How to Do Bent Over Dumbbell Raise Properly

The bent over dumbbell raise works the rear deltoids mainly.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Pick up your dumbbells
  • Spread your feet so they are shoulder-width apart
  • Flex your knees slightly so they are bent
  • While doing this, ensure that you’ve kept a neutral spine and your head is facing down
  • Finally arch your back and put the dumbbells out in front of you
  • Ensure there’s a slight bend in your elbows
  • Then pinch your shoulder blades together and lift your arms up and down
  • As your lift your arms for each out rep breathe out

WHAT MUSCLES DO THE BENT-OVER DUMBBELL RAISE WORK?

REAR DELTOIDS

The unique action about doing the bent-down dumbbell raise is pinching your shoulder blades.

When you pinch your shoulder blades together, you create the environment to isolate the rear deltoids.

Therefore, as you lift your arms up and down, you engage the rear deltoids as the primary target muscle.

The rear deltoids work with the back to enable thrust and provide balance whilst you make movements. The rear deltoids make bent-over dumbbell movements possible.

TRAPEZIUS MUSCLE

The trapezius muscle acts as the hypothetical power source that enables you to lift the dumbbells up and down.

The trapezius and the core work together to provide support for the movements isolating the rear delts.

RHOMBOIDS

The rhomboids are located in the upper back and are what hold the shoulder steady. As such, it helps provide the balance required to lift the weights up and down.

TRICEPS

When you isolate the rear deltoid by pinching your shoulder blades, you rely on your triceps to make extensions.

This is because triceps are primarily used to extend and flex the elbow joint. Therefore, each time your bend your elbows and flex or make extensions you engage the triceps

CORE

The core is one of the more important parts of the body that you engage. This is because they help maintain tension thus maximizing on the effectiveness of the exercise you’re doing.

The core also helps provide support and balance so that you are able to perform the necessary movements without wobbling.

BENT-DOWN DUMBBELL RAISE BENEFITS

STRENGTHENS THE SHOULDERS

Isolating the deltoid muscles specifically the rear deltoids gives you time to provide detailed strength training to said muscle.

At a collective level, this makes it easier for you to perform certain takes. It also provides an aesthetic appeal whereby your shoulders look big, strong and toned.

PROMOTES GOOD POSTURE

Because the bent over dumbbell raise works the trap it ensures the back muscle is strong and healthy.

In turn, this helps with your posture as it is responsible for your straighter back. A strong trap muscle also protects your spine from injury.

ALLOWS YOU TO DEADLIFT BIGGER WEIGHTS

The power and stability that come from stronger shoulders and back allow you the capability to deadlift bigger weights.

Therefore, as a result of the dumbbell raises, you can bench press and deadlift a higher category of weights. As such the bent-down dumbbell raise can be categorized as a bridge exercise.

BENT-DOWN DUMBBELL RAISE MISTAKES

USE OF EXCESSIVE MOMENTUM

A lot of times something as simple as momentum can be the reason the effects of the bent-down dumbbell raise aren’t felt.

In order to placate the effect of the exercise you need to ensure that you don’t excessively rely on momentum.

This is especially so in between lowering and raising your arms. Moving the dumbbells at a fast rate doesn’t allow for the right amount of strain to be experienced by the target muscles.

UNBENT KNEES

The bent over dumbbell raise is founded on the fact that the starting position requires you to bend your knees

When you fail to do this, you exert excessive amount of pressure to the knee joints. This could lead to nasty injuries as your joints can only handle so much pressure

ELBOW POSITION

Your elbow position is very important when doing the bent over dumbbell raise. This is because if you keep the elbow too tense, then you’re likely to restrict your range of motion.

A restricted range of motion leads to ineffectiveness while doing the bent-down dumbbell raise.

On the flipside, the elbow position should also not be too loose. Loose elbows do not allow you the platform to correctly perform the necessary movements

SPINE POSITION

When doing the bent-won dumbbell raise your spine position is expected to be neutral.

This positions you at a place where you’re able to take the strain from being bent-down while doing the exercise.

If you don’t maintain neutral spine position then you may end up with spine injuries from overworking the area.

BENT-DOWN DUMBBELL RAISE ALTERNATIVES

DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE

Start by spreading your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your arms right in front of you and ensure your feet are planted to the floor. Then:

  • Lift the weights upward while inhaling. Your arms are extended, palms facing down, with a slight bend in the elbows to reduce the stress on the joints.
  • Pause briefly when your arms are horizontal to the floor.
  • Lower the dumbbells to the starting position (at the thighs) with a slow and controlled motion while exhaling

Also check out the barbell front raise 

SEATED BENT-OVER DUMBBELL RAISE

This is a variation of the bent over dumbbell raise. As such, it involves steps similar to the aforementioned exercise with one change – you do it seated.

This is a slightly higher impact variation as it doesn’t allow you to make mistakes when it comes to momentum.

As a result, you experience the full burn of the exercise much better

CABLE LATERAL RAISES

Whilst cable lateral raises primarily targets the lateral deltoid, it also does work on the rear deltoid. As such, it is responsible for a balanced, well-rounded shoulder.

To do the exercise:

  • Attach a handle to the lowest pulley and stand to one side of the cable machine.
  • Grab the handle with one hand and the tower with the other, to brace yourself.
  • With your elbow slightly bent, raise your arm to the side until your elbow is at shoulder height. Lower and repeat.

CONCLUSION

The bent over dumbbell raise is an easy to do exercise that properly works an often-neglected area. It is also a nice gateway exercise to the highest impact exercises.

If you’re therefore looking for a good place to start, the dumbbell raise is a great way to build well balanced shoulders.