Dumbbell Exercises: Side Dumbbell Raises

Buy a dumbbell set to keep at home if you’re interested in engaging in standard exercises without having to go to a gym. Dumbbells can be useful for a wide variety of different tasks; it’s possible to work out most major muscles in your body with a set of dumbbells alone and no other equipment.

One of the basic exercises that you’ll want to do with your dumbbells is the side dumbbell raise. Also known as a lateral dumbbell raise, this particular exercise helps to improve muscle definition and strength for a number of different muscle types. These include the pectoral muscles, the triceps and more. Read on for a brief guide to how to do the side dumbbell raise at home.

Side Dumbbell Raises

The basic positioning of this exercise is fairly straightforward. Grasp a dumbbell of equal weight in both hands. Your palms should be facing inward as you grasp the dumbbells. Bend your elbows slightly and hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs. This is the rest position for the exercise.

To execute the side dumbbell raises, slowly and evenly lift the dumbbells up and away from your body. Your arms will move in a reverse wing flapping motion. The dumbbells should end up even with your shoulders, or as high up as you can comfortably bring them. Hold them there momentarily, and then gently and slowly lower them back to the neutral starting position. This constitutes a single repetition of the exercise; most people will do 10 to 12 repetitions of this exercise per set.

Safety and Injury Prevention

This exercise, like most others that you can do, contains certain risks inherent within it. In order to reduce the risk of injury while you execute the side dumbbell raises, it’s a good idea to stretch out properly before and after your workout. Take deep breaths before and during the exercise. You may also wish to have a spotter remain close by to you while you lift up the dumbbells, because this can be helpful if you worry about potentially dropping the weights while you work out.


There are a number of different modifications to this exercise. You can attempt to incorporate balance into it by doing it on a Bosu device or by balancing on one leg as you do it. You can also incorporate arm curls into the exercise, thereby working out your biceps and other muscle groups. As always, be careful to work slowly and carefully to not only experience the full range of motion and the greatest benefit to your overall muscular ability, but also to reduce the risk of straining a muscle or causing some other type of injury as you work.

For more information about dumbbell exercises, ask a trainer or a doctor in your area.


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