Lateral Raises – How to perform the exercise

Shoulder exercises are really important if you want to make your torso look impressive and to gain strength. If you want to do these things, then the shoulder raise ups (lateral raises) is a very nice exercise to devote to. It can be easily performed – it consists of simply raising weights to your sides until you reach shoulder level. But carefully choose your weight because with each repetition the movement will be harder and harder.

The shoulder raise ups also increase the mobility of your shoulders. For further information on how to perform them and what mistakes to avoid continue reading below.

How to perform it

Stand up with your torso straight and dumbbells in each arm. The palms of your hands should be facing toward you. Hold the dumbbells with your hands by your sides and at arm’s length. That’s the starting position.

Now keep your torso stationary and start lifting the weights to your sides. The elbow should be slightly bend while the hands should be slightly tilted forward. Move your hands upwards to your sides until they reach a position parallel to the ground. During this movement you should exhale. When at the top pause for a while.

Now start inhaling and bringing the dumbbells back down – steadily and slowly – until you reach starting position again.
You can perform this exercise while sitting, as well.

Mistakes to avoid

Don’t use momentum to lift the weights. Keep the repetitions well controlled and slow.
Don’t drop the elbows down – they should be leading the upwards motion.
And don’t lock your arms – you shouldn’t extend them fully because this puts too much pressure on the joints of your elbows. Keep them slightly bended instead.

Don’t let the dumbbells touch your body while in the lowest position. This means that you’re letting them ‘hang’, thus, taking the pressure off your shoulders. If you want better results you should be applying continuous pressure on the shoulder muscles.

And avoid letting the upper part of your arms to reach too high a level – they should get only to a position parallel to the ground. Once they go further above they shift the tension from the shoulder’s lateral head to the upper traps.

More advices

Don’t use heavy weights for the exercise is an isolation one which means that you should be focused on contracting and stretching the muscle.
Your elbows should be above the wrists at all times.

Don’t allow the weights to touch your body. To enhance the effectiveness of the exercise you should pause for a second at the top position.

Bring the weights only to the height of your shoulder – that’s the effective range of motion.And try to keep your abs tight during the exercise because that way you’ll maximize the tension put on the side delts and will also prevent the backward swaying of the upper body while you are lifting the dumbbells up.

To finish off we have a video for you – it shows the correct way to do this exercise:

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