A V-shaped torso and chiseled shoulder muscles – that’s the dream of most fitness enthusiasts, but achieving this has never been easy. One has to be consistent with their workouts and maintain a protein-rich diet. Talking about the workouts that help you in getting a great upper body, you should definitely try lateral raises. These simple yet quite effective dumbbell workout can work on your abs, biceps, and deltoid muscles of the shoulders.
In short, this is what you should add in your home workout for building a body just like the bodybuilders.
To help you learn more about lateral raises, we have gathered all the essential information about them. From its definition to the benefits and variations, you will find it all in the article. So, wait no more and start reading.
What is Lateral Raise Workout?
Let’s begin with the basic information – what are lateral raises? As we have mentioned above, this is an upper body workout that focuses on the shoulder muscles. Also known as Lat, these raises can be performed using dumbbells, cables, or lateral raise machines. You can also switch dumbbells with kettlebells or resistance bands too.
Lateral raise workout is ideal for strengthening and toning the deltoid muscles. This also prevents shoulder injuries that may happen due to activities such as pushing, pulling, or lifting objects on a daily basis.
Lateral Raises Muscles Worked
When you perform lateral raises, muscles worked include the following:
- Lateral deltoid- that is situated at the side of the shoulder.
- Anterior deltoid- that is present in the front of the shoulder and is involved in shoulder flexion.
- Real deltoid- that is present at the back of the shoulder.
- Trapezius- that is a group pf triangular muscles around the back of the neck and shoulder.
- Wrists muscles – the brachioradialis, extensor carpi ulnaris, and extensor carpi radialis longus, and brevis.
- Serratus anterior- that originates on the surface of the 1st to 8th ribs at the side of the chest and ends at the medial border of the scapula.
How To Do Lateral Raises?
Performing lateral raises is quite easy. That’s why you can also include it in your home workout session. You just need a set of dumbbells (in case you are doing dumbbell lateral raise) and enough space so that you can raise your arms sideways.
Now, here is the step-by-step guide on dumbbell lateral raise:
- Stand straight with dumbbells in both hands. Your arms should be at your sides with palms facing in. As for the feet, keep them roughly hip-distance apart. Focus on your lateral raises form by rolling your shoulders back, looking straight ahead, and engaging your core muscles.
- Now, slowly raise your arms just a couple of inches and pause. This short pause helps in disengaging the trapezius muscles so that your focus can shift to the deltoids.
- Next, breathe in and lift the dumbbells up to a height where your arms are completely straight. This will look like a “T” shape.
- Pause and hold for a second.
- Now, lower down the weight slowly. In fact, take about twice as long to lower the weight as you took in lifting them up. Your arms with be back to your side. Breathe out as you lower the dumbbells.
- Pause and repeat.
Benefits of Lateral Raise Exercises
Here are some of the benefits you can get by performing lateral raise exercises on a regular basis:
- It gives you toned and sculpted shoulders.
- Lateral raises increase the shoulders’ mobility.
- They also enhance your shoulder strength, allowing you to perform daily activities with ease.
- If you perform different variations of lateral raises, you can also focus on other mascles and make them strong.
- Lateral raises also improve your body posture as they engage your core, upper back, and neck muscles as well.
Best Practices and Tips For Lateral Raises
To make sure you can maintain the correct lateral raise form and avoid any injury, here are some tips and best practices you can follow:
- Don’t rush while performing lateral raises. Instead, take pause and move slowly as it will place tension on the shoulder and hence gives a better effect.
- Try not to shrug your shoulders or raise the shoulder blades during the reps. Instead, use your traps to lift the weight up.
- Turn your wrists while raising the dumbbells are they you can activate the muscle fibers on your side delts and make muscles even stronger.
- Pausing at the top is very important as it helps in muscle enhancements.
- Take a rest of at least 24 to 48 hours before performing lateral raises again. It helps in giving your muscles sufficient time to recover.
- Always select weight that complements your fitness level and gives you full control over your body movements.
- If you are a beginner, learn the form and postures from an expert. In case you face any pain or discomfort that persists for a long time, consult a doctor.
What are the Best Variations of Lateral Raises?
You can also try the variations of lateral raises to either increase its difficulty level or make it simpler if you have just started weight lifting. Some of the best variations you can try are:
- Front Lateral Raise
You may get bored with lateral raises after a time. In those times, mix things up and try a front lateral raise. It involves the exact same moment but instead of your arms straight out sideways, you have to stretch them in front of you.
- Seated Lateral Raise
As the name suggests, this lateral raise is done while sitting on a chair or a flat bench. This is a good exercise for beginners or people who are recovering from any lower back injury. To perform seated lateral raise, you can follow the same instructions such as standing dumbbell lateral raise. The only difference is that you have to sit straight and not stand straight.
- Standing Cable Lateral Raises
For standing cable lateral raises, you have to use cables instead of free weight. This helps in smooth and consistent tension and your muscles work through the entire range of motion. All you have to do is attach the cable to roughly knee height and then perform the lift.
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