals. Remember to listen to your body and consult with a fitness professional if you have any pre-existing conditions or concerns. 

5 Benefits of Arm Warm-Up Exercises: 

  1. Injury Prevention: Dynamic warm-up exercises and targeted resistance band exercises reduce the risk of injury by preparing muscles, tendons, and ligaments for intense activity. Static or isometric exercises will stimulate blood flow and thicken tendons in preparation of heavy resistance. 

  2. Improved Flexibility: Arm and shoulder warm-up exercises enhance the flexibility of joints, including the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, allowing for a greater range of motion and muscle recruitment. 

  3. Enhanced Performance: Properly warmed-up muscles, including those targeted in resistance band exercises, contribute to improved strength, power, and endurance. 

  4. Increased Mind-Muscle Connection: Dynamic warm-up exercises and resistance band exercises help establish a better connection between your mind and body, enhancing overall coordination and movement. 

  5. Increased Joint Lubrication: Dynamic warm-ups stimulate synovial fluid production and blood flow, reducing friction within joint capsules for smoother movement. 

In addition to ensuring a proper warm up, don't forget to think about your pre-workout food too!


  1. American Council on Exercise. (2014). Dynamic Stretching: The Full-Body Dynamic Warm-Up.

  2. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Stretching: Focus on flexibility. 

  3. Harrelson, G. L., et al. (2006). Resistance Band Training. 

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