Leaning lateral raises are a challenging but more effective exercise that sculps rounder shoulders. The leaning position alters the angle of the bell raises.
This effectively isolates the shoulder muscles causing tension build-up. Shoulder muscles burn up to overcome the resistance created consequentially, the entire shoulder experiences muscle growth.
Leaning lateral raises can contribute to significant upper body gains especially on your arms, upper back, and shoulders because of the intensity of the workout.
The angling of the body against gravity helps to activate the muscles further during flexion and extension essentially building their strength limit.
Leaning lateral raises have slight similarities to standard side lateral raises, however, the latter is more of a deadlift workout routine. Moreover, leaning lateral raise has more potential for injuries if not done properly.
Here’s how to do it:
- Step 1: Stand beside a sturdy pole, cable machine, or a squat rack. Hold the pole firmly for support. The grip should be at arm’s length and shoulder height.
- Step 2: Grab a dumbbell with one the other hand, keeping it away from the pole. Your arm should remain straight.
- Step 3: Position your feet at the base of the pole and lean slightly outwards. Your feet should be beneath the hand holding the pole and the other arm should hang straight down.
- Step 4: Slowly bend your elbow and lift the arm holding the dumbbell upwards and outwards. Hold this position for 2 seconds and drop your arms back at the starting position. Repeat for at least 8-10 reps for 2-3 sets.
- Switch sides with the other arm and repeat the above steps. Continuously breathe in and out to maintain proper oxygen flow.
- Visit the link to view a simple demo on the workout.
WHAT MUSCLE GROUPS DOES LEANING LATERAL RAISES WORK?
The exercise targets the following muscle groups.
The deltoid muscle is located on the outer side of the shoulder.
The muscle is made up of 3 sets of fibers: anterior, middle, posterior connected by a very thick tendon anchored to a channel housed in the shaft of the humerus bone in the arm.
The muscle’s main functions are maintaining the brunt of the arm rotation allowing you to keep objects carried, at a safer distance from the body.
Moreover, it stops dislocation and injury to the humerus when carrying heavy loads overhead.
Trapezius muscle forms one of the widest back muscles. They are broad muscle bands that provide upright posture support.
The muscles create a muscle column along the back portion of the neck.
The muscles are postural and active movement muscles used to tilt and turn the head and neck, steady the shoulders and twist the arms.
BENEFITS OF LEANING LATERAL RAISES
The exercise has numerous benefits to the overall lower-body training. They include:
BUILDS SHOULDER STRENGTH
Leaning lateral raises puts a lot of tension on the deltoids for a longer period and an even greater range of the motion of the raise. This builds up a lot of power, stability, and muscles on the shoulders.
IMPROVES MOBILITY AND FLEXIBILITY
Leaning lateral raises involves a lot of arm, shoulder and upper body movement. This improves the speed and performance in physical activities that are muscle- intensive such as lifting heavy luggage. Repeated sets of the exercise build up muscle flexibility, endurance, joints’ agility and overall improving mobility.
IMPROVES COORDINATION AND BALANCE
The workout requires a great deal of focus, coordination, and balance to get the exercise right. Repeated sets build up great body coordination and balance over time.
ALTERNATIVES TO LEANING LATERAL RAISES
There are great alternatives to the exercise, such as:
DUMBELL LATERAL RAISE
The dumbbell lateral raise, similar to leaning lateral raises, isolates the deltoids muscles through the lateral motion, enabling you to target muscles on your chest, arms, upper back, and core.
To effectively perform the workout, keep your arms in front of your body at shoulder height.
This is easily performed by using a relatively light dumbbell or a bell’s weight which you are comfortable lifting.
BAND SIDE LATERAL RAISE
The workout is a great alternative as the exercise can be done right at home.
Moreover, the resistance generated by the bands increases the tension on the target muscles as you progress through the workout.
Similar to Leaning lateral raise, it works the lateral deltoid muscles.
To ensure the effectiveness of the workout, keep the band taut throughout.
LATERAL RAISE HOLD
The lateral raise hold effectively targets the medial deltoid muscles by generating a lot of tension on the muscles while you hold the bell at the top position.
Increasing the times holding the bell up increases isometric tension on the deltoids.
As the muscles tire up overcoming the tension and resistance generated, they experience significant muscles growth over time. In addition, the exercise stabilizes the shoulder muscles, improves mobility, and trains endurance.
The only equipment required is dumbbells. The exercise can be done right at home or at the gym.
LEANING LATERAL RAISES MISTAKES TO AVOID
To achieve the maximum effect from the workout then you have to avoid the following:
AVOID USING A WEIGHT THAT IS TOO HEAVY
The shoulders contain a relatively small muscle group, unlike the core, thighs, and glutes. The shoulders, therefore, do not require heavy weights to build muscles.
Leaning lateral is an isolation exercise as such, they only require lighter weights since they are safer to control through the motion.
Using heavy weights will refocus the impact of the workout from the target muscles as they would require momentum to overcome the tension build-up.
AVOID RAISING THE DUMBBELL TOO FAST
Avoid raising the dumbbell too quickly through the raise. The raise should be performed at a slower speed to ensure that you are working the target muscles.
Raising the dumbbell too quickly ensures that the shoulder muscles aren’t coming into play in the workout. Rather, you are using momentum to complete the raises.
NOT PAUSING AT THE TOP OF THE RAISE
Pausing and holding the dumbbells at the top of the raise targets the trapezius muscles on the upper back of your shoulders.
Not pausing for a few seconds shifts away from the impact of the workout on your upper back. This small change might make a difference in your muscle growth.
Leaning lateral raise is an advanced workout that has significant benefits to your upper body strength training.
It is important that you do it properly to maximize stimulation on the target muscles.