Also Known As : Seated Letral Rise
Targets: Shoulders, especially the lateral and anterior heads of the deltoid
Equipment Needed: Dumbbells
The side lateral raise is an effective shoulder-strengthening movement designed to isolate the lateral head of the deltoid muscle. Performed regularly, this can help you develop stronger, broader shoulders. All you need is a pair of light dumbbells and enough shoulder flexibility to abduct your arms until they form a “T” shape at your shoulders.
Generally speaking, lateral raises should be incorporated into upper-body strength training routines, and they should be performed after compound exercises that incorporate the shoulder, such as incline dumbbell press, shoulder press, push-ups, or pull-ups. This is similar to the dumbbell front raise.
The Seated Letral Rise is a shoulder exercise that specifically targets the deltoid muscles. The deltoid muscle group actually consists of three separate points of origin (referred to as “heads”), each with its own group of muscle fibers. The three heads of the deltoid then merge together before they insert on the upper arm bone (the humerus).
The side lateral raise primarily targets the lateral head of the deltoid, enabling you to isolate this muscle groups. Specifically, lateral raises are considered the best exercise available for working the lateral head of the delts.
Aside from superficial appearance benefits, the exercise also helps strengthen your shoulders independently. This can help correct potential strength discrepancies between your right and left sides.
And because the shoulder joint is the least stable joint in the body, a well-rounded strength-training routine designed to target all three heads of the deltoid can help you keep this finicky joint healthy. Strong and flexible shoulders are key to warding off intermittent pain or potential injuries, and side lateral raises can function as one piece of the puzzle in a well-rounded shoulder workout.
You don’t need much room or equipment to perform a side lateral raise. All you need is a set of dumbbells, and enough space to raise your arms in a “T” formation out to each side.
- Stand tall, a dumbbell in each hand. Arms are at your sides, palms facing in. Position your feet roughly hip-distance apart. Check your posture—roll your shoulders back, engage your core, and look straight ahead.
- Raise your arms simultaneously just a couple inches out to each side and pause. This momentary pause should help ensure you disengage your trapezius muscle from the movement, targeting the deltoids as intended.
- Lift the dumbbells up and out to each side, keeping your arms almost completely straight, stopping when your elbows reach shoulder-height and your body is forming a “T” shape. Breathe in as you lift.
- Pause and hold for a second at the top of the movement.
- Lower the weights slowly (take about twice as long to lower the weights as you took to lift them), bringing your arms back to your sides. Breathe out as you lower the dumbbells.