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The Lateral Raise : How To Do It and 5 Best Tips

When it comes to attracting attention for the right reasons, men tend to focus on glamour muscles like the biceps, pecs and abs. However, if you’re topping it all off with feeble shoulders, much of your beach body work will be wasted. To ensure that doesn’t happen, try the lateral raise, which will help sculpt shoulders of impressive bulk and power.

The dumbbell lateral raise is an isolation exercise that strengthens the entire shoulder with an emphasis on the sides of the deltoid muscles.

RECOMMENDED: Home Workout: Small Dumbbells, Big Shoulders

The Benefits

Lateral raises are great for strengthening your shoulders, and you should also find that your shoulder mobility increases after a few weeks of doing the exercise. The core comes into play if you’re bracing it correctly when you lift, and your arms should also feel some of the strain after a set.

How To Do It

Standing in a shoulder-width stance, grab a pair of dumbbells with palms facing inward and let them hang at your sides.
Raise your arms out to the sides until they're at shoulder level. Pause, then lower the weights back to the starting position.

Aim for 10-12 reps with perfect form. Selecting the correct weight is key to doing lateral raises properly and safely. You’ll find that even with relatively light weights, the last few raises are a real challenge, so there’s no need to try to impress by grabbing the heaviest dumbbell. You don’t even need to use dumbbells – a resistance band works well for lateral raises. Don’t go beyond parallel when you’re raising the weights, and ensure you keep your arms out to your sides. If they start creeping forward it’s time to opt for a lighter weight.

Tips for Practicing Lateral Raises

1-When doing lateral raises, don’t focus on using heavy weights. That’s not the point. The point is to isolate certain muscles and work them, and that does not require heavy weight. In fact, using heavy weight might lead to injury.

2-The risk of injury is also why you must keep your reps slow and controlled. This is not the time to show off! Using momentum to help you pull the weights up will not give you the best benefits from the exercise, so don’t do it. Feel the slow burn of each muscle by moving slowly.

3-Keep your elbows above your wrists. This helps ensure that you the focus stays on your side deltoids. You should also keep them under stress by not allowing the weights to touch your body, and don’t let them simply hang from your hands – you should be actively using them.

4-Keep your abs tight as you do this exercise, which will help support your body and keep your torso straight. Finally, remember to watch for the weights creeping forward – you should be lifting them straight out to the side. If they are creeping forward, that means they are too heavy. Switch them out for lighter weights and start again.

5-Build Bigger Shoulders - Lateral Raise Tip