How to Do Band Lateral Raise Properly

Band lateral raise is a simple exercise to perform.

The stretchy bands have had a real resurgence in popularity due to the self-isolation reality we’re living in and for good reason, too.

It is easy to store, lightweight and adaptable to almost any exercise. Resistance bands are the home workout hero you need to consider.

The resistance band works by increasing resistance as they’re stretched – as you put them under more pressure, they do the same to you.

HOW TO DO BAND LATERAL RAISE

Equipment required; a resistance band and a glove

Band lateral raises are a simple move once you’ve got the hang of them. The following is a step by step procedure on how to perform the exercise;

  • Stand with both feet on the band and hold both ends at equal length in each hand, arms by your sides, palms facing inwards.
  • Ensure your shoulders are relaxed (not raised), your abs are engaged (think tensing, as opposed to breathing in), and there’s a slight bend in your knees. This is your starting position.
  • Retaining this posture, pull the band out to the sides with straight arms, going no higher than shoulder height.
  • Pause and check your stance – is your back still neutral and your tailbone tucked under? Is there a gentle bend at each elbow? ‘It’s important to keep your shoulders away from your ears and legs still to ensure proper form.
  • Gradually (i.e. don’t just let your arms fall back down, move with control) lower your hands to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 8-12 reps or as much as you are comfortable with.

WHAT MUSCLES DO BAND LATERAL RAISE WORK?

Band lateral raise works to strengthen the shoulder and targets the following muscles;

1. DELTOIDS.

Your deltoid muscle is comprised of three ‘heads’, the anterior, medial and posterior.

These muscles extend alongside the front and sides of your shoulders and are engaged by raising your arms laterally to either side of you.

2. UPPER ARM

The upper arm is located between the shoulder joint and elbow joint.

It contains four muscles – three in the anterior compartment (biceps brachii, brachialis, coracobrachialis), and one in the posterior compartment (triceps brachii).

These are important to the mobility of the arm.

3. CORE

These are muscles in the body’s lower and upper torso that maintain proper posture and protect the body’s inner organs. They give the body stability.

BAND LATERAL RAISE BENEFITS

1. PREVENT BACK PAIN

Strengthening the core muscles helps reduce the risk for lower back pain. A strong core is important for proper spinal alignment which reduces your risk for back injuries.

Since band lateral raise is a core stabilizing exercise, you may be able to see good results by adding this exercise to your routine.

2. STRONG CORE MUSCLES

Band lateral raise helps in strengthening the muscles of the core including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques.

They also activate the muscles in the hips and back leading to improved stability, reduced risk for injury, and maintenance of mobility.

3. GENERAL BODY BUILD-UP

Exercise with resistance may trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone which promotes muscle growth in all areas of your body.

4. REDUCED INJURY

Resistance bands prevent you from using momentum and cheat your reps. You will be forced to use proper form and therefore have a lower chance of injury.

ALTERNATIVES TO BAND LATERAL RAISE

Variations are great to just change it up and get more variety into your workouts to keep it interesting and fun.

1. UNILATERAL LATERAL RAISES

Unilateral work is awesome to focus on only one side at a time and really feel the muscles working.

Also, if you have any imbalances between your right and left side, you can correct them by working one side at a time.

2. SEATED LATERAL RAISES

The seated version is great to get used to the movement and really focus on the shoulder movement.

The lower body is out of the picture, and you can really concentrate on the contraction of the shoulders.

3. LOOP BAND ALTERNATIVE

The fact that it’s a loop, you have also a string of bands between your hands.

If you raise your arms straight to the side, the band in between your hands will also stretch, and you have to work against that tension as well.

But we can actually embrace it and add this extra resistance to the exercise.

BAND LATERAL RAISE MISTAKES TO AVOID

You’re just lifting the band up and down, right? Not hard to mess that up. Well, there are ways of wrong performance of band lateral raise;

 1. BACK ARCHING

Maintain a stable stance. If you arch your back then you are putting your lower back in danger.

Support yourself by bracing your core and keeping a neutral spine (no arching or rounding of the back) from the start to finish of each lateral raise.

2. SWINGING THE BAND

You should control your movements without momentum. This is easily noticed when the tension on the band is released.

If you notice you are struggling then try using a band with lower tension.

3. RAISING SHOULDERS

Raising shoulders during band lateral raise could strain your neck and those muscles on your collarbone.

Keep them relaxed, and exhale as you pull the band – it’s like a deflating trick for your shoulders.

CONCLUSION

The banded lateral raise together with the variation exercises discussed herein are performed targeting muscles that contribute to the strengthening of the muscles of the shoulders.

The banded lateral raise utilizes bands to provide accommodating resistance during the exercise.

As you get closer to the full contraction, more resistance is applied to the target muscle groups.

Band lateral raise is friendly, convenient and should be part of your daily routine exercise.