standing dumbbell front raisesStanding Dumbbell Front Raises work the overall shoulders with special emphasis on the front head. The traps also take their fair share of the stress.

This is another exercise where there are variations in execution:

  1. Speed of movement
  2. Momentum – allowed or not?
  3. Alternate?
  4. Range of Motion

Just like Standing Dumbbell Bicep Curls and EZ Bar Curls, allow a smooth and small rocking of the torso; backwards as you raise the weight, forwards as you lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

Alternating reps between right and left arms is perfectly ok. Try both ways to see if you have a preference.

I put a personal variation on Standing Dumbbell Front Raises. The normal way is to stop at shoulder height. I raise the dumbbells right up until tension is about to leave my shoulders. This point is a few degrees less than straight above my head. Stopping at either point is fine; you’ll get more reps stopping at shoulder-height, but a wider range of motion by bringing the dumbbells above your head.

Watch the following video to see what I mean…

(1) Getting Position

  1. Grab the dumbbells with a firm grip and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Bend your arms at the elbows and keep them this way throughout the movement
  3. Hold the dumbbells so that they are flat against your thighs
  4. Have your torso tilted forward slightly

(2) Lifting

  1. Take a deep breath in.
  2. On exhaling, raise the dumbbells up
  3. As you lift, shift your torso into an upright position. No wild swinging – a little bit of smooth momentum is best
  4. Now either stop at shoulder-height or lift the dumbbells to a point almost in line with your head. You’ll feel tension about to leave the shoulders and know where to stop (you’ll need to work with a light-weight for this)
  5. It should take you 1-2 seconds to get to the top of the rep

(3) Lowering

  1. Now slowly lower the dumbbells
  2. Allow your torso to come forward a little as you lower
  3. It should take about 2 seconds to get back to the starting position

You should reach failure between 8 and 12 reps.

If you can do more than 12 reps, make a note to increase the weight on this set for your next shoulders workout.

Your Bud,

Mark McManus

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