Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Why Should You Do Dumbbell Lateral Rasie?

This is an isolation exercise for the shoulders, and mainly the outer shoulders also called the middle part of your shoulders (mid delts). You must perform the exercise with a good posture and a straight back. Do not take too much weight at the beginning as it engages other muscles than your shoulders, start with low weights, and increases later.

If you do not like to run with dumbbells and want a little more control, you can run with a cable as an alternative.

Details for Dumbbell Lateral Raise

  • Primary Muscle
    Middle Delt
  • Secondary Muscle
    Front Delt
  • Equipment
  • Level


Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Be sure to pinch the shoulder blades together and push the chest forward. Your arms should be slightly bent and hanging down at the side of your body. It would be best if you held the dumbbells so that the palms of your hands are against your body. Bend your knees slightly. Tighten your core and buttocks to get a correct and neutral back

With slightly bent elbows, lift the dumbbells to the side until the elbows are at the same height as the shoulders. Remain in that position for about 1-2 seconds and then return in a controlled and slow manner to the starting position. Then turn and repeat the exercise in the desired number of reps. You should lift at about 15-20 degrees forward towards the upper body. No more than that because then it will be a front dumbbell raise which mainly loads the front part of your shoulders.

Remember that the elbows should be locked during the entire movement. Perform the exercise in a controlled and slow motion both upwards and downwards.

Always keep the torso tensed for proper posture and proper load. Do not swing back and forth with the upper body, only the arms should move. If you have to swing, you have too much weight.

Guide for Dumbbell Lateral Raise

  • Do not use too heavy dumbbells, that will make you connect the wrong muscles
  • Have slightly bent but fixed arms
  • Pinch your shoulder blades together and chest forward
  • Tense your buttocks and torso to get a neutral back
  • Slowly lift the dumbbells
  • Stop when the arms are parallel to the floor
  • Hold for a few seconds in the top position
  • Lower the weight in a calm and slow manner, always with tension in the muscle you are exercising. 
  • Inhale on the way up and exhale on the way down
  • Do not swing the upper body, only the arms should move

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