Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Exercise / Shoulders

Dumbbell Lateral Raise overview

The Dumbbell Lateral Raise is a classic shoulder exercise that targets the lateral deltoids, helping to sculpt broader and well-defined shoulders. This isolation movement enhances shoulder width, contributes to a balanced physique, and improves overall upper body aesthetics. Explore the specifications, step-by-step instructions, and variations to optimize the benefits of the Dumbbell Lateral Raise in your strength training routine.

The Dumbbell Lateral Raise primarily targets the lateral deltoids, emphasizing the middle portion of the shoulder.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise how to perform

  • Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip (palms facing your body).
  • Step 2: Keep a slight bend in your elbows and maintain a neutral spine.
  • Step 3: Lift both arms laterally to the sides, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows.
  • Step 4: Raise your arms to shoulder height or slightly above, forming a “T” shape with your body.
  • Step 5: Squeeze your lateral deltoids at the top of the movement.
  • Step 6: Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position with control.


Perform each repetition with controlled movements, focusing on the contraction of the lateral deltoids.

Starting position

Final position

CAUTION: Rember to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Exercise Tips

  • Keep a slight bend in your elbows to reduce stress on the joints.
  • Avoid using excessive body momentum; let your shoulder muscles do the work.
  • Engage your core muscles for stability throughout the movement.
  • Control the speed of the exercise to maximize muscle engagement.


  1. Single-Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise: Perform the exercise one arm at a time for increased focus and balance.
  2. Partial Range of Motion: Focus on the top half or bottom half of the movement to create variation.
  3. Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise: Perform the exercise while seated for a different angle of engagement.
  4. Paused Reps: Introduce a brief pause at the top of each repetition for increased time under tension.