The Lateral Raise – How to Perform Lateral Raise, Benefits and Variations

The lateral raise exercise is a popular exercise that builds your largest deltoids, which are the muscles on top of your arms at your shoulder. This exercise is very simple to perform but many people performed incorrectly.

If you’re looking to build a V-shaped physique then you should do shoulder exercise and the lateral raise exercise is one of the best for building shoulder muscles.

It’s very easy to perform: you just need to raise the weights to the sides and up to shoulder level then lower the weight to the starting position. So here we mention the details about lateral raise perfect form and benefits.

All you need is a pair of dumbbells and enough shoulder flexibility to perform this exercise. Generally, the lateral raise exercise is incorporated into the upper body strength training routine. So read the article till the end to know everything about lateral raise exercise.

How to Do the Lateral Raise

Lateral raise can be done both seated and standing but most people preferred to perform by standing.

Sit or stand, hold dumbbells with both hands at your sides, and keep you back straight. Then lift the weights or dumbbells out to the sides till shoulder level with your elbows slightly bent. Then lower the weights to the starting position.

Try to do 12 to 14 reps with perfect form, and select the correct weight to do lateral raise safely and properly, and avoid injuries. The last few raises are a bit challenging, so it’s important to take correct weight dumbbells rather than grabbing heaviest dumbbells.

Benefits of Lateral Raise

The lateral raise is a shoulder exercise which builds larger deltoids and helps to achieve the boulder shoulder that many people desire. The lateral raises are considered one of the best exercises for working the lateral head of the delts.

Generally, it’s performed with a light weight and you will feel burn in your shoulder and muscle pump that results in growth.  

The lateral raise exercise also helps to strengthen your shoulder and maintain strength between right and left sides.

Tips to Do the Lateral Raise

Here are some tips to perform properly and build a boulder shoulder.

01. Try to Make a Small Move

Try to make a small move that will place tension on your shoulder and start with slowly each rep.

Stand tall, keep you back straight and raise the weight slowly until your arms parallel to the floor. hold there for seconds and lower the weight slowly with elbows slightly bent. 

02. Lead Weight with Your Elbows

Lead the weight with your elbows, so that will give more tension to your shoulder and delts. Keep the correct weight and do this exercise with proper form, the dumbbells leading with your elbows. So, they are the highest part of your arm.

03. Turn Your Wrists

When your hands are shoulder level, rotate your wrist, so the that can activate more muscle fibres in your delts and each rep that you will raise that works the muscle harder.

04. Lower the Weight Slower

Lower the weight slowly as possible to the starting position. That helps the shoulder to work harder to manage the weight so you can activate more muscle fibres. Then you can see the result in growth. Try to take at least 2 seconds to lower your weight.

05. Raise the Weight and Stop

Raise the weight up to the shoulder level, and stop there for seconds at the top thatwill be great for muscle enhancement.

Step by Step Instructions to Do Lateral Raise

Step by Step Instructions to Do Lateral Raise

To perform lateral raise, you don’t need any equipment. All you need is pair dumbbells, if you are a beginner you can start with between 5 to 15 pounds dumbbells. And enough space to raise your hands like “T” formation.

Here are some instructions:

  • Stand tall with holding dumbbells each hand, your hands are at your sides and look straight ahead. Check your posture and back straight.
  • Lift the weight up and out to each side, keep your hands straight. Raise the dumbbells until your arms reach shoulder level and body should form a “T” shape.
  • Hold for a second at the top
  • Then lower the weight slowly at the starting position. Do 10 to 12 reps.

Some Common Mistakes While Performing Lateral Raise

The lateral raise is easy exercise, but some people do it completely wrong, they may make many of the common mistakes and cause shoulder pain and scare away from the exercise. But if you do it correctly, that can be a safe and effective way to develop your shoulder.

01. Raising Weight That are Too Heavy

This is one of the worst lateral raise mistakes that many people are doing and causing shoulder pain. The lateral raise exercise is not something like building maximum strength with heavy weights and few reps.

Your lateral deltoid responds great to low weight and high reps. So, take light weight and do 10 to 12 reps that will pump your shoulder muscles.  Make sure that every rep should be performed with perfect form and control.

02. Lifting the Weight too High

If you raise the weight too high, you may get shoulder pain. It’s important to raise the weight till shoulder level. You can raise the weight until your arms are parallel to the floor. if your hands are moving above parallel, then you’re going too high.

03. Bouncing Up and Down

Bouncing up and down is one of the common mistakes people make while performing lateral raise. You may complete the rep with utilising technique but you don’t know how much your deltoids are actually working.

So, it’s very important to take advice from a personal trainer and couch to know the correct form.

04. Taking the Dumbbells to Tight

This is also a common mistake that many people do, gripping the dumbbells too tight. Take dumbbells that have a good grip that will increase muscle activation, shoulder stability and make you stronger while performing lateral raise.

Holding the dumbbells with a light grip that can help more effectively engage the lateral deltoids.

05. Dropping your Head Forward

This is one of the common mistakes that many people make while performing lateral raise. Many people drop their chin towards your chest while performing exercise. This can happen when you’re using too much weight or your shoulder feeling fatigued.

It’s very important to look straight and maintain good body posture throughout the exercise. This may help to prevent neck strain and you may target the lateral delts.

Lateral Raise Variations

There are many lateral raise exercise variations that give different challenges to your shoulder and build muscles.

01. Standing lateral raise with dumbbell

Standing lateral raise with dumbbell

Stand tall, holding a dumbbell with each hand by your sides. Lift the dumbbells until your arms parallel to floor or shoulder level. Hold for a second at the top of the movement with slightly bent elbows.

Lower the weight to the starting position. That’s one rep.

02. Resistance Band Lateral Raise

You can also use resistance bands for lateral raise because that will give you more challenges to your shoulder and also you don’t need much weight to get better results.

It’s easy to carry with you and whenever you feel, you can start performing this exercise. You just need a resistance band, stand in the middle of the band holding both ends with each hand.

Raise the arms till shoulder level and hold for second, lower slowly to the starting point.

03. Front Raise with dumbbells

Front Raise with dumbbells

This exercise is also great to give tension to your shoulder, you can mix things with front raise if you get bored of lateral raise. This exercise also gives the same benefits but the thing is your lifting the weight straight out in front of your face.

Stand tall, hold dumbbells each hand in front of your thighs with your palm facing you. Lift the dumbbells to shoulder level, hold for send and lower slowly to the starting point.

04. Seating Lateral Raise with Dumbbells

Seating Lateral Raise with Dumbbells

This exercise also gives the same benefits of standing lateral raise. this exercise adds a variety of tension to your shoulder.

Seat on the bench, holding dumbbells each hand, lift the weight to the shoulder level and hold for seconds, lower the dumbbells to the starting point.

QNA on Lateral Raise

What Does the Lateral Raise Work?

The lateral raise exercise works on your shoulder as well as on your triceps. But you need to perform correctly, safely and need to have control in your exercise.

Are Lateral Raises Good?

The lateral raise is considered one of the best exercises to target lateral delts. It also helps to achieve muscle growth of the lateral delts. Also help to build stronger and broader shoulders.

How Many Lateral Raises Should I Do?

Your aim should be 10 to 14 reps with perfect form, select the correct weight for doing lateral raise safely and properly. You can take light weights and do high reps that will be more beneficial for your shoulder.

Can you Do Lateral Raises Every Day?

 If you want to develop solid muscle connection, then lateral raise can be done every day. But make sure that you’re doing it properly and safely with the correct weight.

The Final Thoughts

Lateral raise is great exercise for the shoulder to build muscles, but you need to do it safely and properly with correct weight. It’s best to take advice from a personal trainer or couch.

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

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