Fitness Blog – The Best Overall Shoulder Exercise


I don’t think that you will find this exercise anywhere else on the Internet? The picture above only shows the last part of the complete exercise. I call it ‘Round Worlds’ and I invented it because the young pre-professional Rugby League players I was conditioning wanted one exercise that covered strengthening the ‘Rotator Cuff’.( These are a small group of muscles that give the shoulder joint more security) and because they are often injured in the game, are an important addition to the strengthening program.

It is a combination of a Front Dumbbell Raise, an Overhead Fly and a Lateral Dumbbell Raise – done in a series of movements that smoothly combine these three exercises. These movements cover the four muscles of the Rotator Cuff although if someone is doing a recovery program from a shoulder injury, it would be best if they started with individual (isolated) Dynaband exercises.

Start the exercise by standing, holding a pair of Dumbbells at arms length in front of your upper thighs. Raise the Dumbbells up in an arc until,they reach above your head. The palms of your hands should be facing each other in this first movement. From this position move the Dumbbells in an arc out to your sides until they reach about shoulder height. Pause then reverse the movement until the Dumbbells are above your head again. Throughout these second and third movements your palms should be facing up and your elbows should be slightly bent. From this overhead position move the Dumbbells back down to the starting position in an arc. From here, perform a Lateral Dumbbell Raise by arcing the Dumbbells up to about shoulder height to pause at the top before lowering them back down to the start.

So there are six movements in all. The pattern again is –

  1. Front Raise
  2. Standing Overhead Fly
  3. Reverse Overhead Fly
  4. Reverse Front Raise to the start
  5. Lateral Dumbbell Raise
  6. Lower the Dumbbells to the start

Once you get used to the pattern it can be done in a fluid sequence. You only need to use very light Dumbbells and these movements not only work the smaller, internal muscles of the shoulder but the larger ones, such as the deltoid muscle as well. Perform three to four sets of eight to twelve repetitions for a complete shoulder workout in one exercise.

The exercise is best done as a preventive shoulder-securing movement.

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