The dumbbell side lateral raise is another great shoulder exercise which focuses on your side deltoid which is one of the three heads of the shoulder muscles.
After a few sets of dumbbell side lat raises you’ll feel a burn in your shoulders and you’ll know your hitting the targeted muscle with this movement.
There are a number of ways to perform this exercise, but the way I teach is designed with safety and the ability to use heavy weights in mind. Shoulder injuries are common so it’s important we don’t do anything to aggravate this area so this version is easier on your shoulders compared to others.
Whilst the dumbbell lateral raise is a simple movement, its commonplace to see guys swinging wildly and making the movement less effective. This article will teach you how to perform the dumbbell side lateral raise safely and effectively so your shoulders can be worked without the worry of injury.
How To Perform The Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise
Preparing to lift
- Begin by picking up the dumbbells and hold them in front of your upper thighs
- Your palms facing each other with the round part of the dumbbells resting on your thighs
- Your feet should be shoulder width apart with your toes pointed slightly out
- Once you’re ready to lift the weights you should squeeze your abs hard to tighten your core
- Squeeze your legs hard too, this provides a solid foundation for you to push off
- Keep your head in a neutral position and your lower back straight
- Begin the upward movement lifting the dumbbells by moving them away from each other
- Slowly rotate your hands on the way up so at the top position your palms face the ground (like a punch position)
Top position and return
- At the top position the dumbbells should be at the same height as your shoulders you’re your arms at a 90 degree angle
- Return the dumbbells to the starting position in a controlled fashion
- The return shouldn’t be too slow as this only make the exercise more difficult
- Do not let your form break down, maintain the same body position as the upward movement
That’s one rep; complete the prescribed number of reps.
The dumbbell side raise is an isolation exercise and therefore doesn’t require lots of sets to get the job done, 1-2 sets of 10-15 reps will usually do the job.
Variations of The Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise
There are many other versions of the side lateral raise, many have the trainees arms perfectly straight at their sides and remaining straight all the way to the top.
The strictness of this version of the movement limits the amount of weight that can be used as the dumbbell is held at arms length. For this reason I prefer the heavier side lateral raise to the straight arm version.
Another reason I prefer the version I teach above is because the straight arm version can be hard on your shoulders and tough on your joints so I recommend you stick with this version.