Building the side or lateral head of your shoulders will give WIDTH to your body, so pay attention!
99% of trainers and internet sites will recommend you perform your dumbbell lateral raises in a certain way. The form I am going to illustrate for you today is TOTALLY different.
The only other person I know recommending a similar form is Jeff Willet – see here for my interview with the man.
Your choice: You can do it their way and make very little difference to your physique and eventually stall. Or do it my way and build width to your shoulders and make progressive strength gains indefinitely.
Dumbbell Laterals are another exercise that benefit from what is technically called Biomechanially Optimized Form (sometimes called controlled loose form). See my last article on Front Raises for a similar tutorial.
How To Do Dumbbell Lateral Raises
Before we go on, let me repeat…
Optimized form is NOT swinging. Anyone that tells you it is hasn’t a clue what they’re talking about. You INITIATE the movement with the intended muscle only. Once it’s already moving, that’s when you allow some complimentary movement in another part of the body.
Some joints in the human body just don’t operate very well at a certain range in the motion when totally isolated. It’s simple biomechanics and it is the way it is whether you like it or not. Repeat: It is NOT swinging the weight.
The 2 big differences in form I recommend are that you do NOT keep a straight back, and you have a more pronounced bend at the elbows than is normally recommended.
Grab the dumbbells in both hands. Position the weights in front of your upper legs with your elbows bent. I’m talking about a 60° bend or so.
Before you start the movement, allow your torso to fall forward a little. Keep your back straight and strong. Have a slight bend in the knees.
Initiate the movement with the shoulders. Once you approach MID-RANGE straighten your back into a straight-up position.
Raise the dumbbells up until the upper arms are just above horizontal – this is the top of the movement. Lower slowly under full muscular control and allow your body to come forward again in preparation for the next rep.
NOTE: Make sure that at the top of the movement the dumbbells are parallel to the floor and the wrists are full pronated (palms facing floor). This will involve a little movement in the wrists during the positive/upward part of the rep.
Try it ASAP and let me know how many extra reps you knocked out!
Mark (on Facebook? Click ‘like‘ below or I’ll call in the heavies)
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