Lateral Dumbbell Raises

Dumbbell Lateral Raises are a great warming up, finishing, or rehabilitation move for the shoulders.  You don't need to go very heavy to get some great development from this exercise.

Lateral Dumbbell Raises

Primary Muscles Used

Muscles Used in lateral raise with dumbbell

Lateral Raise Instructions

  1. Stand tall, a dumbbell in each hand. Arms are at your sides, palms facing together. Position your feet roughly hip width apart. Roll your shoulders back, engage your core, and look straight ahead. Maintain this core position throughout the motion.
  2. Lean ever so slightly forward.
  3. Raise your arms simultaneously out to the side.  Very slightly angling the front of the dumbbell up (pointer finger side of the dumbbell).
    1. This goes against common practice, most people believe you raise the pinky as if pouring out a pitcher, doing it the common way can increase the risk of impingement and does not work the shoulder as well anyway.
  4. Pause and hold for a second at the top of the movement.
  5. Lower the weights slowly (take about twice as long to lower the weights as you took to lift them), bringing your arms back to your sides. Do not let the dumbbells rest on your sides.
  6. Repeat.
Lateral Raise

Benefits of the Lateral Dumbbell Raise

  • The side lateral raise is a shoulder exercise that specifically targets the deltoid muscles. The deltoid muscle group actually consists of three separate points of origin (referred to as "heads"), each with its own group of muscle fibers. The three heads of the deltoid then merge together before they insert on the upper arm bone.
  • The side lateral raise primarily targets the lateral head of the deltoid, enabling you to isolate this muscle groups. Specifically, lateral raises are considered one of the best exercises available for working the lateral head of the deltoid.
  • This exercise helps you get the V-taper look.
  • Performing this exercise with light weight will focus on rotator cuff muscles if you use a lighter weight.
  • Never go to heavy with this one, much like the leg extension, this exercise is putting pressure on the shoulder joint.  If you go too heavy it will pull the joint apart causing discomfort.  If you choose a manageable weight, your body works not only to lift the weight, but strengthen the muscles supporting the joint.
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