Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Instructions and Videos



Dumbbell lateral raise exercise variations will strengthen your shoulders and upper back. Reach your goals and stay injury free with these instructions and videos for the correct technique.

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The common mistake most people make with these exercises, is using dumbbells which are too heavy. It's a double whammy because you won't progress and you'll risk injury.

No matter who you are - men, women and aliens alike - I recommend you start off with the lightest dumbbells (2.5lbs to 5lbs). Progress gradually, at your own pace, from that starting point.

Men usually focus on this exercise to get wide shoulders. But if you're a woman, dumbbell lateral raises are still important exercises to do (don't worry, your shoulders won't suddenly expand!).

The shoulders are complicated joints. It's important to keep the surrounding muscles strong. Including dumbbell lateral raises in circuit workouts, is the best way to strengthen your deltoids (the muscle covering the front, middle and rear parts of your shoulders).

That way, you won't be doing too many reps on your shoulders, but you will be getting the toning benefits of this exercise.

As always, technique is key (that's why you need lighter dumbbells). Make sure every rep is slow and fully controlled. If you start swinging and clanging the dumbbells, you know you need to stop and reduce the weight.

healthy back

Upright Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Start by doing 5-10 reps. Or you could work to time in circuits (i.e. 20 seconds exercise, 30 seconds rest).

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Hold a dumbbell with each hand by your side, palms facing in. Brace your core and keep a slight bend in your elbows throughout.
  3. Slowly raise both dumbbells out to the sides. As you reach shoulder height, tilt the front of the dumbbells down slightly (so that your little finger is the highest point). This will ensure your elbows stay above your wrists, keeping the work on the middle and rear shoulders.
  4. Pause as you reach shoulder height, then slowly come back down. Don't relax at the bottom of the rep, go straight into the next one.
  5. Repeat until you complete your reps.

Tips:

  • Exhale as you lift up, inhale as you come back down.
  • Keep your core muscles braced throughout, this will stabilise your lift.
  • Don't use momentum from your body to aid the lifts, keep each rep slow and steady.
  • Don't raise your elbows beyond shoulder height.
  • Keep the same bend in your elbows throughout.
  • Don't lose form just to complete the set. If you're struggling then stop and rest.


Bent Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise

This exercise focuses more on your rear shoulders and upper back.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Hold a dumbbell with each hand by your side, palms facing in. Brace your core and keep a slight bend in your elbows throughout.
  3. Bend forward at your hips (body near horizontal), keep your back straight and neck in line with your back (you should end up with your bottom sticking out).
  4. Raise both dumbbells out to the sides (your elbows should come in line with your shoulders), again tilt the front of the dumbbells down slightly.
  5. Then slowly come back down.
  6. Repeat until you complete your reps.

Tips:

  • Exhale as you lift up, inhale as you come back down.
  • Keep your core muscles braced throughout, this will stabilise your lift.
  • Keep the same bend in your elbows throughout.
  • Don't 'throw' the weight up in an effort to use momentum, keep it slow and steady.
  • Don't round your back, it should be straight throughout.

Exercise Pictures

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Videos

Enjoy these dumbbell lateral raises! Check out these quality videos for a visual idea of the best technique:



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