Dumbbell Exercises: Reverse Lateral Dumbbell Raises

Making use of a dumbbell set for exercises at home is a great way to remain fit or to build up your muscle strength and definition. Dumbbells are relatively inexpensive and are small enough to be kept around the home. Additionally, there are a wide variety of different exercises that you can do using these tools to help you to build up your strength.

The reverse lateral dumbbell raise is a great tool for anyone looking to build up posterior deltoid muscles. These muscles will help to strengthen your shoulders and upper arms. This exercise also works the triceps, making it highly versatile. The most popular version of the reverse lateral dumbbell raise is the seated version, although there are other variations as well.

Exercise Basics

The basic position of this exercise is a seated one. Sit at the edge of a chair or a bench and place your feet out in front of you and together. Your legs should be resting comfortably. Tilt your head forward so that your eyes are facing the floor. This exercise is most commonly done with one dumbbell of equivalent weight in each hand, although you can do one dumbbell at a time if you’d prefer. Hold the dumbbells below the bench and by your side with the tops of your hands facing toward your feet. This is the basic resting position of the exercise.

To execute the reverse lateral dumbbell raise, it’s best to move your arms up slowly so as to not strain yourself. You’ll lift from the shoulder blades, bringing the dumbbells up from a position on the outside of your legs and below the bench to as high up as they can go while remaining comfortably. Slowly let the dumbbells drop in the same plane of motion so that they come to rest at the starting point. This constitutes a single repetition.

Safety and Injury Prevention

It’s important to exercise safety with this procedure, because it can lead to injury if you don’t. Do not lift weights that are too heavy for your ability; instead, start out with lighter weights and gradually work your way up to heavier ones. Keep the dumbbells on an even plane and be sure to rotate your shoulders back slightly as you lift them up; this prevents strain on the shoulder blades and muscles.


If you’ve mastered the basics of the reverse lateral dumbbell raise and are looking for another way to help to develop your shoulders and upper arms, consider modifying the basic exercise. Hold the dumbbells at the highest point or extend your elbows out to add on to the basic exercise. Also, build up to heavier and heavier weights as you’re comfortable doing this to help increase your strength and overall muscle definition and size, depending upon what your goals are.


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