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Lateral Raise

Target Muscles

Medial deltoids.
Also used Triceps, Anterior deltoids.

Starting Position

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms straight at your sides and hands facing inwards.

The Movement

  • Keeping your elbows very slightly bent (at 10°), raise the dumbbells out to the sides.
  • Raise them until your elbows and hands are level with your shoulders - i.e. parallel to the floor. Your palms should face the par. Hold momentarily.
  • Slowly return to the starting position, istingthe weight on the way back down.


  • Your litt1e finger should be higher than your thumb at the top of the movement, as if you were pouring water from a jug.
  • Do not swing the dumbbells out or lean back as you raise them. Keep your body very still.
  • Lead with your elbows rather than your hands.


Single arm
Lateral raises can be performed using one arm at a time. Hold on to an upright support with the other hand to help keep you steady. This allows you to concentrate fully on the move­ment and helps to prevent you swinging the dumbbells upwards.

Cable lateral raise
The movement can be performed using a low pulley machine. You will need to use a lighter weight but this keeps more continuous tension on the deltoids.

Seated lateral raise
You can perform the movement sitting on the end of a bench. This reduces the tendency to generate momentum by swinging your body and is, therefore, a stricter movement. You may need to use lighter dumbbells to complete the exercise in good form.

Other Exercises for your Shoulder Workouts.

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