Lateral raises are perfect for building well rounded shoulders and traps. This is ideal for developing your overall upper body strength, thus giving you more power and strength on your primary upper body moves. Oh, and they also look good!
How to perform lateral raises
Start by holding a pair of dumbbells straight down by your sides with your wrists facing your body and each other.
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. You should maintain good posture throughout this exercise.
Bring one, or both, arms up straight out to the side, stopping when your arm is parallel with the floor. Come back down to start position and go for reps.
Whether you do one arm at a time, or both at once is not important. Though, do ensure that you do the same amount of reps each side.
Lateral raises: Common mistakes to avoid
It should be noted that sloppy form on any exercise is not recommended. If you are performing your lateral raises with incorrect form, it is likely that you will poorly engage the intended muscle groups. Poor muscle engagement will hinder your gains at best and result in injury at worst.
When performing the exercise; always keep the muscle you intend to work in mind. This is the ideal way to ensure best results. Use the illustration above as a guide.
Finally; you should avoid using momentum and taking your body with the weight. This exercise requires you to move only at your shoulders.
Reps and sets
Your lateral raises to be worked into your overall bigger picture. How many reps and sets you perform with each exercise depends entirely on where you are physically and your desired outcomes.
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 to build upon; don’t over complicate things. The most important thing is to get started, the rest will come with experience.
On the other hand, more advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals.
Beyond lateral 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.