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How to Do the Shoulder Lateral Raises for Building Broad Shoulders

by Fit Wth Guru
shoulder lateral raises

The lateral raise is a specific exercise used in strength training that targets the shoulder’s lateral deltoids. Shoulder lateral raises are wonderful exercises for building width in your upper body muscles, which gives you a V-shaped body. You lifted weights to the side of your body during the side lateral rise. Utilize small weights for lateral rises that help you develop strength and large size if you want toned shoulders with this variant.

A side lateral rise can also increase your shoulder muscles’ stability and range of motion. For this exercise, a pair of dumbbells is required. Shoulder lateral raises are an adequate shoulder strengthening exercise for the lateral head of the delt muscles. Consistently working out like this builds broader and more muscular shoulders.

The lateral raise is one of the finest shoulder workouts to examine to build muscle. The shoulder lateral raises are one of the most straightforward exercises for the shoulders. The side lateral raise is best for both beginners and advanced. It gives you incredible results with lower weights and builds your shoulder muscles to be very muscular.

Benefits of Shoulder Lateral Raises

The side lateral targets explicitly the deltoid muscles. It consists of three separate points of origin, referred to as heads. Each head has muscle fibres; you can train them correctly with side lateral raises. These are inserted on the upper arm bone and are also very short muscles that take time to grow in size.  Look at the three heads of the deltoid muscle as follows:

  1. Anterior
  2. Medial
  3. Posterior

One of the best benefits of shoulder lateral raises is strengthening your shoulders and helping potential power in your right and left sides.

shoulder lateral raises

Shoulder Lateral Raises Proper Form

The muscles on the sides of your shoulders that give them their rounded, defined appearance are called medial deltoids, and lateral raises are an excellent way to target these muscles. The side lateral exercise helps keep your shoulder muscles toned and heavy. Look at the proper form and instructions to perform it with the correct angle.

Tools Needed for Lateral Raise:

Dumbbells, choose a weight that enables you to perform the exercise with proper technique for 10–12 repetitions. Also, select small weights that help you do it well.

How to do it:

  • Position your feet shoulder-width apart and stand tall. During the exercise, keep your spine neutral and engage your core.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the palms of your hands toward your thighs. Don’t lock your arms. Keep them slightly bent at the elbows.
  • Raise your arms out to the sides to start the exercise. Consider yourself attempting to open a door with both hands. Ensure your elbows are slightly higher than your wrists at an upward angle.
  • Raise the dumbbells until your arms are about shoulder-width apart. Avoid swaying your shoulders or lifting heavy objects. Pay attention to how your lateral deltoids contract.
  • After completing the exercise, hold the position briefly while tensing your shoulder muscles, then gradually lower the dumbbells back to your sides.
  • Do this ten or twelve times. Repeat for two to three sets after taking a 30- to 60-second break.

shoulder lateral raises

Suggestions for the correct form for Side Lateral Raises

  • During the entire action, keep your spine neutral and your core steady. Do not hunch over or slant forward.
  • Lift the weights with your shoulders rather than your biceps. Do not swing the weights; instead, keep your elbows slightly bent.
  • When performing the exercise, avoid locking your elbows. Sustain a minor micro bend to keep the muscles taut.
  • Maintain regular breathing throughout the activity. When you raise the weights, exhale, and when you drop them, inhale.
  • As your strength increases, progressively raise the weight from the lighter starting point.
  • Pay attention to what your body tells you to quit if it hurts.

Common Mistakes to Avoid for Shoulder Lateral Raises

  1. Lifting too much weight: Prioritize proper form and a modest weight over your maximum weight. Using weights that are too difficult to control decreases deltoid activation and raises the risk of injury.
  2. Ignoring the link between mind and muscle: Feel your delts working throughout the exercise. Don’t just follow the steps. Concentrate on tensing the muscle at the top and decreasing mindfully and slowly.
  3. Ignoring core engagement: Maintain stability and avoid lower back discomfort by keeping your core active throughout the activity.
  4. Warm up correctly: Before lifting, prepare your shoulders by doing mild cardio and dynamic stretches.
  5. Pay attention to your body: Avoid pushing past discomfort. If you have pain, stop and modify your form or weight.
  6. Consider the variations: Try practising various lateral raise variations, such as the seated, incline, or Arnold press, to target different parts of the delts and add variety to your exercises.
  7. Consult a professional: For individualized coaching, speak with a licensed personal trainer if you have any concerns regarding your form or if you already have shoulder issues.

By avoiding these frequent mistakes, you can ensure you’re doing shoulder lateral raises properly and effectively, increasing your deltoid growth and lowering the chance of injury. 

shoulder lateral raises

People Also Ask

What are side lateral raises for shoulders?

The lateral rise is a key strength training exercise that targets the deltoid muscles, particularly the lateral deltoid. The exercise’s objective is to lift weights, usually dumbbells, from your sides to shoulder level. It contributes to the development of wider, more pronounced shoulders. 

Are shoulder lateral raises suitable for beginners?

Beginners can conduct shoulder lateral lifts. But to prevent damage, it’s imperative to begin with a lower weight and concentrate on perfecting form. Weight and intensity can gradually increase as you get more accustomed to the activity. The side lateral raises are the best variations for shoulder muscles.

What are the benefits of shoulder lateral raises?

The side lateral raises for the shoulders strengthen the shoulder muscles and improve stability and mobility. They also improve the overall appearance of the shoulders and aid in developing well-defined, rounded shoulders, which are essential for functional and aesthetic reasons. 

Can side lateral raises be done every day?

Shoulder lateral raises and other strength training exercises that target the same muscle group should not be done daily. In between workouts, muscles require time to repair and become stronger. To maximize recovery and muscular growth, include shoulder lateral lifts in your regimen twice to three times a week, with at least one day off. 

What is the difference between shoulder lateral raises and front raises?

Lifting the arms out to the sides, side lateral rises mainly work the lateral deltoid. However, by raising the arms to the front, front rises work the anterior deltoid. Although the deltoid muscles are performed in both exercises, the focus is on different shoulder components.


After being done correctly, shoulder lateral raises can promote deltoid growth and lower your chance of injury during your workout regimen. Always begin with a weight that permits good form, and progressively increase the effort as you go. Making the most of side lateral raises requires avoiding pitfalls like overtraining, not engaging the core, and forgetting the mind-muscle connection.

Shoulder lateral raises are a great way to maximize muscle growth and recovery when included in your training routine two or three times a week, with enough rest. Adding a side lateral to your exercise regimen will help you develop more robust, broader shoulders. The secret is to be consistent and use the proper technique.

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