Lateral Raises

Posted on by Connie K

The lateral raise is a great exercise that targets the your shoulder the deltoids, especially the medial delt that gives your shoulders the rounded cap, or the “boulder for shoulders” look.  It will also give you the thickness in your shoulders, making you look wide. There are many variations: For beginners I recommend using tension bands.  Imagine standing on the middle of the band and grabbing the handles, keeping your arms fairly straight and raising them up to make a T with your arms and back down.  The contraction of the exercise should be at the top where the tension is the greatest, really squeezing those delts. An easy progression is to do standing dumbbell lateral raise.  Again same motion, making sure at the start, your palms are facing in towards your torso.  The movement should continue up to that “T” shape again with your arm, when it should be about shoulder height. Another variation comes from doing it on the cable machine on the jungle gym, dropping the handle down to the bottom and performing the same movement. More variation comes with small adjustments.  Some ideas for you to try are single arm, for a whole set or even alternating them, or seated.  If you want to hit more front delt, bring the dumbbells slightly forward at the top of the movement.  Or try doing seated dumbbell laterall raises, taking away any sort of postural distortion from standing and swinging and focus directly on the delt. For me personally, I like doing drop sets or what people call “running the rack” where I’ll start at the 30lb dumbbells, burn out, then go to the 25lbs, burn out, 20lbs, burnout all the way down to the 5lb dumbbells.  The idea behind this is to keep constant tension on my delts and getting that good pump and burn and blood flow. In the video below from one of my past shoulder workouts, I show how this simple movement can be applied and modified in different ways. I supersetted seated heavy one arm dumbbell raises with lighter double arm dumbbell raises. Go ahead and throw these into your workouts for a bigger, badder, wider frame or simply to get your shoulders toned, round, and shapely.      width= Danny Quach is a senior at the University of Georgia and he’s studying Health Promotion and Behavior.  He’s a powerlifter at heart and has done it for over six years.  He just competed in his first bodybuilding show in Summer of 2011.  For powerlifting, he holds some Georgia records.  In his first bodybuilding competition, he placed 2nd in Novice in INBF Southern States.  On his spare time he’s a part of the University of Georgia’s cheerleading co-ed squads; his favorite past-time? Throwing girls around and catching them.