What exercises work the lateral deltoid

What exercises work the lateral deltoid


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The lateral deltoid, also referred to as the side deltoid, is one of the three muscles that comprise your shoulder. The front (anterior) and rear (posterior) deltoids complete this powerful muscle group. Many exercises work the entire shoulder; however, there are also isolation exercises that focus primarily on the side deltoid. Include the following exercises in your fitness plan to build strong, toned shoulders.

Lying Lateral Raises

This exercise targets the side deltoids but also uses the front of your shoulder and upper back. To perform this exercise a dumbbell and workout bench are required. The start position is reached by lying on the workout bench on your side with your legs stacked. Using the hand of your top arm, grab the dumbbell and hold it slightly off the floor. From this beginning position and with your elbow slightly bent, lift your arm using an arcing motion until it is perpendicular with the floor. At the top of the motion, briefly pause and return to the start position. Change sides to work your other arm.

Standing Lateral Raises

This is an isolation exercise that directly fires up the side deltoid. Lateral raises can be performed simultaneously with both arms or one at a time. Begin with your arms hanging at your sides, palms facing your body and a dumbbell in your hand. This is the start position. Raise your hand straight up from your side until your arm is parallel with the floor and your palm faces down. Pause for one second and lower the weight slowly to the start position to complete one repetition.

Upright Row

This exercise targets the side deltoid but also works your biceps and traps. To assume the starting position, hold a barbell with a shoulder-width overhand grip with your arms hanging in front of you. Keeping the barbell close to the front of your body, pull it up to neck-height with your elbows leading and bending. Allow your wrists to flex as you pull the bar higher. Pause for one second and lower the weight slowly to the start position to complete one repetition. Dumbbells may also be used for upright rows.


Aim for three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions of your chosen exercise. Keep in mind there are also gym machine options for these exercises. Because lateral raises isolate the side deltoid, lower resistance amounts may be necessary to complete the movement with correct form. Always keep focus on form and complete the movements slowly. Also, remember to breathe during the movements.

What exercises work the lateral deltoid?

How do you treat a deltoid strain? Rest, ice, and heat are your best first steps for recovery. You should continue to rest your arm until your pain starts to subside. If you have a minor deltoid injury, you can ease back into exercising after a few days. You should not have to completely stop working out unless it becomes too painful.

Are lateral raises bad for your shoulders? Lateral Raise Mistakes. This is a simple exercise, but many people completely butcher it. The result is a move that looks like a Lateral Raise, but is more likely to cause shoulder pain and scare people away from the exercise. But if done correctly, it’s a safe and effective way to develop your shoulders.

Is lateral raise push or pull? Shoulder accessory movements are important for targeting the lateral and rear delts. Exercises you should definitely consider within your pull day include: Lateral Raises (Dumbbell)

What exercises work the lateral deltoid? – Related Questions

Are front raises good for shoulders?

The front dumbbell raise is a simple weightlifting exercise that targets the fronts and sides of the shoulders, upper chest muscles, and biceps. Suitable for all levels, this shoulder flexion exercise is a great way to build strength, improve shoulder mobility, and tone your upper body.

Do push ups work deltoids?

The muscles in the upper body do most of the work when a person does pushups. These muscles are: chest muscle group, including the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. shoulder muscle group, including the deltoid major and deltoid minor.

How can I grow my deltoids fast?

To get your deltoids to grow, never train them more than twice in any 8-10 day period, especially if you do not use steroids. And don’t get too fancy-smancy or attempt to use weights that are too heavy in an exercise where your leverage is poor, like the lateral raise exercise. Save the big stuff for the BNP.

What are 2 different common injuries of the deltoid muscles?

Types of deltoid injuries

Grade 1: a mild muscle sprain that still allows for normal function, but you may experience tightness, a dull ache, or swelling. Grade 2: partial muscle tears that can cause sudden, sharp pain and restrict mobility.

What does a deltoid strain feel like?

When the deltoid muscle is injured, a person may feel pain or tenderness at the front, side, or back of the shoulder, especially when lifting the arm. In some cases, the deltoid muscle may be torn and cause swelling and bruising.

How long does it take a deltoid ligament to heal?

Surgery can involve up to 6 weeks in either a plaster cast or a boot with weight bearing allowed after 2 weeks.

How do I know if I tore my deltoid?

Other indicators of a torn deltoid are pain when you lift or move your arms from your side up to the front while keeping them straight against any of resistance (even something that weighs less than a kilogram), or pain when you lift your arm up sideways against the slightest resistance, then you might have torn your

Why won’t my deltoids grow?

The main condition for constant muscle hypertrophy is increasing weights. If you don’t change the weights which you lift, your shoulders stop growing. In order to prevent this, you should increase weight training by training. Certainly it may entail the decrease of reps in a set, but it is not a problem.

Which deltoid muscle is the biggest?

The largest of these shoulder muscles is the deltoid. This large triangular muscle covers the glenohumeral joint and gives the shoulder its rounded-off shape. It stretches across the top of the shoulder from the clavicle in the front to the scapula in the back.

Why do my shoulders hurt when I do lateral raises?

“It is critical for weightlifting enthusiasts to know that any pain in the shoulder is not normal, especially acute pain that occurs after a single lift,” says Dr. Camp. That means any pain that rears up after something specific—say, a lateral raise or shoulder press—could be signaling an injury to your rotator cuff.

Can I do lateral raises everyday?

When used to develop a solid mind-muscle connection, lateral raises can be done pretty much every day. Muscle damage is created when you’re stretching the muscle fibers under load and tension. That occurs during the eccentric phase of the movement.

Is shoulder a push or pull?

In the “push” workout you train all the upper body pushing muscles, i.e. the chest, shoulders and triceps. In the “pull” workout you train all the upper body pulling muscles, i.e. the back and biceps.

Is shoulder raise push or pull?

The primary muscles in a push workout includes chest, triceps, quadriceps, calves, and shoulders. Examples of push exercises are push-ups, squats, and the shoulder press. Examples of pull exercises are pull-ups, back rows, deadlifts, rear shoulder flys and bicep curls.

Why Front raises are bad?

Every single movement you do, whether it’s walking down the street or putting away groceries, originates from your core. A lack of core engagement during the front raise can cause you to arch your back, and that could result in injury — specifically lower back pain, says Jennifer Nagel, certified personal trainer.

Are front lateral raises necessary?

The Lateral Raise

The lateral raise just isn’t necessary. DO THIS INSTEAD: The muscle clean and press. This may be the best shoulder builder of all time, and it works so many other muscles that it’s also one of the most efficient moves you can do in a time-crunch workout.

Are front delt raises effective?

The front raise, also known as the dumbbell front raise, is a weight training exercise that targets your shoulder muscles. With proper form, front raises are an effective shoulder workout with many benefits.

What does a 100 pushups a day do?

You overtrain your chest and triceps

If doing a 100 Push Ups is hard for you, then your muscles will need some recovery afterward. If 100 Push Ups is not hard for you, then it will just be a short muscle endurance workout for you. It wouldn’t over train or even pump your muscles significantly.

Do push ups give you a six pack?

Pull-ups and push-ups are classic callisthenics exercises. The point is, doing body-weight exercises will help you get a ripped six pack fast because each exercise requires you to use a very large number of muscles – and this always includes your abdominals.

Do push ups increase shoulder size?

Effects. Push-ups primarily work your pectoral muscles, strengthening your chest. Push ups increase the size and strength of your deltoid muscles, making your shoulders appear wider. However, exercises specifically targeting the lateral head of the deltoid muscle more effectively broaden your shoulders.

Do shoulders respond better to higher reps?

Delts generally respond better to high reps, though the front portion can respond well to lower reps. This is why delt-dominant bench pressers tend to have large front delts. But when training to get that rounded-shoulders look, higher reps of isolation work is best.

Is deltoid part of the rotator cuff?

There are six muscles in this group – the deltoid, teres major, and the four rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor). The deltoid muscle is shaped like an inverted triangle.

By: Riana Rohmann

Published: 08 July, 2011

What exercises work the lateral deltoid

The lateral deltoids are positioned on the top of the shoulders, between the anterior and posterior deltoids. This muscle is responsible for abducting the arm and assists in internal and external rotation. It is also the muscle that gives the shoulder the rounded and full appearance many people find attractive and strive to achieve. Lift a weight heavy enough to fatigue your muscle within a specific repetition range. The National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends lifting heavier weights between six and 10 repetitions for strength gains, between 10 and 15 repetitions for muscle growth and toning, and over 15 repetitions for endurance.

Smith Machine Press

Most gyms have a Smith Machine, which is a barbell that is attached to a support unit so you control the weight, but the barbell moves in a fixed fashion. Sit on a bench with vertical back support. Adjust the barbell so it is positioned slightly above shoulder level. Grab the barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, palms facing forward. Press the bar overhead and then slowly lower it back down. This exercise targets the lateral deltoids and allows you to lift a heavier weight, because the machine helps you control the bar.

Lateral Raise

Grab a 5- to 15-pound dumbbell in each hand. Stand in front of a mirror to check your form with the dumbbells down at your sides, palms facing the mid-line of your body. With a slight bend in the elbows, raise the dumbbells laterally out to each side until your arms are horizontal. Slowly lower them back down to the starting position. Your arms should rise on the sides of your body but be slightly forward so you can see both arms in your peripheral vision. This position helps prevent shoulder injuries.

Arnold Press

The Arnold press involves a slight shoulder rotation to exercise the entire deltoid muscle but primarily the lateral deltoid. Sit on a bench with vertical back support. Hold a 10- to 20-pound dumbbell in each hand. Press the dumbbells overhead with palms facing forward, but as you bring them down, internally rotate your arms so when the dumbbells reach chest level, your palms face your body. Keep your elbows tucked in close to your sides. Press the dumbbells back up and externally rotate your arms as the weights move upward, finishing with arms extended and palms forward.

Upright Row

Grab a barbell with hands about shoulder-width apart and hold it with arms straight down in front of your body. Keeping the bar close to your body, bend your arms and lift up the bar. Allow your elbows to lead the movement. Finish with the barbell at shoulder level but with your elbows positioned higher than the bar. Slowly lower the bar back down. Upright rows can also be done on a Smith Machine to lift a heavier weight while still remaining in control of the bar.

For one, you’ll probably need to work with less weight than you expect.

The lateral raise is a core training staple that can build stability and strength in your shoulders—but are you sure you’re even doing the exercise correctly?

For this basic gym necessity, you shouldn’t settle for anything other than perfect form—especially because it’s such a simple, essential movement that should serve as one of the centerpieces of your training plan. Let Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. and associate fitness editor Brett Williams guide you through the move’s subtleties, saving you from the bad habits that are keeping you from unlocking your fitness potential.

Before you grab a set of dumbbells and start swinging them around, take note that it’s extremely important to pay attention the movement here. You’ll miss out on the potential shoulder gains and open yourself up to injury if you use too much body momentum and wind up using the wrong muscles to do the work.

What exercises work the lateral deltoid

Don’t Swing!

Eb says: It’s very common, especially if you’re using a heavy weight, to shift your torso forward just a little bit, rocking at the waist to get the weight started. In some cases, that’s an advanced technique being used by a bodybuilder, and it has value. But in most cases, you’re simply taking away from the lift. You’re using momentum to get the weight started, and missing out on a chance to challenge your shoulders to start the motion instead. You’re also going to struggle to control the weight when you lift it upwards.

Avoid doing this by erasing the rock; squeeze your glutes and keep your abs tight and work to keep your torso steady as you lift the weight. Another key to avoiding this rock: Don’t start with the dumbbells touching. Start with your arms close to perpendicular to the ground.

Scapular Plane

Eb says: This is a lateral raise, but that doesn’t mean your arms should be fully at your sides. In fact, for the health of your shoulders, they shouldn’t be completely at your sides.

Instead, you want to work the lateral raise in what’s called the “scapular plane.” That’s about 20 to 30 degrees in front of your torso, so your arms are at a slight angle when you’re raising the weight. You’ll still get plenty of work for the lateral heads of your shoulders, but you’re working at an angle that makes stuff far easier on your rotator cuff tendons.

Thumbs Up

Eb says: This one’s also all about rotator cuff tendon health (and thus the long-term health of your shoulders). As your arms get close to parallel with the ground, think about turning your thumbs slightly upwards to the ceiling. This doesn’t need to be a lot, but by shifting them upwards just a little, you’re biasing your shoulders into external rotation. That’s a nice, safe position that, once again, opens space for your rotator cuff tendons to move.

You’ll see some lifters advise to do lateral raises and point your thumbs down at the top of each rep, sometimes known as “empty can” lateral raises. They’re doing this to attack their rear delts, and to some extent it works—but the risks simply aren’t worth the benefits here. You’re closing down the space between your shoulder bone and your clavicle and opening the door for shoulder impingement issues. Find a safer rear delt exercise and skip the empty cans.

Don’t Lift Too High

Eb says: Another common mistake on the lateral raise: You’ll see people lift too high. They continue the lateral raise motion until their elbows are well above shoulder level. Don’t do this. Stop your elbows just a degree short of parallel with your shoulders. Once you go past parallel with your shoulders, you’re starting to take the emphasis off your shoulders and stressing your traps.

It’s fine to train your traps, but this isn’t a trapezius exercise; the lateral raise is meant to help you isolate and focus on the lateral head of your deltoid. Letting your traps take over removes tension from your shoulders, making the lift easier.

Want to master even more moves? Check out our entire Form Check series.