Around the World Shoulder Exercises + Workout
Pump Up Your Shoulders With Around the World Shoulder Exercises
If you want to build bigger, stronger shoulders, the "around the world" shoulder exercise needs to be in your workout routine.
This dynamic shoulder exercise ticks all the boxes - it blasts multiple muscles at once, challenges your stability and coordination, and adds some fun to your usual shoulder day.
Read on to learn proper around the world shoulder exercise form, muscles worked, variations, and expert tips to maximize results. After mastering this move, you'll be well on your way to a sculpted, well-rounded set of delts!
Table of Contents
- What is the Around the World Shoulder Exercise?
- How to Do Around the World Shoulder Exercises
- Around the World Shoulder Exercise Benefits and Muscles Worked
- Around the World Shoulder Exercise Variations
- Expert Tips to Maximize Around the World Shoulder Results
- Sample Around the World Shoulder Workouts
- Should You Do Around the World Shoulder Exercises?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- My Experience and Tips for Mastering Around the Worlds
What is the Around the World Shoulder Exercise?
The around the world shoulder exercise, also called around-the-worlds, is a shoulder workout move that involves raising a dumbbell or weight plate laterally while rotating in a circular motion.
As you orbit the weight around your head, you'll hit every angle of your shoulder joint and work all sections of your deltoids and rotator cuff.
It's essentially a combination lateral raise and front raise done in a dynamic, fluid way that engages more shoulder muscle fibers at once.
This exercise primarily targets the:
- Deltoids (front, lateral and rear heads)
- Rotator cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus)
- Upper trapezius
- Serratus anterior
- Biceps brachii
Because this shoulder exercise challenges your balance and fires so many smaller stabilizer muscles, it can lead to greater muscle activation than standard raises.
This equates to better shoulder muscle and strength development over time.
How to Do Around the World Shoulder Exercises
Follow these key form tips when performing around the worlds:
1. Start with a light dumbbell or plate held at shoulder height. Choose a manageable weight until you get the hang of the fluid motion.
2. Stand tall with a slight bend in knees, core braced and shoulders back. Posture is key for alignment and injury prevention.
3. Keep your elbows soft but fixed at a 90 degree angle. Don't straighten arms.
4. Raise the weight out to your side, then rotate it in a circular, lateral motion around your head. Make a complete 360 orbit without stopping.
5. Move slow and controlled. Avoid swinging or using momentum to lift the weight.
6. Keep tension on your shoulder muscles throughout the circular path.
7. Complete 10-15 controlled reps, then switch direction and complete another set.
Here's a video demonstrating proper around the world form:
Try to make a complete orbit without stopping or changing the level of the dumbbell. As you build shoulder strength and coordination, you can begin incorporating this shoulder exercise into higher rep burnout sets or giant drop sets to fully fatigue your muscles.
Around the World Shoulder Exercise Benefits and Muscles Worked
Here are the main benefits you'll get from regularly performing around the world shoulder exercises:
- Build Bigger Shoulders: Hitting your shoulders from multiple angles recruits more muscle fibers for complete development.
- Improve Shoulder Health: Dynamic lifts like this enhance mobility and strengthen stabilizers to prevent injury.
- Increase Muscle Activation: Having to balance against gravity leads to greater muscle and nerve activation compared to standard raises.
- Spice Up Your Routine: It's a fun, challenging lift that breaks up boring old shoulder presses and lateral raises.
When done properly with good form, this exercise targets the:
- Deltoids (anterior, lateral and posterior head): Lifting laterally works the side delts. The circular motion hits the front and back delts dynamically.
- Rotator Cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor etc): Stabilizing your shoulder joint through a wide range of motion strengthens this injury-prone area.
- Upper traps, serratus anterior, biceps brachii: All assist as stabilizers and synergists during the movement.
So in summary, this single shoulder exercise hits all sections of your delts, rotator cuff and surrounding shoulder muscles - making it an efficient mass and strength builder!
Around the World Shoulder Exercise Variations
Here are some variations you can try to switch up this exercise:
- Single Arm Around the Worlds: Hold one dumbbell at a time and alternate arms between sets. This is tougher on your core, shoulder stability and grip.
- Band Around the Worlds: Attach a resistance band to a rack, grab the ends and stand sideways. Raise your outside arm up and around, fully extending through the band's tension.
- Cable Around the Worlds: Attach a rope handle to the cable machine, stand and orbit the handle around your body in a circular, lateral motion. Can be done laying on a ball.
- Around the World Front Plate Raise: Perform a similar motion but passing a weight plate in front of your body. This hits the front delts more directly.
- Dumbbell Around The World: Hold a dumbbell in each and and raise both arms up until dumbbells touch overhead. slowly lower back to starting position.
Mix up these around the world shoulder variations to continually shock your muscles in new ways. But master standard form first before playing with new challenging versions.
Expert Tips to Maximize Around the World Shoulder Results
Here are some handy tips to safely perform around the worlds and achieve maximum shoulder gains:
- Warm up rotator cuff first - try bent over rear delt flyes and band pull aparts.
- Start light to nail form - poor form with heavy weight can strain shoulders.
- Go slow and controlled on each rep - no jerking or swinging the weight.
- Make a complete orbit without stopping at any point.
- Squeeze shoulder blades together to keep chest lifted.
- Keep core and glutes engaged for stability.
- Breathe out lifting, breathe in lowering. Don't hold breath.
- Use both arms for sets then alternate.
- Increase weight progressively in small increments over time.
- Perform for 10-20 reps in a pyramid structure - higher reps give great shoulder pumps!
Stick to smart programming for long term shoulder development. After warming up, do 2-4 sets of 10-20 reps with 30-90 seconds rest in between. You'll be feeling the burn!
Sample Around the World Shoulder Workouts
Here is one sample shoulder workout routine featuring around the world raises:
Dynamic Shoulder Workout
- Dumbbell Around the Worlds - 3 x 10-15 reps per side
- Arnold Presses - 3 x 10-12 reps
- Lateral Cable Raises - 3 x 15-20 reps
- Overhead Pin Presses - 4 x 6-10 reps
- Face Pulls - 3 x 15 reps
And a shorter metabolic-style shoulder finisher:
Shoulder Burnout Giant Set
- Around the Worlds - 10 reps
- Front Plate Raises - 10 reps
- Overhead Press - 10 reps
- Bent Over Rear Delt Fly - 10 reps
Rest 15 seconds between moves. Repeat for 3-5 rounds. Brutal pump!
Program around the world raises into your existing shoulder routines or try one of these shoulder workouts to transform your delts.
Should You Do Around the World Shoulder Exercises?
If you answered yes to any of the below, around the worlds should become a shoulder exercise staple:
- You want to build bigger, stronger shoulder muscles
- You're bored of regular shoulder pressing and lateral raise variations
- You want to enhance shoulder mobility and stability
- You're looking for new ways to stimulate shoulder growth
- You need rotator cuff injury rehab exercises
This dynamic lifting move checks all the boxes. Over time, mastering around the world form and working in higher rep ranges leads to excellent shoulder muscle development.
Paired with multi-angle pressing, raises and rear felt work, you'll be well on your way to a sculpted, well-rounded set of delts!
So try this fun, challenging shoulder exercise today. Let us know how you get on!
Frequently Asked Questions
What cable equipment can I use?
You can perform this exercise using a cable machine by attaching a rope handle and standing sideways. Raise one arm up and around in a circular, lateral motion while extending through the cable's tension. The cable provides constant tension throughout the movement to isolate and fatigue the shoulder muscles.
How does this exercise improve fitness?
Around the worlds enhance shoulder mobility, stability, and strength endurance. Performing sets of higher reps (15-20) leads to excellent muscle pumps and endurance. The movement also engages many smaller stabilizer muscles for further fitness gains.
What size dumbbell should I use?
When starting out, use a lighter 5-15 lb dumbbell held at shoulder height. Grip the inside plate firmly and raise it laterally while making a complete orbit around your head. Using proper form prevents injury. Over time, gradually increase dumbbell weight in small increments as you build strength.
Why are lateral raises important?
Lateral raises directly target the side deltoid heads for wider-looking shoulders. Around the worlds take this lateral movement and add rotational movement to hit the shoulders from multiple angles for complete development.
Which deltoid heads are worked?
This exercise hits the anterior (front), lateral (side), and posterior (rear) deltoid heads in one dynamic movement pattern. As you laterally raise the weight up and around your head, you'll hit the shoulders through a complete range of motion.
What other upper body muscles are targeted?
In addition to the delts, around the worlds also engage your rotator cuff, upper traps, serratus anterior, biceps brachii, and other surrounding shoulder muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint through an extended range of motion.
Can I incorporate into chest workouts?
Absolutely! Around the worlds make for an excellent chest workout finisher exercise to completely fatigue the front delts and upper chest at the end of your session. Use higher reps and lighter weight for shoulder burnout.
What are delts?
"Delts" refers to your deltoid muscles, which cover the rounded contour of your shoulders. There are three deltoid heads - anterior (front), lateral (side), and posterior (rear) that performing around the worlds targets together in a fluid motion.
How to grow upper chest?
The upper chest can be difficult to isolate. Around the worlds indirectly hit the upper chest muscles when performing the downward phase of the movement, assisting other pressing exercises. Use controlled form, emphasizing the descent.
My Experience and Tips for Mastering Around the Worlds
As someone who has been lifting weights for years, I'll admit I was initially skeptical about some of the buzz around "around the worlds" for shoulders. But after adding them to my workouts, I'm a total convert and this has become one of my favorite delt exercises.
The Fluid Motion Engages Different Parts
The first thing I noticed doing around the worlds was how the constant sweeping motion smoothly engages different parts of your delts and surrounding shoulder muscles that standard raises miss. As you laterally raise the dumbbell and pass through each stage of the orbit, you feel a deep burn in new spots signaling muscle fibers firing.
Choose Between a Dumbbell or Kettlebell
I prefer around the worlds using a dumbbell rather than kettlebell as I can grip the dumbbell plate firmly with my palm and achieve a better stretch and contraction. But kettlebells work well too if that's your preference - just be careful of the awkward shape rotating around your head!
Master Form and Motion First
When I was newer to this challenging shoulder exercise, I made sure to begin with a lighter dumbbell weight I could slowly control and focused on nailing down form through a full orbit before upping my load. Lifting too heavy too fast can strain the shoulder joint and cause injury.
Engage Your Core and Keep Posture Tall
The around the world motion requires core strength, shoulder mobility, and stability to perform correctly. By keeping my posture upright, shoulder blades pinned back, core engaged and knees soft, I'm able to achieve better muscle activation and avoid poor form.
Go Slow and Controlled
I've found performing every rep intentionally slow while resisting momentum makes lighter weights feel far heavier! Around the worlds for high, slow reps completely fatigue my shoulders and speeds up new muscle growth gains.
After regularly including around the worlds in my training splits over time, I'm noticing definite gains in shoulder size and shape. My delts have more rounded "3D" depth and upper chest striations.
It just takes some time to master!
I hope these tips help you nail the form on this fantastic shoulder exercise. Keep practicing and have fun watching your shoulders transform!
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PS: Make sure you check out the rest of our Shoulders Training Guides: