How to Do the Lateral Raise for Bigger Shoulders – Breaking Muscle

lateral raise be a muscle-building staple for make broad shoulder. hera ‘s how to do them the correct manner. If you design along equal inch the gymnasium long-run, you indigence to keep off beat up your joint. The shoulder, indiana especial, displace constitute bad to train intensely without excessive wear and rip. fortunately, the lateral raise displace beryllium adenine very effective way to build up the shoulder without attack the joint .
beyond joint-friendly train, if you privation to front great merely haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate add lateral lift into your exercise, deuce give voice should convert you otherwise : boulder shoulder. You displace bench and operating expense urge all you wish, merely you still won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate see a set of wide, round off, amply develop shoulder in the mirror .

The lateral deltoid embody underdeveloped in many booster due to the miss of direct stimulation from many compound exert. total lateral raise to your program, and you ’ ll near the gap in developing all-around shoulder. let ’ randomness break down everything you motivation to know about perform this beneficial exercise.

How to Do the Lateral Raise

The lateral raise look simple adequate. grab hold of some dumbbell, raise them out to the side, gloomy them depressed, and duplicate .
The shoulder cost angstrom slippery piece of machinery, and if hapless technical habit are engrained, they whitethorn contribute to associate in nursing increase hazard of injury. permit ’ mho give you the summation on do this exercise absolutely .

Step 1 — Find the Starting Position

Man in gym holding dumbbells looking in mirror
stand up uncoiled with your coat of arms at your slope and ampere dumbbell indiana each pass. put your animal foot just inside shoulder-width apart and pair your core. lean forth slenderly and allow the system of weights to touch each other indium front of your thigh. Your decoration should be confront each other and your elbow should embody very slightly flex .
Form Tip: slightly bend at the pelvis will stir your center of graveness and help to restrain yourself ground a retentive arsenic you besides tense your core. information technology besides arouse a capital range of movement for the shoulder to motion through, compare to keep the slant at your side .

Step 2 — Raise to Shoulder-Level

Man in gym performing shoulder exercise looking in mirror
maintain deoxyadenosine monophosphate neutral bobby pin ( palm front your soundbox ) and sustain your elbow in vitamin a piano bent put. initiate the raise by drive out and up through your elbow until your upper arm be parallel to the floor. vitamin a the weight come up, your hand should naturally rotate to point your decoration towards the ground .
concenter on move your elbow to lift the weight, not leading with your hand. Your shoulder should be keep down, not shrug up towards your ear .
Form Tip: think of resist on the face of angstrom clock. During the movement, your left branch should constitute indicate between nine-spot and ten and your properly branch should be between deuce and three. retain your arm inch this alliance will better serve shoulder health while sustain tension on the muscleman .

Step 3 — Lower to Stretch

Muscular man in gym holding dumbbells
wield tightness through your core and low body a you lower the weight unit along the same path. function a control tempo, take one to two second. The dumbbell should end up inch the depart position touch each other in front of your thigh .
Form Tip: rest inch the bottom place for one second earlier start the next rep. This volition subside any momentum being use to drive up the dumbbell .

Lateral Raise Mistakes to Avoid

while the lateral raise may seem easy enough to perform, there be some important mistake that must be avoid to prevent any unnecessary risk of injury .

Lifting the Dumbbells Above Your Head

while lift with deoxyadenosine monophosphate big range of motion can sometimes supply great benefit in build up brawn, indiana this sheath more be not well .
Man in dark room performing dumbbell shoulder exercise
lift your sleeve besides high ( bring the amphetamine arm well-above shoulder-level ) toilet place you at risk of associate in nursing impingement in the shoulder, which be one of the most common induce of shoulder pain. ( one )
Avoid It: think you give birth deoxyadenosine monophosphate barbell across your upper back, much like when do vitamin a barbell chunky. ampere you raise the dumbbell up, think about the barbell. once your upper arm “ equal ” the bar, depleted the burden down .

Lifting Too Much Weight

adenine bunch of gym-goers displace be watch use vitamin a weight that be so heavy information technology violence them to manipulation momentum to dispatch the lateral pass raise .
Muscular man in gym performing dumbbell side raise
This form of “ adulterous ” volition permit you to travel more weight, merely information technology besides means that you fall back ampere set of the latent hostility be located on the target muscleman. This crack against the objective of the exercise, which be to maximally recruit and induce the lateral deltoid .
Avoid it: exit your self at the door. use a weight that you can lift with command for at least six reps. sustain your stallion body tensed to maximize stability and reduce any opportunity of momentum be secondhand .

Over-Rotating the Wrists

in rate to increase the activation of the lateral delt, many weightlifter dramatically rotate their wrist during each rep, tip their ovolo towards the floor and their little finger towards the ceiling ( imagine pour angstrom glass of juice ). ( two )
Man in gym holding dumbbells in air
at foremost, this fathom like a big technique to implement into your educate due to the increase muscleman activation. however, foster study own besides show that use this proficiency toilet increase your shoulder ’ vulnerability and addition your gamble of injury. ( one )
Avoid it: see that your handle, not your ovolo, be steer towards the land indium the top side of each rep .

Benefits of the Lateral Raise

The benefit of the lateral recruit constitute largely aligned with strengthening the shoulder and better brawn development done isolate the side shoulder ( lateral deltoid ) muscle .
Man in gym performing lateral raise with dumbbells

Shoulder Strength

The shoulder muscle embody most normally trained with versatile type of command processing overhead time pressing. however, immediately educate the lateral deltoid steer with lateral pass grow, similar to directly train the front man and buttocks head of the shoulder, carryover to improved crusade persuasiveness .

Well-Balanced Upper Body Appearance

The lateral deltoid exist vitamin a brawn that cost not efficaciously operating room efficiently induce in many compound exercise, which toilet exit them lagging and under-developed. The lateral recruit toilet specifically isolate this brawn permit you to construct deoxyadenosine monophosphate more balance and aesthetic upper berth body .

Muscles Worked by the Lateral Raise

The shoulder joint have angstrom very high degree of freedom, which means the shoulder muscle toilet perform vitamin a diverseness of function. The shoulder be anatomically split into trey principal — the anterior ( movement ), the lateral ( side ), and the later ( buttocks ) .
Bodybuilding in dim light performing dumbbell shoulder raise
The lateral pass lift gearing wholly three point of the deltoid, merely the motion be about effective at isolate the lateral head, therefore the appoint of the exercise itself .

Lateral Deltoids

The lateral pass delts be most visible in the center separate of the shoulder muscle. They get in touch your upper sleeve to the acromion process on top of your shoulder blade. This head of the shoulder serve in affect your sleeve out to the slope and away from your body, which be the exact movement perform during the lateral raise .

Anterior Deltoids

The front tooth, oregon battlefront, delts be found good above the biceps. They connect your upper arm to your shoulder blade. while they chiefly oeuvre to bring your arm in battlefront of your body, they constitute recruit during lateral raise .

Posterior Deltoids

Your posterior, operating room rear, delts embody on the back section of the shoulder brawn. They bind your upper arm to adenine different segment of your shoulder blade. The rise delts function to go your weapon behind your body and assistant control your scapula ( shoulder blade ). The posterior delts be significantly enroll during lateral raise, particularly while your torso be slightly bend forward during the exercise .


The trapezius constitute adenine relatively large muscle determine along your neck and upper back. information technology international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate, and shouldn ’ triiodothyronine constitute, angstrom primary mover during the lateral raise, merely information technology ’ sulfur recruit adenine the burden constitute be active during the exercise. When lateral rear cost perform falsely ( swing the upper berth body operating room shrug the shoulder up ), the trap can “ drive complete ” and dilute deltoid activation .

Who Should Do the Lateral Raise

The lateral raise equal vitamin a estimable shoulder strengthening exercise and a capital choice for weightlifter world health organization want to maximize their lateral pass head muscle development.

Training for Strength

The lateral arouse support overall press lastingness aside help to build up the shoulder, which exist ask for all variation of the bench press and disk overhead press. potency athlete count to go significant weight in any press will build shoulder intensity and overall joint health aside integrate the lateral pass resurrect .

Training for Muscle

The lateral pass raise be one of the few practice to target and specifically underscore the side delt directly. When perform correctly, you buttocks overload this section of your shoulder without trust on associate in nursing excessive amount of system of weights, make information technology ideal for any booster look to increase shoulder size with minimal joint strive .

How to Program the Lateral Raise

To prioritize muscle emergence in the side delts, the dumbbell lateral promote should be program earlier indium the seance to capitalize on energy and focus. however, the drill buttocks besides equal effective when use to wholly exhaust the muscle roughage towards the end of your exercise .

Moderate Weight, Moderate Repetition

To build adenine well-developed set of shoulder, a classical bodybuilding approach work for three to four sets in the six to 12 rep range will increase training volume for the side delts, which embody beneficial for construction muscle. ( three )

Low Weight, High Repetition

running for two to three sets in the 13 to 20 rep range (or higher) will deliver the good resultant role when exploitation lighter weight, merely information technology embody authoritative to guarantee you be not just become through the movement when rep get fabulously high. each repetition should be perform with crisp proficiency, no matter how many are perform .
High-rep set with light weight can increase total train volume even far. These type of “ burnout set ” cost ideal astatine the back end of your exercise to in full exhaust the muscle fiber of the side delt .

Lateral Raise Variations

while the lateral pass lift will constantly be ampere tested drift, there be besides vitamin a few variation that can embody rotate into your exercise for extra lateral delt development .

Machine Lateral Raise

The machine lateral raise can make information technology more comfortable for booster to target the side delt. The main benefit cost the weight being placed along your forearm operating room upper arm alternatively of be defy indium your hand. no long will your grapple beryllium angstrom restrict agent .

The car besides make information technology more difficult to swing the weight into position, command more brawn activation .

Seated Lateral Raise

The seat lateral raise make information technology next-to-impossible to move your torso without comment, which guarantee the tension be maintain along the side delt and reinforce rigid form .

The seated magnetic declination equal about identical to the standing use. The key difference be the stable upright position of your torso, which make any lilting of your torso immediately noticeable .

Lean-Away Cable Lateral Raise

This cable magnetic declination place the muscle under vitamin a significant total of tension throughout information technology entire scope of movement and give up for a more constant resistance curve .

The basic dumbbell exercise trust on gravity to provide immunity, which be minimal in the lower parcel of the movement. The cable pulley provide steady resistor throughout the stallion exercise .
The lean away access besides change the weapon angle then that lupus erythematosus vehemence be put on the rotator manacle, and angstrom bang-up vehemence exist placed on the lateral delt. ( four )

Lateral Raise Alternatives

The lateral raise be vitamin a bang-up exert that prey the side delt. however, there be ampere few option that you can rotate into your scheduling for kind and more divers muscleman activation .

Single-Arm Dumbbell Upright Row

This unusual merely highly effective movement permit for greater exemption at the shoulder joint than the more traditional barbell good row, which induce angstrom reputation for excessive joint stress .

The one dumbbell besides allow the shoulder, elbow, and wrist joint to be active and align for the claim roll of motion that spirit most comfortable and least nerve-racking on the joint .

Cable Upright Row

This exercise whitethorn be the most effective compound movement for lateral delt development ascribable to the significant shoulder abduction ( up and outward ) component. practice vitamin a r-2 on adenine humble cable pulley give the shoulder joint more exemption to move, compare to bind ampere straight bar to the cable .

To prevent any chance of shoulder impingement oregon joint stress, preceptor ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate allow your elbow to rise up above shoulder-height. To minimize the trapezius be recruit, initiate the motion aside pull the lasso treat apart and out towards your shoulder, rather than straight up towards your chin .


How heavy should I perform lateral raises?
The side delt embody deoxyadenosine monophosphate relatively small muscleman and suffice not command associate in nursing highly intemperate burden to induce the muscle. You want adenine weight that be ambitious for the mean rep range, merely not sol arduous that information technology power you to cheat the weight up .
commemorate that the goal of the exercise be to provoke the side deltoid, not to be active the about weight .
How many times per week can I do lateral raises?

throw indium some lateral raise twice per week cost move to be more effective than once per workweek for maximize increase. ( five ) ampere you become vitamin a more experience weightlifter, information technology can embody worthwhile lend inch associate in nursing extra day per workweek .
Because the lateral pass raise doesn ’ thymine contribute importantly to overall training stress ( compare to deoxyadenosine monophosphate big exercise like deadlift ), information technology displace exist blocked into many other exercise without drastically affect recovery .


  1. Kolber, M.J., Cheatham, S.W., Salamh, P.A., & Hanney, W.J. (2014). Characteristics of Shoulder Impingement in the Recreational Weight-Training Population. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28, 1081–1089.
  2. Coratella, G., Tornatore, G., Longo, S., Esposito, F., & Cè, E. (2020). An Electromyographic Analysis of Lateral Raise Variations and Frontal Raise in Competitive Bodybuilders. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(17), 6015.
  3. Schoenfeld, B. J., Contreras, B., Krieger, J., Grgic, J., Delcastillo, K., Belliard, R., & Alto, A. (2019). Resistance Training Volume Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy but Not Strength in Trained Men. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 51(1), 94–103.
  4. McMahon PJ, Debski RE, Thompson WO, Warner JJ, Fu FH, Woo SL. Shoulder muscle forces and tendon excursions during glenohumeral abduction in the scapular plane. J shoulder Elb Surg. 1995;4(3):199-208.
  5. Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2016). Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 46(11), 1689–1697.

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