Shoulder Warm-Up Exercises

Shoulder Warm-Up Routine

The Mathias Method Strength System emphasizes the importance of a proper warm-up before you begin any strength training routine or workout program. This is to help decrease pain, prevent injury, and fully prepare your body for the workout ahead. This page will go over our Dumbbell Shoulder Warm-Up Exercises for the Bench Press.

Get our complete How To Warm-Up Properly for Strength Training Guide today! And learn why you should NOT do cardio to warm-up before a weight training workout!


Dumbbell Shoulder Warm-Up for the Bench Press

A Proper Shoulder Warm-Up

First, do a complete full body dynamic warm-up routine and our upper body warm-up exercises before you start this Dumbbell Shoulder Warm-Up Routine.

Then, the next part of the Mathias Method Strength System’s warm-up uses muscle activation technique exercises, to fully prepare your muscles for the workout ahead. These muscle activation techniques teach the correct muscles to turn on, or activate, and bring blood flow to the muscles before the workout begins.

Muscle activation exercises are specific to every workout’s main strength movement. These muscle activation techniques use dumbbells to improve neuromuscular proprioception, or muscle activation, and joint stability.

By combining your dynamic bodyweight warm-up with these shoulder muscle activation techniques, you are improving your range-of-motion and strength in those positions.

After completing these dumbbell shoulder warm-up exercises, then you will be fully warmed up and ready to Bench BIG!

For all of our specific workout based warm-up routines, you can check out our How To Warm-Up Properly Guide.

More Warm-Up Routines

See all of our Mobility Stretches or Strength Training Exercises.


Dumbbell Shoulder Warm-Up Exercises

Purpose: Activate Deltoids and Improve Shoulder Function.

Lateral Raises

Reps: 10-15

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  • Holding 5-10 lb dumbbells, lean slightly forward, with arms slightly bent.
  • Then, slowly raise the dumbbells out laterally until they are above shoulder height.
  • Pause before slowly controlling the motion down to the start.

Front Raises

Reps: 10-15

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  • Holding 5-10 lb dumbbells, stand erect and slowly raise the dumbbells in front of you until they are above shoulder height.
  • Pause before slowly controlling the motion down to the start.

Reverse Flyes

Reps: 10-15

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  • Holding 5-10 lb dumbbells, lean your torso forward and allow your arms to extend down until they are nearly touching the floor.
  • With arms slightly bent, slowly raise the dumbbells out laterally until they are above shoulder height.
  • Pause before slowly controlling the movement down to the start.

Dumbbell Military Press

Reps: 10-15

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  • Holding 5-10 lb dumbbells just over your shoulders externally rotate your elbows out to the sides as you press the weight overhead.
  • While maintaining a vertical torso, try to continuously maintain a backward pull throughout the movement.
  • Reverse the motion by lowering the weights and pulling your elbows back and down towards your hips, until the dumbbells are once again set over your shoulders.

Shoulder Dislocations

Reps: 10 total

Purpose: Improve Shoulder Function and Mobility.

  • Grasp a band, strap or light pole with a much wider than shoulder width grip.
  • Flex your glutes, brace your core and pull your shoulder blades back and down throughout the motion.
  • Starting in the front, keep your arms fully extended as you raise them in front of you, over your head and all the way around to your glutes.
  • Then, reverse the motion back around towards your hips.
  • Try to grasp your hands as close as you can while still maintaining the full extension of your arms.
  • Only use a grip that brings a slight stretch to be felt as you rotate about the motion.

Note: If you cannot rotate around the through the full motion then only go as far as you can and pause in this position each time.


When you finish these dumbbell shoulder warm-up exercises, then you will be fully warmed up and ready to Bench BIG!

All Warm-Up Routines

See all of our Mobility Stretches or Strength Training Exercises.

For all of our specific workout based warm-up routines, you can check out our How To Warm-Up Properly Guide.

how to warm-up properly for strength training book

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