How to Do Barbell Front Raise Properly

Most workout enthusiasts love to incorporate the barbell front raise into their workout routine.

This is a shoulder workout that primarily focuses on the front of the shoulder and gives your shoulders that perfectly rounded appearance.

When working out, the focus tends to go every other place but the shoulders, often they are treated as an afterthought.

Most people only think about their shoulders when they realize that they are underdeveloped, and do not look as good as they would wish when they wear their favourite t-shirts.

And yes, good shoulders do look good in t-shirts and sleeveless outfits.

If and when you finally realize that your shoulders need some good ol’ working, your first stop better be the barbell front raise.

While some people may prefer to do this exercise using dumbbells, using a barbell is better because you focus less on the momentum while allowing your shoulders to absorb maximum tension.

This exercise is beginner level, which means you can delve right into it even if you have no prior experience in working out. Just be sure to follow the intricate instructions and maintain the right form.

HOW TO DO THE BARBELL FRONT RAISE PROPERLY

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with the barbell resting in front of your thighs. The hands-on barbell should be around shoulder-width apart
  • Keep your posture erect, shoulders stay retracted or neutral.
  • Stretch your arms and raise the barbell in front of you, until your arms are more or less parallel to the floor. As you do this, keep your elbows as close to the body as possible.
  • Slowly lower the barbell and to the initial position in front of your thighs.
  • Do as many reps as you wish.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE BARBELL FRONT RAISE WORK?

FRONT DELTOIDS

The barbell front raise mostly works the muscles in front of the shoulders, better known as the front deltoids. The shoulder has three heads; the front, rear and lateral.

They work in tandem to facilitate abduction, flexion and stabilization. The front deltoid or deltoid anterior is at the front of the arm, somewhere above the biceps.

Other muscles the barbell front raise works are deltoid lateral and serratus anterior.

BARBELL FRONT RAISE BENEFITS

STRENGTHENS THE SHOULDERS

This exercise beautifully defines your shoulders and builds your strength. It isolates the shoulders and enables smooth flexion. You need strong shoulders to be able to carry things easily.

HELPS YOU PERFORM BETTER

If you work out a lot, there is a chance there is so much lifting, pulling and pushing involved.

Be it doing press-ups, pulling cables, lifting dumbbells – all of these movements involve the shoulders to varying degrees.

This exercise strengthens the shoulder muscles, and in so doing puts you in a better place to do the rest of your exercises well.

BARBELL FRONT RAISE ALTERNATIVES

DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE

For this exercise, you will be using dumbbells in the place of a barbell. One of the pros of using a dumbbell in place of a barbell is that you can train unilaterally.

While a barbell will require you to work both sides of your shoulder at the same time, if you have an imbalance, you can correct it by working just the side that needs the correction.

The dumbbell also allows for more range of movement, an advantage you may not enjoy with the barbell.

UNSTABLE BARBELL FRONT RAISE

If you want to throw in a bit of core exercise into this workout, throw in a stability disc to work on your balance.

Take note though, you can only do this after you have completely mastered the technique of the standing barbell front raise.

BARBELL FRONT RAISE MISTAKES TO AVOID

The shoulders are a very sensitive part of the body, and while you may start working them out with the right intention, it can quickly turn into an ugly affair if you do these mistakes.

Take note of the things to avoid when doing this exercise:

TOO MUCH WEIGHT

Every other exercise that involves a barbell carries with it the risk of being overloaded by overenthusiastic fitness enthusiasts.

Do not go down that road. Start light, for the sake of your shoulders and your overall fitness. Then, as you get used to the routine, add more.

Remember, what you carry with is on the first rep, you might be unable to even lift by an inch by the time you get to the fifth. Take that into consideration as you add weight to the barbell.

FOCUSING ON YOUR MOVEMENT

There is a false sense of accomplishment that comes with being able to easily lift the bar up and down with ease.

If you go into this exercise with this perspective you end up swinging the barbell and focusing on the movement.

Take your time, flex when you have to flex, hold you breathe when you have to, remain steady through all the lifts and descents.

RAISING THE WEIGHT TOO HIGH

The bar shouldn’t go past your shoulder, otherwise, you could have some serious shoulder pain to deal with once you are done with the exercise.

If you want to have a clear idea of how high you are lifting the bar, stand in front of the mirror sideways and check the height.

In the initial stages, you can begin training with just the bar until you are sure of the right height to stop.

CONCLUSION

If you have ever had a shoulder injury, then you would know better than anybody else how important shoulders are to your mobility and sanity.

Yet for some reason, they are often overlooked. Do not be one of those people who overlook their shoulders until they really have to do something about it.

There is no static way of incorporating the barbell front raise into your routine. You can do it alongside your chest workout or even use it to warm up for more demanding shoulder and upper body workouts.

The dumbbell variation is better if you want to work one shoulder at a time.