Lateral raises are an isolation movement that are a great way to build strength in your shoulders. It is also an easy one to add into an existing workout routine as it is a very simple exercise in itself that is suitable for all, no matter your fitness level. However, though it seems like just lifting your arms up and down, the lateral raise requires technique and form in order to achieve the best results. They are also deceiving in their ability to make your muscles burn with only a few reps.
How to Do Dumbbell Lateral Raises
- Stand firmly with your hips shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and dumbbells held comfortably at your sides. Make sure that your palms are facing inwards (this exercise can also be performed seated).
- Raise your arms up and straight out until they are level with your shoulders. Do not bend your arms too much while you complete the movement. You should try to keep a small bend in the elbow but not more.
- In a slow fashion, lower the dumbbells back down again to your sides.
Correcting Your Form
As with most exercises, it is the details that take lateral raises from a simple exercise to a shoulder burner:
- Remember to engage your core as you lift the dumbbells.
- Do not raise your arms higher than your shoulders, or ‘throw’ the dumbbells too quickly up and down.
- Instead of dropping your arms back down to your sides, lower the dumbbells slowly and with control.
- Before lowering your arms pause with the dumbbells for a second or two, as this will help with muscle enhancement.
- Engage your core and your glutes in order to stabilise your body and avoid slouching or injury.
Lateral raises are a very simple exercises that are easy to add into your workout routine. There are several variations that you can employ as well, but even the simple lateral raise alone will help in defining your arms and growing your shoulder muscles. Try adding them into your routine as a shoulder workout after you have warmed up properly, and you will soon see the results that this exercise has to offer.
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