Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises – Correct Form, Tips & Video

Dumbbells Side Lateral Raises

If you dream of having a V-shaped torso then shoulder workout is an absolute must. The lateral side raises workout is one of the best exercises to build strong shoulders, gain muscle mass and imparts width to your upper body, which gives you the “V” shape look.

Besides building stronger, larger shoulders, the lateral raise increases shoulder mobility as well. If you brace properly all through the lift, your core also gets stronger. Moreover, muscles in the upper back, arms & neck are also stimulated after a few sets.

In this post you will find how to do dumbbell shoulder side lateral raises for beginners & seniors – its correct form, correct movement, tips & demo video. You can watch the VIDEO demonstrating the exercise at the end of article.

How To Do Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise Exercise Correctly?

Starting Position

Grab a pair of dumbbells, stand with straight torso, body bent slightly forward but keep your chest always high. Bend your knees a little bit & tighten your core to stablize your posture. Hold the dumbbells by sides at arms length with palms facing towards you body. You should hold the dumbbells slightly off your body (4-5 inches away from the side) so as to keep the tension on the side delts throughout the exercise.


(i) While keeping the torso in a stationary position (no swaying), slowly raise the dumbbells out to the side with the elbows slightly bent & the hands a little bit tilted forward as if you were pouring water from a jug of water into a glass. Continue to raise until your arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you raise. Squeeze your shoulder muscles and hold for a second at the top of movement.

(ii) Lower the dumbbells slowly back down to the starting position as you inhale. Do not let the dumbbells touch your body. This completes one rep. Do desired number of repetitions & sets.

Variation: You can perform this exercise in a sitting position.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Correct Form Tips & Proper Technique

(i) The dumbbell lateral raise is an isolation type exercise, thus you should focus on stretching & muscle contraction, and not on lifting heavy weights.

(ii) Make sure to keep the rep timing slow & controlled. Never use momentum to swing heavy dumbbells because this decreases effectiveness of the exercise.

(iii) Raise the dumbbells leading with your elbows to make sure that they’re the highest part of your arm – that is wrists not to be raised higher than the elbows. This way the focus will remain on the delts.

(iv) From the top of the exercise, lower the dumbbells back to the start position as slowly as possible – this makes your shoulders work harder & more muscle fibers are recruited in order to control the weight and so you get greater muscles growth.

(v) To keep the side delts under stress throughout the exercise, don’t allow the dumbbells touch your body at bottom of the movement.

(vi) Choosing the right weight is key to performing lateral raises correctly & safely. Even with relatively lightweights, the last few reps are a real hard. Make sure you maintain your arms out to your sides. If they begin creeping forward it’s a signal to go for a lighter weight.

Watch this demo video to learn how to do Dumbbell Side raises correctly:

Other useful dumbbell shoulder exercises are (i) Dumbbell Shoulder Overhead Press


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