lateral raise3

This exercise develops strength and endurance of the shoulder muscles.

Equipment: dumbbells, elastic tubing, cable pulley

Major muscles used: medial deltoid (a/k/a lateral or middle), supraspinatus, trapezius II and IV (see illustrated anatomy for picture of the traps), serratus anterior




Overview: With feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent, hold weight by sides and bring up to shoulder level. For safety, keep abdominals contracted and lift weight with thumbs pointing up. 

Position: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Neck, spine and pelvis are in neutral. You can perform this exercise seated placing feet flat on floor, hips flexed at 90°, and neck and spine are in neutral. Scapulae (shoulder blades) are depressed (pressed down). Elbows are slightly flexed and wrists are in neutral, palms face your thighs. Abdominals are contracted and knees are soft.

Movement: Stand while holding selected equipment down by your sides. Leading with the elbows (not the wrists) raise arms up to shoulder level creating a 90° angle. Exhale on the up phase, inhale on the down phase.
Safety Precaution: Moving arms above shoulder level (90° angle) can lead to shoulder impingement. A safer way to perform this exercise is to turn your arms out, while still at your thighs, so that your palms face out. Bring arms, with thumbs pointing up, to shoulder level (see picture above). This will look like your body is in a T position.

Common errors:
– compromising core stability
– wrist breaking
– moving with the legs or torso
– moving the head forward in the up phase (this is very common)
– elevating the scapulae during the up phase

– unilateral raise
– leaning unilateral raise at low pulley
– unilateral raise on bosu ball

Need more information on the lateral raise or want more progression advice? Please leave a comment…