Learn Cable Lateral Raise – A Complete Guide and Video

Cable lateral raise is the one of the best shoulder exercises that work well on your middle head of the deltoid muscle, that muscle at the top of shoulder. This exercise allows several muscle movements on your shoulder and strengthens the subscapularis and infraspinatus muscles in your rotator cuff.

Most of the fitness experts say when you combine with frontal raises it helps to get well rounded shape and can gain more shoulder strength.

The cable lateral raises are beginner-friendly shoulder exercises that can be performed using cable machine and resistance bands.

So, in this article you will know everything about cable lateral raise, how to perform them, modifications, variation of cable lateral raise and its alternatives.

Cable Lateral Raise Exercise Details

Target Muscles : Shoulder (secondary target muscles : Trapes)

Exercise Type : Strength

Force Type : Pull

Mechanics : Isolation

Experience level : Intermediate

Equipment : Cable

How to Perform Cable Lateral Raise

  • Set a weight that you can lift with only one shoulder or two shoulders.
  • Stand straight next to the pulley machine with your feet are shoulder-width apart.
  • Make sure that you’re maintaining good posture while performing exercise, push your chest forward, slightly bend your both knees while pointing your shoulder back.
  • Also, take the help of your free hand for support like placing your hand on a machine for pulling weight comfortably.
  • Exhale, slightly bend your elbows to a15-to-35-degree angle and lift the weight sideways until it’s level with your shoulder.
  • Try to focus on your middle shoulder while raising weight and avoid rotating your arms.
  • Hold your movement for seconds.
  • inhale, slowly lower the weight to the starting position.
  • Do 2 to4 sets of 10 to 16 reps for each arm.

How to Performa One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise

As you know this is shoulder exercise and activates the lateral deltoids, anterior deltoids and serratus anterior. 

How to Perform:

  • Sand straight next to the pulley machine.
  • Hold the pulley handle with the left hand, palm facing towards the body.
  • Make sure you lengthen your body posture and push your chest towards.
  • Slight bend your elbows and raise your left hands to the shoulder level.
  • Hold the position for seconds and slowly, lower the weight to the starting position. 
  • You can alternate your left and right hands.

How to Perform a Two-Arm Cable Lateral Raise

There are some people who often perform two-arm cable lateral raises.

How to perform:

  • Stand straight in the center of the machine.
  • Hold the pulley handles with both hands and slightly, bend your elbows, lift the arms until your arms level of shoulder.
  • Hold for seconds at the top of the movement and slowly lower your arms to the starting position.

Cable Lateral Raise Modifications

If you want to get better results the focus on progression and great form, some modifications make this exercise more challenging.

For better results, increase the intensity of the exercise by lifting the weights slowly and hold the position for seconds (5 to 10 sec) in each rep. That will give more tension to your lateral deltoids, which can increase your muscle growth.

Lateral Raise Variations

There are some variations to cable lateral raise to add in your workout routine.

Dead-stop Lateral Raises: this exercise reduces the momentum and gives more tension to your muscles, and this exercise is great performed with dumbbells.

How to perform:

  • Hold two dumbbells with each hand and sit on a bench.
  • Extend your arms out to the sides.
  • Slowly, raise the dumbbells to the shoulder level.
  • Hot the position for a few seconds.
  • Slowly, lower the dumbbells to the starting point with controlled manner.
  • Take 30 seconds rest after every set.  

Eccentric Lateral Raises: in this exercise you will increase muscle tension.

How to perform:

  • Hold the dumbbells with each hand and sit on the bench.
  • Bend your elbows to 90-degree and lift the dumbbells out to the shoulder level.
  • Now, make your elbows straight out the sides by creating a “T” shape with your body, your palms are facing down.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds and then slowly lower the weight down to your sides.

Elevator Lateral Raises: this exercise increases the muscles time spent under tension and helps to grow your muscles faster.

How to perform:

  • Sand straight and hold the dumbbells in both hands.
  • Lift the dumbbells simultaneously to the shoulder level.
  • Lower your arms one-third of the way down, and again raise them to the shoulder level, then lower your arms down half of the way, and then again lift the arms to the shoulder level.
  • Now, slowly lower the weight to the starting position to your sides.

Alternatives of Cable Lateral Raise

There are a number of alternative exercises to cable lateral raise, some of the exercises you can do at home and others can be done at the gym. But remember these movements are not much effective as he cables lateral raise.

Alternatives of cable lateral raise examples:

  • Overhead press
  • Planks
  • Superman
  • The windmill
  • Barbell military press
  • Chin-ups
  • Inverted rows

If you want to perform these alternatives then talk to a personal trainer or read the instructions or watch videos on YouTube, so you may get detailed guidance to perform proper form and avoid injury.  

QNA on Cable Lateral raises

Are Lateral Raises Worth it?

The lateral raise makes your shoulder stronger, larger and increases shoulder mobility.

Can I Do Lateral Raises Every Day?

If you are looking to improve your shoulder strength and build them stronger and larger, then the lateral raise can be done pretty much every day.

What is a Good Weight for Lateral Raises?

To perform this exercise all you need is a set of dumbbells, if your beginner starts with 5 to 15 pounds or you have some experience then go with 20 to 25 pounds. Make sure that you have enough space to raise your arms in a “T” formation.


Cable lateral raises are one of the great exercises for building a broader shoulder and getting a balanced shape to your shoulder.

There are three variations of cable lateral raise, make sure you perform this exercise with correct form that will strengthen your different shoulder muscles.

Hopefully you like this article, if you have any questions and suggestions kindly put them in the comment box below.  

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