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How To Do The Dumbbell Shoulder Lateral Raise Exercise

The dumbbell shoulder lateral raise exercise is designed to strengthen and develop the sides of your deltoid muscles (shoulders). It’s a great exercise to help develop shoulder width and to give you that V-taper look. Personally, I use variations of the dumbbell lateral raise exercise to help increase the amount of blood flow into my shoulder area. This allows me to not only develop the sides of my shoulders but to improve the muscle capacity. 

The dumbbell shoulder lateral raise will also exercise your trapezius muscles (top of your back), biceps and forearms.

How to do the dumbbell shoulder lateral raise exercise - Starting position

How to do the dumbbell shoulder lateral raise exercise - Lateral position

Position for the dumbbell shoulder lateral raise exercise

With your feet at shoulder width stance, grab a pair of dumbbells from the floor (bend at the knees). Stand up straight with the dumbbells at your sides. The palms of your hands should be facing each other (your palms should be facing outwards). Move your shoulders back and down and puff your chest out slightly. This will allow put your shoulder girdle into proper position.  Keep your head level and eyes looking straight ahead.  Bend your arms slightly.  

Execution of the dumbbell shoulder lateral raise exercise

Using the sides of your shoulder muscles, laterally lift the dumbbells up towards the ceiling until your arms are level with your shoulders.  Pause for a second and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.


Breathe in as you raise the dumbbells and breathe out as you lower the dumbbells.

Important points for the dumbbell Shoulder lateral raise exercise

·         If you have never performed the dumbbell lateral raise before, try using no weight for the first few tries. Once you are comfortable with the movement, move onto light dumbbells.  

·         Add a slight bend to your arms

·         Don’t be tempted to look down as this will cause your shoulders to move forward and round your back. Keep your upper torso stationary and shoulders proud and flush.

Video for the dumbbell shoulder lateral raise exercise

Related Exercises:

Dumbbell Bent Over Lateral Exercise

Dumbbell Shoulder Front Raise Exercise

Dumbbell Shoulder Shrug Exercise

Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

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