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Lateral Raises: Benefits And Form

Lateral raises

The lateral raises or side raises are upper body strength training exercises for strengthening your shoulders. This exercise is performed to isolate the lateral head of your shoulder muscles. Doing the lateral raises with dumbbells is the best practice to improve muscular endurance and range of motion. Generally, this move is performed after the compound exercises like the military press and pull-ups.

During this exercise, you lift a pair of dumbbells away from your body in a lateral motion. Working on your form will improve muscle growth and reduces the risk of shoulder injuries. Adding lateral raises to your workout plan develops strength for pushing exercises like shoulder press and bench press.

Aside from building strength in your shoulders, this move also helps in developing an aesthetic physique. You also train your muscles independently which may correct the strength difference between your sides.

Benefits Of Lateral Raises

Below are the major benefits of adding the lateral raise to your workout routine. These benefits are genuine and backed by research.

1. It strengthens your shoulder muscles and helps in developing an aesthetic physique. The lateral raises also improve your posture which reduces the risk of injuries.

2. Minimum equipment is required. A pair of dumbbells and some space is enough to perform this exercise at your home.

3. You can train one side at a time. Unilateral training increases muscle growth and challenges your stability. It also reduces strength differences on each side.

4. Building strong shoulders helps in lifting heavy weights and improves your performance. Strengthening your shoulder muscles helps in doing many upper-body compound exercises as they are supported by this joint.

5. Adding this exercise to your shoulder workout will help in targeting the lateral head of your deltoids. This increases the flexibility of your shoulder joint and develops a higher range of motion.

Step By Step Instructions

Below is a step-by-step guide for performing this exercise properly. Following these instructions will help in improving your form.

1. To start this exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Stand tall with your arms at your sides. Keep a slight bend in your elbows. Your feet should be hip-width apart. Look in front and maintain a stable form.

2. Engage your core and lift your arms away from your body. Move your shoulder blades in a controlled motion. Hold the movement when your elbows reach the height of your shoulders. Breathe in while raising the dumbbells.

3. Lower your arms to the start in a reverse motion. Keep your back straight throughout the movement. Breathe out while lowering your arms back to the starting position. This is one repetition of the dumbbell lateral raises.

4. Aim for 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions using weights according to your fitness level. Try to use lighter weights to perform this exercise in the correct form. Keep increasing the number of repetitions as you master this move.


The lateral raises are a great move to build rounded shoulders. Building strong and muscular shoulder muscles support your arms in lifting heavy weights. It also helps in developing an aesthetic physique and improves your performance in various sports activities. This exercise is a great addition to your home workout as minimum equipment is required.

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