Dumbbell Lateral Raise: Strengthen Your Shoulders and Define Those Delts!
Are you looking for a delt exercise to target your shoulder muscles and get those lateral deltoids and anterior deltoids in shape? I have been a women’s fitness expert and fitness competitor for more than 15 years, and as such, shapely delts are a must! They accentuate an hourglass figure and provide an incredible V taper. In order to get those, you need to hit your shoulders in the right way. Well, look no further than the Dumbbell Lateral Raise! This is a movement that I recommend to most all of my online fitness coaching clients at some point in our training. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced weight lifter, this exercise is perfect for you.
What Muscles Do Dumbbell Lateral Raises Target?
When it comes to the Dumbbell Lateral Raise, the spotlight is on your shoulder muscles, particularly the deltoids. These are the rounded muscles that cap the tops of your arms and play a key role in shoulder stability and movement. As you lift the dumbbells out to the sides, your lateral deltoids take the lead, working hard to raise your arms until they’re parallel to the floor.
This exercise also engages other important muscles like the Serratus Anterior, Supraspinatus, Middle, and Lower Trapezius. These muscles play a crucial role in stabilizing your shoulder blades, supporting the movement, and ensuring proper shoulder joint alignment.
Why Should You Do It?
Here’s the deal: The Dumbbell Lateral Raise is an isolation exercise designed to build strength and definition in your shoulder region. But I have also found personally and fot my clients that it is super functional. Think about it, for the movement you do in your daily life, strong shoulders are crucial for safely lifting objects.
By incorporating the Dumbbell Lateral Raise into your routine, you’ll not only build strong and defined shoulders but also improve shoulder stability and reduce the risk of upper body injuries. It’s a well-rounded exercise that targets multiple muscle groups at once, giving your shoulders the attention they deserve!
How to Perform the Dumbbell Lateral Raise: Step-by-Step Guide
Equipment Needed: Dumbbells for sure. If you would prefer to do a seated version, then an exercise bench is handy. A seated lateral raise allows better isolation and keeps you from using upper body momentum to affect the movement.
1. Gear Up: Grab a pair of dumbbells. If you’re a beginner, start with a light weight. Shoot for 10 to 12 repetitions, and do one to three sets of exercises. A recommended starting weight for women is 5-pound dumbbells. Remember, don’t go too heavy at the beginning.
2. Find Your Stance: Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, keeping your back straight and feet flat on the floor. Let your arms hang down just in front of your hips while holding the dumbbells perpendicular to your hip plane. Your palms should face each other, and ensure you have a firm grip.
3. Get Ready: Brace your abdominal muscles, raise your chest upward, and maintain a neutral spine with a tight core.
4. Lift Off: Now, lift the weights upward to the sides, but remember to keep your elbows slightly bent. This reduces stress on your joints and ensures a safer movement.
5. Pause and Feel the Burn: When your arms are approximately parallel to the floor, pause for a moment and feel the contraction in your shoulders. Squeeze those muscles!
6. Lower with Control: Time to lower the dumbbells back to the starting position slowly. Exhale as you do this and maintain a controlled motion throughout.
7. Repeat and Get Strong: Keep up the good work! Repeat the exercise for the number of sets and repetitions specified in your workout program.
Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble stabilizing your body while standing, try the seated version of the Dumbbell Lateral Raise. Using a bench with back support allows for better isolation and prevents upper body momentum from affecting your movement.