Some lifters dismiss exercises as ineffective because they don’t see the benefits or think they could perform them better. Lateral raises fall into both categories because, let’s be honest, they may be making mistakes when performing lateral raises. You all know that to achieve popping delts and bolder shoulders, a heavy dose of overhead presses and their variations are necessary.
That’s not in doubt.
Compound exercises are the gold standard for building bigger and stronger shoulders. However, many isolation exercises that target only one muscle group, such as biceps curls, are underappreciated. Lateral raises fall under that category.
While overhead presses target the lateral delts, to achieve a wider shoulder look that lateral deltoids provide, you also need to incorporate lateral raises into your routine. Lateral raises can help you achieve boulder shoulders without the stress and strain of overhead movements. In this article, we will discuss the proper form and address four common mistakes that may hinder your gains.
How to Perform the Standing Lateral Raise
Note: There are many variations of the lateral raise, but this description is for the standard one.
- Hold a pair of dumbbells by your side at arm’s length with an overhand grip.
- Keep your shoulders down, chest up, and glutes engaged.
- Raise the dumbbells laterally to shoulder height and pause.
- Slowly lower them down, reset, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
What You Need for Proper Lateral Raise Form
There’s nothing complicated about the lateral raise, so there’s no need to overthink it. However, due to the long lever (weight positioned far from the working muscle), lighter weights may feel heavier. The most important aspect here is to avoid experiencing pain in your wrists, elbows, and shoulders and to have the mobility to raise your shoulders laterally.
That’s it. If you have both, you’re good to go.
4 Common Lateral Raise Mistakes
One of the biggest mistakes in most resistance training exercises, including lateral raises, is choosing a weight that you cannot handle. Being unable to control the lifting and lowering phases of the exercise increases the risk of injury, which is something you want to avoid.
Instead, keep the following in mind when performing lateral raises and their variations to maximize the benefits: