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How To Do Lateral Raises: Guide For Beginners

Lateral raises

If you’re looking to target your shoulders, then lateral raises are a great exercise to add to your routine. In this guide, we’ll show you how to do lateral raises properly, and provide tips on how to make them more challenging.

How to do lateral raises?

When doing lateral raises, it is important to keep the shoulder blades pulled together. This will help to engage the muscles in the shoulder.

  1. To do a lateral raise, hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your thighs.
  2. Keeping your core engaged, slowly lift your arms out to the side until they are parallel with the floor.
  3. Pause for a moment before lowering the weights back to the starting position.

If you’re new to this exercise, start with a lighter weight and gradually increase as you get stronger. Perform 3-5 sets of 10-12 reps, taking a brief break between sets.

Benefits of lateral raises

Lateral raises are a great exercise for the shoulder muscles and arms. They are especially beneficial for strength and stability. Lateral raises target the lateral deltoid muscles, which are responsible for moving your arm out to the side.

These muscles are often weak and underused, so adding lateral raises to your workout can help you improve your overall shoulder strength and stability.

Lateral raises common mistakes

There are a few common mistakes people make when doing this exercise:

  1. Raising the weight too high. When you raise the weight too high, you place unnecessary stress on your shoulder joint. Keep the weight raised only to shoulder height.
  2. Using momentum to lift the weight. This can also cause stress on the shoulder joint. Use slow and controlled movements to lift the weight.
  3. Letting the weights touch down at the bottom of each rep. This can also cause stress on the shoulder joint. Keep the weights raised throughout the entire range of motion.

What muscles do lateral raises target?

The shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle, the scapula, and the humerus. The lateral raise targets the deltoid muscle, which is located on the top and outside of the shoulder. This muscle is important for everyday tasks such as reaching for something on a high shelf or carrying a bag of groceries. The serratus anterior muscle is also involved in the lateral raise and is responsible for protracting and upwardly rotating the scapula.

What is a good weight for lateral raises?

First, start with a weight that is light enough to allow you to complete 12-15 repetitions without too much difficulty. You should be able to lift the weight comfortably and with good form throughout the entire range of motion.

If the weight is too heavy, you will struggle to complete the reps and may even have to cheat by swinging your body or using momentum to raise the weights. If you can easily complete more than 15 reps, increase the weight accordingly.

Different people will find different weights comfortable or challenging. However, a good starting point is to use a weight that feels moderately challenging when lifting 12-15 times. If you can easily do more than 15 reps, increase the weight; if you can’t do at least 10 reps, decrease the weight.

What is the difference between lateral and front raises?

When it comes to exercises that target the shoulder muscles, there are two primary types: lateral and front. Lateral raises work the muscles on the outside of your shoulder, while front raises target those on the front.

The main difference between these two exercises is the position of your arm. With a lateral raise, your arm is hanging down by your side; with a front raise, it’s raised in front of you. This difference in position changes which muscles are targeted.


Doing lateral raises can help tone and strengthen the muscles in your shoulders. It’s important to use the correct form when doing this exercise in order to avoid injury.

Remember to keep your core engaged and use a light weight to start with. You can gradually increase the amount of weight you use as you get stronger. By following the guide provided, you can learn how to do lateral raises safely and effectively.