Front raises are great for building well rounded shoulders and for that reason they’re not to be missed if shoulder gains are on your list.
Note that this exercise will primarily target the front of your shoulders (front deltoids), though you will also naturally recruit the help of your your traps and rotator cuffs.
How to perform front raises
To begin with you’ll need a pair of dumbbells.
Start by standing up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, straight down in front of your thighs, with your wrists facing your body.
Next; bring one, or both, arms up straight out in front of you without bending at the elbow. Stop when your arm is parallel with the floor.
Finish the exercise by finally bringing the dumbbell back down to start position through the same controlled movement. Go again for reps.
It is important to maintain good posture throughout.
Front raises: Common mistakes to avoid
It’s worth noting that you should avoid using your body for momentum. This becomes increasingly common as the load gets heavier. While this isn’t the end of the world for more experienced lifters, you are still encouraged to maintain best practice.
Also, sloppy form on any exercise is not recommended. If you are performing your front raises with incorrect form, you may recruit other muscle groups during the exercise, or poorly engage the intended muscle groups. This will hinder your gains at best and result in injury at worst.
Mind muscle connection works and therefore you should keep the muscles you intend to work in mind throughout the exercise. Use the image above as a guide. Ultimately, this helps to lead you to better targeted results.
Reps and sets
First and foremost, you’ll struggle to build your shoulders through this exercise alone. For that reason you should be working on an overall workout plan to go along with your front raises.
Another thing to consider is how many reps and sets you will perform. In short, this depends entirely on where you are physically and your desired outcomes.
As a guide; beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point. For the purpose of laying a solid foundation; don’t over complicate things. The most important thing at this stage is to get started, the rest will come with experience.
On the other hand, more advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals. From there, you can build your bigger picture.
Beyond front raises...
More shoulder exercises coming soon...
Just so you know, this list of shoulder exercises is a work in progress and is by no means extensive. We will continue to grow this entire database for you over time, so be sure to check back for updates. Alternatively, you can join our mailing list below and you’ll be the first to know about all new content we produce.