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Shoulder Mobility Warm-Up Exercises

September 18th, 2012

Hyper Training Lab #40

Click to watch the shoulder mobility video!

Set-Up: To successfully complete the shoulder mobility warm-up exercises, you need two, 4 lb. SandBells®. This shoulder mobility series is a great warm-up before playing racquet sports like tennis, squash or racquet ball. Each of the exercises in this series engages the thoracic spine and hips in all three planes of movement.

Repetitions/Rounds: For this four-exercise warm-up circuit, do each exercise 10 times for two to four rounds.

Shoulder Mobility Exercises in Video

1. Overhead Arm Swings

Begin by standing with your hips shoulder-width apart, keeping a slight bend in your knees, and holding a 4 lb. SandBell in each hand. In an alternating motion, swing one arm at a time overhead with the SandBell. Drive through the sagittal plane and focus on getting a good, deep stretch through your arm, torso and core.

2. Sweeping Arm Swings

After completing 10 repetitions of the overhead arm swings above, transition directly into the sweeping arms exercise. To do this, hold one 4 lb. SandBell in each hand and one at a time sweep each arm side-to-side in front of the body letting your hips sway naturally as your arms sweep. You can get a deeper stretch by reaching each arm back and forth behind your body. This exercise warms up the thoracic spine. Be sure to focus on rotating your hips with the movement of your arms. Complete 10 repetitions and then move onto the third exercise.

3. Multidirectional Lunge With Overhead Extension

For this exercise, you need one 4 lb. SandBell. To begin, hold the SandBell with your right hand and lunge forward with your right foot while simultaneously stretching your right hand up and back over your head. After stretching overhead and lunging, return to center. From there, lunge in front of you at a 45 degree angle, raising the SandBell overhead as in the previous lunge,  and then step back to center. Lastly, step back with your right foot behind you and lunge at a 45 degree angle while raising the SandBell overhead. After completing this three-lunge series, hold the SandBell in your left hand and repeat the series with the left leg. To take this exercise a step further add a slam with each lunge. To add the slam, after raising the SandBell overhead slam the SandBell to the ground instead of bringing your arm back down to your side.

Targeted Muscle Groups:

  • Hips
  • Thoracic spine
  • Grip, wrist and forearm
  • Core
  • Quads

Ideal Exercises for Those Training to:

  • Play racquet sports like tennis, racquet ball, squash, etc.
  • Warm up shoulders and hips
  • Mobilize hips and thoracic spine
  • Work all three planes of movement—sagittal, frontal and transverse

Recommended Equipment:

We recommend  two lightweight SandBells (4 lb. SandBells are used in the video). These exercises are to help warm up your muscles before a workout, so heavier weights are not necessary.

For each of the should mobility exercises, you can also use the Hyperwear SteelBell®. The SteelBell is different from the SandBell in that it’s filled with steel shot, which is much heavier and more dense than sand. Therefore, the steel inside the SteelBell moves and accelerates faster and with more force than the SandBell. The faster acceleration of the SteelBell requires you to use more energy to control the SteelBell during exercises, making each exercise more challenging. We recommend using the SandBell and SteelBell for this circuit because these tools are safe, durable and work your grip, wrist and forearm strength with every movement.

To make these exercises more challenging, wear the 5 lb. Hyper Vest® SXY or FIT weight vest, or the 10 lb. Hyper Vest  PRO weight vest. Loading the body with extra weight means you use more energy to do the exercises, and makes the workout more strength and cardiovascular taxing on the body.

The difference between the Hyper Vest SXY and FIT and the Hyper Vest PRO is that the SXY and FIT vests have a lower max-weight capacity. The Hyper Vest SXY and FIT are also made from a performance spandex fabric that’s better for less rugged exercises. For example, if you want to wear your weight vest while doing burpees (where the front of the vest will be brushing across the floor), a lot of floor exercises on concrete (or other rough surface), or want more than 18 pounds of weight in your SXY vest (23 pounds in the FIT vest) then the Hyper Vest PRO is perfect for you. The Hyper Vest FIT and SXY are available in several colors. The Hyper Vest SXY is the first weighted vest that’s specifically designed to fit a woman’s body. Each weight vest has its own advantages, read up on both vests on the Hyperwear website to find out which vest is perfect for your body and your training!


These exercises and weights are recommendations and should not be done if you have any pain or injury in your grip, arm, shoulder, core or back. Hyper Training Lab exercises are designed to get you healthy, toned and fit. We don’t encourage over-training or strenuous exercising that lead to injury.

Featured in the Video:

Sam Dowd, Personal Trainer at Mecca Gym and Spa and Anthony Winn, Performance Specialist at Driven Performance. Special thank you to Driven Performance for opening up their facility for this Hyper Training Lab video to be filmed.

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