Woman performing a lateral raise

Dumbbell Side Raise

The dumbbell side lateral raise is a good, but not very functional exercise. It’s good to isolate specific areas of your shoulder. But, as you know, I generally prefer functional exercises over not.Woman performing a lateral raise


It’s easy and effective at targeting one of the specific shoulder muscles.


Body Parts Used

Main focus is on the deltoid (shoulder) muscles. The image shows palms down. This way targets the middle deltoids. Turning thumbs up changes the emphasis to the front delts. If you turn the thumbs down and bend over at about a 45 degree angle at your torso, you will target the rear delts as you raise them. This is an awkward movement, but works.

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  • Stand with knees slightly bent for cushion of the spine.
  • Hold dumbbells down at your sides with palms facing you. Your elbows should be locked at a slightly bent position.
  • inhale as you raise the weights up toward shoulder height.
  • Inhale as you return to the starting position.
  • Discontinue if there is any discomfort in your shoulder joint.

Similar Exercises


Note: One exercise alone is not sufficient for any goal. All exercises should be part of a comprehensive exercise program. Also, see my list of exercises for more.

Mike Caton