Dumbbell Lateral Raise Exercise Guide

Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Valerie Zeller Printable version

Dumbbell Lateral Raise is a strength exercise that works your traps and deltoids.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise is a great basic move. When done correctly, it can effectively target your neck, shoulders, upper back and upper body.

It requires dumbbells to do.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

How to do Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Setup

Grasp dumbbells in front of thighs and elbows slightly twisted. Bend down slightly with shoulders and legs twisted somewhat.

Exercise

Raise upper arms to sides until elbows are shoulder height. Maintain elbows' height above or equal to wrists. Lower and repeat.

Tips

  • Keep elbows pointed high while maintaining slight bend through elbows (10° to 30° angle) throughout movement. At top of movement, elbows (not necessarily dumbbells) should be directly lateral to shoulders since elbows are slightly bent forward. Dumbbells are raised by shoulder abduction, not external rotation. If elbows drop lower than wrists, front deltoids become primary mover instead of lateral deltoids. To keep resistance targeted to side delt, torso is bent over slightly.

  • Avoid using momentum to move through the exercise. Focus on moving in a slow and controlled fashion with each rep.

Illustrated Guide

Learn how to do dumbbell lateral raise from this step-by-step illustrations:

Dumbbell Lateral Raise 1
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Muscles Worked

The muscles used for dumbbell lateral raise may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for dumbbell lateral raise are:

Primary Muscles

  • Traps
  • Deltoids

Synergyst Muscles

  • Front Deltoids

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Dumbbell Lateral Raise work?
Dumbbell Lateral Raise works traps, deltoids.
What is Dumbbell Lateral Raise good for?
Dumbbell Lateral Raise is beneficial for conditioning and to strengthen. It works the best for neck, shoulders, upper back and upper body, as it works traps, deltoids. Dumbbell Lateral Raise is a great strength exercise for men, men over 50, women and women over 50.
Is Dumbbell Lateral Raise a good exercise?
Dumbbell Lateral Raise is a popular strength exercise for traps, deltoids.

Training, Progressions and Regressions

Interested in how to improve your Dumbbell Lateral Raise faster?

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Training and Progressions

Standards and Averages

Wonder how do others perform in Dumbbell Lateral Raise and how should you?

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Standards and Averages

Alternatives

Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Alternatives

Variations

Wonder how to make Dumbbell Lateral Raise either easier or more challenging?

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Variations

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Classification

Type(s) Strength, Isolated
Muscles Worked Trapezius, Deltoids, Anterior Deltoids
Difficulty Level(s) Basic, Easy, Simple
Equipment Dumbbells
Location At Gym, At Home, Outdoor
Major Exercise Dumbbell Front Raise

Muscles Worked

Target muscle(s) Traps, Deltoids
Synergyst muscle(s) Front Deltoids

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