Lateral Raise: How To Perform Lateral Raise With Perfect Form

When it comes to building your shoulders, there are a few staple exercises that come to mind. Dumbbell lateral raises are one of the most popular shoulder exercises, due to their proven benefits in developing lean muscle mass and strength. Designed to stimulate the mediolateral head of the deltoids, the lateral raise is one strength training movement that can isolate your shoulders for a well-defined physique. We are going to break down the perfect form for dumbbell lateral arm raises, their benefits, and the muscles worked.

What Is Lateral Raise 

The lateral raise is a shoulder exercise, that stimulates and contracts the anterior, as well as the mediolateral deltoids. When incorporated with other deltoid exercises, rear delt, or shoulder exercises such as push press, and front raise the lateral raise can be a great accessory lift to help develop the anterior and lateral deltoid in your training split.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Muscles Worked

The dumbbell lateral arm raises target the anterior and lateral deltoid muscles. When your positioning is manipulated (I.e., bent over, side bent, etc.) you will incorporate additional muscle groups such as the trapezius and rhomboids as well as the core muscles. Lateral raise also works stabilizers muscles such as the erector spinae, triceps, adductor magnus, and wrist extensors.   

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Benefits

1. Core Stability

The dumbbell side lateral raise provides the benefit of developing and creating better core stability and strength. With more stability recruited from your core, you will develop more strength, balance, and better coordination. Overall this will support better functional movement, posture, and balance, improving quality of life.

2. Well-Defined Physique

If the goal is to build a bigger, more well-defined shoulder, then lateral raise is a must-have shoulder exercise, in your training split. The dumbbell lateral raise specifically isolates the anterior and lateral deltoid, which will benefit and develop this shoulder segment. Paired with other proven shoulder exercises, you will be able to build a more defined physique. .

3. Strength

You will build more functional body strength with any resistance training/strength movement. Your shoulders are crucial to nearly all compound movements requiring better mobility, core stability, and strength. With increased shoulder strength you will also increase athletic performance to support your goals and endeavors.

How To Lateral Raise

Watch this video and read our tips to learn the lateral raises perfect form.

Lateral raise has many variations. Traditionally performed with dumbbells or a cable pulley in a standing position, you can also execute the lateral raise in the bent-over position, sitting, side bent, or sitting/bent over. Each variation will work the deltoids yet may incorporate slightly different muscle groups.

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand erect with your core right and straight.
  • Position the dumbbells at your sides arm's length with palms facing your body
  • While maintaining a tight core, lift the dumbbells to your side, with a slight bend in your elbows and hands slightly forward as if you were pouring water into a glass.
  • Continue to raise your arms until they are parallel to the floor.
  • Exhale as you raise and pause at the top.
  • Lower the dumbbells back to starting position as you inhale
  • Repeat.

Lateral Raise: Takeaway 

The takeaway here is that the lateral raise is a highly effective accessory strength training movement. It can support a better well-rounded physique, while also developing more muscle size and strengthAdd this exercise into your upper body training split to improve performance and build bigger shoulders. 


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