Around The World For Strong Shoulder and Abs

Do you ever struggle lifting heavy items or wincing while reaching high shelves? A weak core and underdeveloped shoulders can make everything harder.

Thankfully, the Around the World exercise can help you strengthen your upper body.

The Around the World exercise is a great way to work both your shoulders and abs in one easy move.

Get ready to feel the burn and transform your upper body!

What is the Around the World Exercise?

The Around the World exercise is a full-body movement that primarily targets your shoulders and core muscles. It also works the stabilizing muscles of the shoulder and can help improve shoulder mobility.

It involves moving a weight in a circular motion around your body or lifting the dumbbell above the head in a lateral raise movement.

There are many ways to do around the world exercise, and all have their unique benefits.

  • Dumbbell Around the Worlds
  • Kettlebell Around the Worlds
  • Plate Around the Worlds
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Kettlebell Around the World For Abs

Let’s be honest: regular dumbbell exercises can get boring. Grab a kettlebell and try the Around the World if you want to level up your strength and boost your workout fun factor.

It’s more than just moving a weight – this move challenges your whole body.

This dynamic exercise involves moving a kettlebell in a circular path around your body, switching hands in the front and behind you. 

You’ll feel your shoulders working hard, but get ready for a ab workout too – your core keeps you from twisting as that kettlebell swings!

Around the World Muscles Worked

The kettle around the world exercise primarily targets the pectoral muscles (chest), Shoulder, and core muscles.

Secondary muscles engaged during this exercise include the trapezius, lats, and erector spinae

However, it also engages your forearms, back stabilizers, and legs as you maintain control.

Kettlebell Around the World

How to Do It

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. 
  2. Hold the kettlebell in one hand by the handle. 
  3. Keep your back straight and core engaged.
  4. Initiate movement from the shoulders and rotate the kettlebell to one side.
  5. Rotate the kettlebell across the body and around in a circular.
  6. Continue circling the kettlebell forward, and repeat the hand transfer in front of your body. Keep the path as wide as possible.
  7. Repeat the motion in one direction for a while, then gently reverse it. 


  • Don’t hold your breath as you work through the motions.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed, and avoid shrugging.
  • Don’t sacrifice form for speed. Master the basics, then go heavier and faster.

Plate Around the World

The Around the World exercise with weight plates is a versatile movement that targets and strengthens the shoulders, arms, and upper back muscles.

This move hits all parts of your deltoid muscles (the ones that make your shoulders look strong and rounded).

Muscles Worked

  • Primary Muscles Worked: Anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoids and trapezius.
  • Secondary Muscles Worked: Upper pectoralis major, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, transversus abdominis, external and internal obliques, erector spinae.
Plate Around the World

How to Do It

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weight plate in both hands with arms extended in front of you.
  2. In a circular motion, orbit the weight around your head, completing a 360-degree revolution.
  3. It’s like you’re drawing a giant halo around your head.
  4. Do 10 repetitions in one direction, then switch and do 10 more in reverse.


  • Pick a light plate if you’re starting out, or use a heavy one to really test your strength.

Standing Dumbbell Around the World For Shoulder

The Standing Dumbbell Around the World exercise is a dynamic shoulder exercise involving circular movements with dumbbells while standing.

It primarily targets the deltoid muscles and helps improve shoulder strength, stability, and mobility.

Standing Dumbbell Around the World

How to Do It

  1. Stand upright with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip.
  3. To begin, bend your elbows and lift the weights with control out to your sides (similar to a lateral raise)
  4. Continue upwards until the dumbbells meet, above your head. 
  5. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position in front of your thighs.
  6. Do the rotations slowly without using momentum.


  • Keep your core engaged and torso upright.
  • Begin with lighter dumbbells to master proper form before increasing weight.
  • Keep shoulders down and back, avoiding shrugging or hunching.
  • Beginners can perform smaller circles or break the movement into two (up and over, then back down).

Lying Dumbbell Around the World

If standing Around the World hurts your lower back, this version can give you much-needed relief.

This variation of the classic exercise builds stronger upper chest muscles and improves your shoulder balance. This also emphasizes the rear deltoids.

Lying Dumbbell Around the World

How to Do It

  1. Lie down on a flat bench or on the mat. 
  2. Hold dumbbells with palms facing up.
  3. Engage your back and shoulders to lift the dumbbells out to the side.
  4. Continue to move the dumbbells upwards in a semi-circle until they touch above your head.
  5. Lower the weights with a smooth, controlled motion back down to the starting position. Don’t rush it!


  • Keep your lower back pressed firmly against the bench to minimize arching.
  • Perform the exercise in a slow, controlled manner.
  • Use the perfect technique first, then add weight later. 
  • It’s natural to try to raise your chest, but the point is to move just your arms – use your shoulder strength.

Incline Around The World

The Incline Around the World exercise is a variation of the traditional Around the World exercise performed on an incline bench.

Performing the exercise on an incline bench allows for a greater range of motion than flat bench variations.

Dumbbell Incline Around the World

How to Do It

  1. Set an incline bench to a 30-45 degree angle.
  2. Lie back while holding the weights in front of your lower body, palms facing up. 
  3. Lift the weights directly up out to your sides as if doing a lateral raise.
  4. Continue the circular motion until the dumbbells meet above your head.


  • Avoid letting gravity do the work. Focus on the muscles of your upper body moving the weights.
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..And that’s the Kettlebell Around the World, a truly fantastic move for blasting your core and shoulders.

Now that you’ve got a more profound understanding of this versatile exercise, it’s action time!

Ready to add this powerhouse move? Try ‘Around the Worlds’ and let me know how your shoulders and core feel in the comments below!

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