Also Known As : lateral lift

Targets : Shoulders, particularly the lateral and anterior heads of the deltoid

Equipment Needed : Dumbbells

Level: Beginner

The side lateral arouse is an effective shoulder-strengthening movement designed to isolate the lateral pass head of the deltoid muscle. Performed regularly, this can help you develop stronger, broader shoulders. All you need is a match of unaccented dumbbells and adequate shoulder flexibility to abduct your arms ( lifting the weights out and away from your consistency ) until they form a “ T ” form at your shoulders .

generally speaking, lateral raises should be incorporated into upper-body strength train routines, and they should be performed after compound exercises that incorporate the shoulder, such as incline dumbbell press, shoulder press, push-ups, or pull-ups. This is alike to the dumbbell front lift .


The side lateral raise is a shoulder exert 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 brawn fibers. The three heads of the deltoid then merge together before they insert on the upper arm bone ( the humerus ) .

The side lateral pass raise primarily targets the lateral heading of the deltoid ( although it besides engages the front tooth and back tooth heads to a lesser extent ), enabling you to isolate this muscle groups. specifically, lateral pass raises are considered one of the best exercises available for working the lateral head of the delts .

Done regularly, the lateral lift can help you achieve brawn hypertrophy ( growth ) of the lateral deltoid, giving you the appearance of broader, stronger shoulders. aside from superficial appearance benefits, the exercise besides helps strengthen your shoulders independently. This can help correct potential strength discrepancies between your right and left sides .

And because the shoulder joint is the least stable joint in the body, a all-around strength-training routine designed to target all three heads of the deltoid ( vitamin a well as the stabilizing muscles of the rotator manacle ) can help you keep this finical articulation healthy. impregnable and flexible shoulders are key to warding off intermittent pain or electric potential injuries, and side lateral raises can function as one piece of the puzzle in a all-around shoulder exercise .

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bit-by-bit Instructions

You do n’t need much room or equipment to perform a side lateral lift. All you need is a laid of dumbbells and enough space to raise your arms in a “ T ” formation out to each side .

  1. Stand tall, a dumbbell in each hand. Arms are at your sides, palms facing in. Position your feet roughly hip-distance apart. Check your posture—roll your shoulders back, engage your core, and look straight ahead.
  2. Raise your arms simultaneously just a couple inches out to each side and pause. This momentary pause should help ensure you disengage your trapezius muscle from the movement, targeting the deltoids as intended.
  3. Lift the dumbbells up and out to each side, keeping your arms almost completely straight, stopping when your elbows reach shoulder-height and your body is forming a “T” shape. Breathe in as you lift.
  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. Breathe out as you lower the dumbbells.

common Mistakes

The side lateral raise is an slowly exercise to overcome, but because it involves free weights, there ‘s about constantly room for error. Check your imprint and avoid using dumbbells that are excessively heavy —this about always leads to errors in performance .

Selecting Too much Weight

Side lateral raises are an isolation drill designed to target a identical specific muscle group. besides, because you ‘re using dumbbells to perform the movement, you end up targeting each side of your body independently ( unilaterally ). These two considerations mean that you need to select a lighter system of weights than you might use for exercises like the incline dumbbell compress or dumbbell shoulder press .

If you ‘re new to the exercise, start with low-weight dumbbells, then make adjustments as needed. It ‘s always better to start with a lighter weight and adjust up than to start with a weight unit that ‘s excessively heavy. When you use excessively much weight, you ‘re more likely to perform the exert with poor form or unwanted momentum that could open you up to likely injuries .

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Using Momentum to Swing the Dumbbells

When person selects a pair of dumbbells that are besides heavy, but they do n’t want to switch to a lighter weight unit, you about constantly see them using momentum to swing the dumbbells up. This much involves a kind of bouncing with the knees and a forward-backward lean of the torso as they jerk the weights up and out to the sides .

This type of momentum-generating motion is debatable for a few reasons. First, you stop efficiently targeting the muscle group the practice is intended to target. alternatively of isolating the lateral head of the deltoid, you end up using your legs and your back to propel the weight unit up. This will actually prevent you from seeing the type of persuasiveness and hypertrophy improvements you ‘re hoping to achieve .

second, throwing the weights up and down like this reduces the master you have over the weight, making it more likely you could injure yourself. Slow down, select a lighter weight, and focus on mannequin to achieve optimum results .

Dropping Your Head Forward

Another coarse mistake is craning your neck forward or dropping your chin toward your chest of drawers as you perform the exercise. This happens most frequently when you ‘re using excessively much weight, or you ‘re nearing the end of a set and your shoulders are feeling fatigued .

It ‘s crucial to maintain dear model with a neutral neck and spur alignment throughout the exercise. This helps prevent neck puree and besides ensures you ‘re targeting the lateral pass heading of the deltoid, preferably than allowing your back muscles, specifically your trapezius, to take over .

Watch yourself in the mirror as you perform the exercise—even this action can help correct the problem because it ensures you ‘re looking up and forward, rather than dropping your forefront down .

Using Your trapezius to Power the movement

again, about all the mistakes associated with slope lateral pass raises come down to improper weight choice. With dumbbells that are excessively heavy, you wo n’t be able to power the movement with the appropriate brawn group—the deltoids—and will alternatively recruit other muscles to help exponent through .

The most common perpetrator ? The trapezius muscle ( “ traps ” ) of the upper back. You ‘ll notice this happening if you start the exert by shrugging your shoulders up to try to pull the dumbbells up and away from your sides. Pay attention as you lift, looking for any shrug action. When in doubt, switch your weights out for a lighter hardening of dumbbells .

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Modifications and Variations

Need a Modification ?

The easiest alteration for the side lateral raise is to plainly bend your elbows before performing the exert. This bent-arm lateral raise alteration “ shortens the lever, ” bringing the weight near to your soundbox throughout the motion. Perform it just as you would the regular exercise, but keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree lean throughout .

You can besides do this exercise with no weight or lighter slant .

up for a Challenge ?

A lateral raise variation for more advance exercisers is the kettlebell lateral raise. Simply switch out your dumbbells for a pair of kettlebells. The deviation between dumbbells and kettlebells is in how their weight is distributed .

Dumbbells have an adequate distribution of weight across the entire dumbbell, and you hold the weight in the middle, providing a balance to the weight you ‘re lifting. Kettlebells, on the other hand, have inadequate distribution of weight, with the chime share importantly outweighing the cover. Using kettlebells for the slope lateral arouse forces you to far engage your shoulders to control the awkward distribution of weight as you lift through a full compass of motion .

condom and Precautions

not letting your arms go above a 90 degree angle is one of the best things you can do to prevent injury while performing a lateral raise. Selecting the proper weight for you is besides crucial in preventing injuries. Check all the coarse mistakes—all of which are associated with improper slant selection—and if you notice yourself making a drop the ball, switch your dumbbells out for a lighter match .

The side lateral raise is a by and large safe motion, but if at any point during the exercise you feel a sudden or acute trouble, stop your repetitions. You may want to try it again with the bent-arm change to see if that alleviates the pain, but if the pain continues, discontinue the exercise for the day .

Try It Out

incorporate this move into one of these democratic workouts :

beginning :
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