The lateral raises are an exercise that has been around for a very long time, and it is popular among those looking to add loads of chiseled muscles o
The lateral raises are an exercise that has been around for a very long time, and it is popular among those looking to add loads of chiseled muscles on their shoulders. It is a fact that movements like the leg presses, squats, snatches, and cleans are vital to performance for power and strength athletes. Still, the dumbbell lateral raise can be utilized to increase muscle hypertrophy as well as establish better joint control and actions. It also aids in blood flow to the tissue.
Why you should do the dumbbell lateral raises
The lateral raises are an essential exercise when it comes to forming true boulder shoulders. These are the major reason why you should incorporate the lateral raises in your exercise program;
Never too wide
It is a well-known fact that when you overdo some exercises like the bench press, it could lead to a disproportionate and unbalanced looking physique. However, the dumbbell lateral raises will always be a staple. There is not a single person that has built their body too wide, and because this is an exercise that mainly creates width in your upper body, you have the freedom to perform some form of this movement anytime you want to work your shoulders.
A good tip to keep in mind is that you should start all your shoulder workouts with some form of dumbbell lateral raise if your medial delts are lagging behind as this would not only prioritize this area but also pre-exhaust it.
Premium peak contraction
Since your medial delts are constantly resisting gravity when you get to the top of each rep of the dumbbell lateral raise, you are advised to maintain the peak contraction for about one or two seconds while performing each rep. When you do this, you will be able to exhaust more muscle fibers in addition to manifesting a superior pump, and all these would result in enhanced growth.
An important tip to take note of is that when you are using the extended peak contraction intensity technique, you can also try using the cable and machine lateral raises in addition to the dumbbell lateral raises.
Super for supersets
It is a fact that this move is a great exercise that can be incorporated into supersets as it is a fantastic intensity technique that ignites the growth of your shoulder. When combined with other superset moves like the barbell upright rows, it would give your medial deltoid heads a major growth punch.
A good tip to note is that when doing these workouts, it is best if you tired pre-exhaust supersets where some kind of the dumbbell lateral raises are done, and then you follow it up with upright rowing or a compound press exercise. Then other times, you can switch it up and start with the compound move and then follow it up the dumbbell lateral raises; this type is referred to as post-activation supersets. The two variations of supersets provide you with a unique stimulus to your central nervous system and muscles.
It is true that exercises like the upright rows and overhead press are movements that really target the side deltoid head; there is no movement that isolates this part of your muscles as well as the dumbbell lateral raises.
An important tip to keep in mind is that when you are performing the dumbbell lateral raises, you should start with the dumbbells hanging at your sides instead of keeping them in front of your thighs as this would help you shift a significant part of the lifting responsibility to the medial head.
Muscles worked when performing lateral raises
The dumbbell lateral raise is an exercise that is placed under the shoulder exercise category. Also, it is modifiable through loading, ranges of motion, and different angles. The following are the group of muscles that are worked when you perform the dumbbell lateral raises;
- The deltoid: This is a muscle group that includes the posterior, medial, the anterior deltoid muscles).
- The Trapezius: This is a muscle group that consists of the middle and upper trapezius muscles.
Benefits of dumbbell lateral raises
The lateral raise is a movement that provides you with much more than broader, bigger, and significantly defined slabs of muscle. When performed properly, the dumbbell lateral raise is one that can improve a lot of things in an athlete’s body. These are the benefits that are associated with performing the dumbbell lateral raises;
Correct muscle imbalances and asymmetries
There are times when you notice a few muscle groups need some attention since they are lagging behind, and this could be challenging as sometimes these muscles are small and shadowed by the bigger muscle groups. When you work your shoulders with moves such as the dumbbell lateral raises, you can modify the workout to boost muscle control and hypertrophy in addition to developing those weak muscle groups that might have been masked by the triceps and upper pectorals during other workouts. The dumbbell lateral raises work the shoulder in the same way that the belt squat or leg extensions work your quad muscles and increase leg size.
Greater control of a full range of motion
When it comes to sound movement control and injury prevention, you have to note that the dumbbell lateral raises would allow you to perform loaded movement all through a vast range of motion. When you develop the ability to contract at different speeds, improve force, and possess the neurological proprioception and awareness needed to move your shoulder joints and arms through non-sagittal planes, you would be able to increase injury resistance and diversify your fitness. The dumbbell lateral raises can be combined with different angular movements (varied, front angles) to offer a premium means of stimulation of new movement awareness and coordination.
It has already been established that the lateral raises are a staple movement for people that want to increase their shoulder size and add width to their frames, and it does that to perfection. Thanks to the slightest of angles when performing the dumbbell lateral raise, it makes it one of the very few movements that have the ability to hit all the heads of your deltoid. The increase of shoulder size and growth is a priceless artifact for any fitness, power, or strength athlete because it gives the newly built muscle fibers freedom to develop skills like movement integrity, force production, and contributing more work when it comes to bigger lifts like gymnastic movements or presses.
These are some of the best tips you should take note of to ensure you perform the dumbbell lateral raise with perfect form;
Go down slower
When you get to the top of the movement, try to lower the dumbbells back to the initial position as slowly as you can. When you take your time in lowering the weight, you force your shoulder to do more work in managing the weight, which in turn will try to maintain control by recruiting more muscle fibers. Your growth will be greater if you can get more muscular damage. Ensure that the tension is kept on your side deltoids when lowering the dumbbells with control, also keep your focus on how your deltoids feel.
Turn your wrists
When your hands are approaching your shoulder, make your little fingers the uppermost by rotating your wrists. When you turn your wrist as the dumbbells approach the top of the movement, you will activate more muscle fibers in your side deltoids, which means that with every subsequent rep, you are working the muscle harder. When you have gotten your elbows to shoulder height, imagine you are trying to pour two jugs of water and then turn your wrists in that manner.
Make a small move
Before starting any rep, move your hands out to the sides slowly and then stop. When you do this, you will place tension on your shoulders a bit. The moment where you pause will see your traps switch off, which are supposed to muscle in on the move and thereby take the emphasis off your shoulders.
How to do the dumbbell lateral raise
These are steps to perform the dumbbell lateral raise with perfect form to reap maximum benefit and avoid injuries;
- First, stand tall and grab a dumbbell each in your two hands.
- Ensure your cores are braced, and your back is straight.
- Use slow and controlled motion to lift the weights out to your side.
- Keep lifting and stop when your arms are parallel with the ground, and make sure you bend your elbows a bit.
- Then use the motion to lower the weight.
- You should aim to perform about 10 – 12 reps with the correct form.
If you want to make this exercise more challenging, you can make the lifting and lowering slower than you are already doing it. Ensure you do not shrug the weights up with the use of your traps by not raising your shoulder blades when you are performing the move. You should focus on your deltoids. The key to performing the dumbbell lateral raises safely and properly is to find the ideal weights.