Lateral Shoulder Raises: Variations and Tips

Lateral shoulder raises are intended to strengthen this area to increase endurance and improve overall fitness. How to do them?

Last update: 09 July, 2022

Lateral shoulder raises are performed to target muscles such as the deltoid and those around it. The way to carry out this exercise depends on the type of elevations and the weight you can bear.

In any case, it is an activity that allows you to gain strength and resistance in this area of ​​the body, which is also reflected in your physical condition in general. What are its variations? What should you take into account to do them? Keep reading!

On lateral shoulder raises

For you to develop this exercise effectively, you need to stand up straight, looking straight ahead, with the legs open a little parallel to each other. Then, you take a dumbbell in each hand and begin to raise each arm to the side.

With straight arms you can allow a spontaneous flexion of the elbows that resist the movement. You must command the elevation with the strength of your shoulders and, finally, you have to control the descent to return to the initial position.

Within these lifts there are many variations that strengthen a certain part of the shoulder muscles, they demand the maximum of your resistance and bring variety of movements to your routine. Do you dare to try it?

Lateral raises allow you to strengthen the muscles around your shoulders.

Variations in lateral shoulder raises

Lateral raises can be done with dumbbells or pulleys. Similarly, you have the possibility of raising both arms at the same time or alternating one on top of the other. Next, we detail 3 different ways to do them.

1. Rear pulley raises

Here you work the back of the shoulders or the deltoids, located more towards the back. You should aim to perform it by leaning back. Proceed to execute the movement on the pulley behind your body.

In this way, you work the back muscles closest to the deltoids. For you to do it well, take into account that the load must be lower than in another position, since here it may cost a little more.

2. Incline seat raises

This serves to isolate the deltoids and all the muscles that surround them as much as possible. You start by lying on your side on a gym bench. Already in that position, you only have one free arm with which you will take and lift the weight you have.

The muscular isolation of this area —which is developed to the maximum here— happens when you involve a single joint and attract a reduced number of muscles to stimulate this area to the limit.

3. Front pulley raises

It is the most traditional variation to work these muscles. The movement promotes the work of your chest area, which is directly involved in the routine.

You start by standing next to the pulley, and grab it with your opposite arm to start the pull. Unlike the first variation, here you can add more weight, since the movement is more natural to support it.

Tips for lateral shoulder raises

If you begin to observe your partners and detail how they perform lateral raises, you will realize that many use a technique of their own. Ideally, you should avoid any type of injury. Therefore, You should consider the next four tips for correct elevations.

1. Make an angle

Avoid raising your arms from the same lateral position. It is recommended that you tilt them a little forward, up to about 30 degrees. This will protect the rotator cuff tendons, which are located under a bony area until they attach to the upper part of the arm bone. In this physical training you will still use the lateral deltoid.

2. Avoid excessively raising your arms

Raising your arms too high, even above your head, is a common mistake. The correct thing is that they share the same height or level. If you overdo these lifts, you start to isolate other muscles known as the trapezius, which throws off the goal of the workout.

3. No rolling

The best recommendation so that you do not start to swing from one side to the other is that you measure, control and adapt the weight of the dumbbell to your physical abilities. This also reduces the risk of injury. You can enhance the tactic of squeezing your buttocks, keeping your back straight and your abdomen firm to strengthen your balance.

4. Thumbs up

The idea is that you gently rotate your thumbs toward the sky each time your arms get close to parallel with the ground. The movement is very fine, but with it you protect the rotator cuffs.

It is the most comfortable direction in which you can do it, since, for example, some decide to point towards the ground. However, this poses an unnecessary difficulty.

Lateral shoulder raises can be done by alternating arms or moving both arms simultaneously.

Suggestions for a warm-up before executing lateral raises

There is not a lot of time you need to warm up your shoulders before the lifting routine. The purpose is to activate all that upper part of the body, both the shoulders and their fibers, so that they support more weight. You will need an elastic band and a point to anchor it.

You start kneeling, with your arm bent and perpendicular to the ground. squeeze the core and the buttocks. Perform 30 reps of single-arm external rotations, squeezing the muscles below your shoulders (shoulder blades) to pull the band out.

Then repeat it 30 more times, but internally, that is, pulling the band towards your chest. To finish, you can continue warming up with the other arm. With all this you will be conditioning the shoulders to safely perform lifting exercises.

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