There are many variations on the dumbbell lateral raise e.g. body position, starting position of dumbbells, range of motion….None are right or wrong, simply different options for you to consider.
I’ll illustrate just one in this tutorial.
Dumbbell lateral raises work the whole deltoid, especially the medial (side) head. Your traps also come into play here, so they are an extremely valuable exercise that should not be skipped.
- Before you even begin, please bear in mind that you’ll need a light weight in order to work with good form in this exercise
- Allow a slight rocking backwards and forwards during the execution of this exercise (see notes below)
Check out the video first…
(1) Getting Into Position
- To provide a firm base, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs, keeping your arms bent at the elbows
- Have your torso tilted forward slightly
(2) The Concentric Part of the Rep
- Take a deep breath in.
- On exhaling, start raising the dumbbells up to the sides of your body
- Allow your torso to smoothly rock back into an upright position
- Here, you have a choice whether the top of the rep will be shoulder-height, or until tension completely leaves the shoulders, which is higher. I keep tension on the delts for the maximum amount of time possible. Try both, you’ll feel which movement stimulates the shoulders more for you and whether or not a wider range of motion may lead to injury. For me, a full range of motion works best.
- Remember to lift the weight with your shoulders, not your arms. A good way of doing this, as recommended by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is to visualize the muscle you are working as you both lift and lower (Do it, it works!).
(3) The Eccentric Part of the Rep
- Start lowering the dumbbells slowly
- Allow your torso to drop slightly forward again
- It should take about 2 seconds to lower the weight to the starting position
If you can do more than 12 reps, make a note to increase the weight on this set for your next shoulder workout.
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