Dumbbell Lateral Raise

If you are looking for  an exercise to sculpt your shoulders and add width to them, a properly executed dumbbell lateral raise can really be your ally. This is because dumbbell side lateral raises target the lateral head of the shoulder, also known as the side head, which greatly contributes to the width of your shoulders.


Even though it looks as a very easy exercise, it’s very important that you learn how to properly execute dumbbell lateral raises to minimize the risk of injury and maximize its muscle building effect.


What muscles do lateral raises work ?


The dumbbell lateral raise enhances your physique’s appearance by creating size contrasts between your shoulders, waist and hips. The primary muscles used in this movement are side deltoids (a.k.a lateral deltoids). Secondary muscles that assist the movement are rear and front deltoids, trapezius, as well as the forearms.

dumbbell-lateral raise muscles worked

Dumbbell lateral raise exercise guide

1. Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Your feet should be a bit narrower than shoulder width apart and hands should be facing your body. Your arms should be slightly bent in the elbows and legs should be slightly bent in the knees

2. Raise your upper arms to the sides until your elbows are at shoulder height. At the top of the movement your elbows should be a bit higher than your wrists.

3. Once you reach the top position, hold for a moment and squeeze your shoulders after which you will slowly lower the weights to the starting position.

dumbbell lateral raise execution

Some tips:

– Lead with your pinky finger.
– Keep your elbows pointed high while you are maintaining an angle of 10-20 degrees.
– Try to execute the movement in a controlled manner, without swinging the dumbbells.
– The arms are raised with a shoulder abduction (Lateral movement away from the midline of the body) instead of rotation.


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