Dumbbell Exercises: Lateral Dumbbell Raises

The lateral dumbbell raise is a great exercise that can typically done by beginner exercisers with little difficulty. Though this exercise is not difficult to perform, when done correctly, it can be quite effective in helping to increase muscular strength and tone.

Muscle Groups Targeted by the Lateral Dumbbell Raise

When considering the addition of any new exercise to your typical strength training routine, it is important to first understand what muscles are strengthened by the exercise, and why strengthening these muscles is important. In the case of the lateral dumbbell raise, the primary muscles that are targeted are the shoulders. Increase muscular strength and tone in your shoulders is important for improving your ability to perform a number of everyday activities, including lifting shopping bags, pushing strollers, and reaching over head.

How to Perform the Lateral Dumbbell Raise

In order to receive maximal benefit from the lateral dumbbell raise, it is important that you learn how to perform it properly. Start by standing on a flat surface, who’s surroundings have been cleared of dumbbells, exercise balls, and other pieces of equipment which could possibly interfere with your workout. Hold one dumbbell in each hand, with your arms relaxed by your sides. Make sure that your feet are planted firmly on the ground, with your toes facing forward and approximately one foot apart from each other. Inhale and exhale deeply for a few seconds. On the next exhaled breath, carefully lift your arms out to the side, bringing them up to shoulder height. Ideally, your arms should be kept as straight as possible during this time. Now, inhale your breath, and slowly lower your arms with the dumbbells back to your sides. Continue performing this maneuver until you have completed two sets of ten repetitions of the exercise.

Preventing Injury during the Lateral Dumbbell Raise

One of the most important ways to prevent injury while performing this exercise is to start with weights that are appropriately sized for your current strength and ability levels. As with other exercises, it is always better to start with weight that is too light and work your way up, than to choose weights that are too heavy and risk possible injury.

Increasing the Intensity of the Lateral Dumbbell Raise

Finally, as with any effective exercise, you must be able to increase the intensity of the exercise once the basic form of the maneuver becomes too easy in order to keep making gains in strength and muscle tone. One great way to make this exercise more challenging is to alternate the arm raises. Instead of lifting both arms at the same time, simply lift them one at a time. This increases the amount of time that your muscles must work, thereby achieving a greater degree of muscle fatigue.

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