Arm Workouts

Quit Screwing Up Your Dumbbell Lateral Raises And Listen Up

Building an inch of muscle mass on your shoulders seems to be the most difficult task at the gym. Even though I notice many people focusing on glamor muscles like abs, pecs, and biceps, however; without those noticeable shoulders, your workouts are a waste of time.


The shoulders are made of three deltoid muscles:

  • Anterior (front)
  • Lateral (top)
  • Posterior (back)

And one of the most popular exercises to effectively target all these three deltoid muscles are the dumbbell lateral raises. This exercise also helps to maximize the strength around your shoulders and it gives the ideal muscle mass to develop the perfect shoulders.

So, before you rush towards the gym and start doing this exercise, here is a guide that explains proper form and technique.

Proper Technique For Your Dumbbell Lateral Raises

I’ll kick start it, explaining the steps to execute a perfect dumbbell raise. After that, we’ll see how it benefits your shoulders and what mistakes you should avoid.

dumbbell raise

Best Technique For Dumbbell Lateral Raises

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand straight in front of the mirror.
  • Keep your torso straight and brace your core. The dumbbells should be by your side at arms-length while the palms facing your body. This is your starting position.
  • Without rumbling your torso, lift the dumbbells by your side. Slightly bend the elbows and tilt the hands slightly forward.
  • Keep on raising the arms till they are parallel to the floor.
  • Hold this position for a second and gradually lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
  • Do at least three sets of 8-12 reps each.

Lateral Raise Mistakes to Avoid

1. Lifting very heavy weights

You should definitely break your limits but lifting too heavy with excessive momentum would be a big mistake. In fact, it’s a crucial mistake.

If you feel like the weight you are lifting requires you to swing your upper body back and forth, then it’ll be useless. Drop down a couple of pounds and try again.

2. Maintaining a completely upright posture

While you have to keep the torso straight but do not maintain a completely upright posture throughout the exercise or lean the body back.

dumbbell raise

Try to keep a small bend in your knees and slightly lean forward. This will give you a good support and a perfect working angle.

3. Raising the weights in front of the body

A big NOPE! You have to raise the dumbbells by your sides and not in front of your body. When you raise them in front of your body, you’re only training the anterior head of the shoulder.

Try to bend the elbows at 10-30 degrees and then raise the arms by your sides.

4. Lifting the arms above parallel to the floor

Once your arms are parallel to the floor, lifting them anymore will be counterproductive and would leave tension in the lateral head of your shoulders.

When the arms are parallel, just hold this position for a second or two and then lower to your starting position.

Benefits of Dumbbell Lateral Raises

dumbbell raise

  • Helps to train the stabilizer muscles that play a crucial role in your everyday training routine.
  • Develops a plane of movement namely, sagittal plane, horizontal plane and frontal plane. Because of this, there is a multidirectional movement pattern that gives better motion.
  • Being a unilateral exercise, it requires only one side of your body to be applied throughout the set. It helps to strengthen your stabilizing muscles and improve the overall muscular imbalance.

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