How To Do  Lying Lateral Raise Properly

The lying lateral raise is a dumbbell exercise that targets the shoulder, upper back and neck. It is perfect for strengthening and building your muscles.

First and foremost, acquire a dumbbell of reasonable weight that you can be comfortable with before starting. Now follow this simple guide:

  • Lie on your right side on a bench
  • Bend your knees, you can try to get your heels aligned with your shoulders
  • Bring your right hand (lower one) to touch your left shoulder
  • Grip the dumbbell handle with your left hand close to the ground
  • Now keep your arm straight as you gradually raise your dumbbell until your left arm points up to the ceiling
  • Slowly bring your arm down close to the ground before repeating the action
  • You can do ten reps per set, remembering to switch sides halfway

MUSCLES WORKED BY THE LYING LATERAL RAISES

THE DELTOIDS

Found in the shoulder, this muscle group is made up of the anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoid. Each of these parts, working together, enables you to rotate your arm in all directions.

The deltoids are responsible for the stabilization of the shoulder and abduction of the arm and shoulder.

TRAPEZIUS

This is a large muscle spanning the upper back and neck that is shaped like a trapezium. You may know it as the trap. It comprises of the lower, middle and upper fibres which facilitate movement of the head, neck, and shoulders.

SUPRASPINATUS

The supraspinatus is a muscle arising from the shoulder blade or scapula and found in the upper back. Like the trapezius, this small muscle is actively engaged in the lying lateral raises. This is due to its function of abduction of the arm at the shoulder.

LEVATOR SCAPULAE

A thin but long muscle of the neck and back, the levator scapulae inserts at the scapula. Consequently, it stabilizes and lifts the scapula that is, elevating and retracting the shoulder girdle.

BENEFITS OF DOING THE LYING LATERAL RAISE

BUILDS MUSCLE

This dumbbell exercise helps build the muscles of the arm. The triceps, a muscle group in the arm, are one of the main muscles engaged in the lying lateral raise. This build in muscle gives you well-toned arms like you’ve been hoping for.

INCREASES STRENGTH

With the obvious muscle built from this exercise, the triceps and deltoid muscles are strengthened. This helps in stabilization of the shoulder and consequently, helps prevent injury during sports or day-to-day activities such as lifting heavy objects.

INCREASES FLEXIBILITY

Strengthening the deltoids, trapezius and triceps improves flexibility of the shoulder and arm. These muscles work hand-in-hand to facilitate abduction of the arm.

Working these muscles increases range of motion of the arm so your movements are smoother. In case you perform athletic activities that require a lot of arm rotation, the lying lateral raise will help prevent injury to the shoulder joint.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE LYING LATERAL RAISE

CABLE LATERAL RAISE

A perfect workout for the shoulders, the cable lateral raise is just the right fit if you’re looking to build muscle and increase strength around your deltoids and trap.

  • Choose a reasonable amount of weight for your pulley before beginning the exercise. You should be able to pull it by one hand.
  • Stand straight next to your cable machine. Feet planted on the ground at shoulder width apart.
  • Slightly bend at the knees and roll your shoulders back as you use the hand closest to the pulley to grip it.
  • Use that hand to hold your weight so that you are inclined at a slight angle.
  • Hinge at the elbow as you raise the arm gripping the cable up to shoulder height.
  • Pause then slowly lower the arm back to starting position.

ALTERNATE DUMBBELL LATERAL RAISE

  • Stand straight with your feet planted on the ground, slightly closer than shoulder-width.
  • Grip one dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your hips.
  • Raise the right arm sideways in a straight line to shoulder height, only hinging at the shoulders.
  • Slowly bring the dumbbell back down to the hips.
  • Now raise the left arm as you did the right one.
  • Repeat this motion for ten reps.

SINGLE ARM KETTLEBELL PRESS

The single arm kettlebell press is an isolation workout targeting the triceps and trapezius. It is fairly simple and only requires you to obtain a kettlebell.

  • While seated upright on the ground, grab a kettlebell with both hands and raise it to shoulder height on your right side.
  • Grip the handle with one hand and let it rest on your forearm.
  • Stand up with your feet planted at hip distance apart on the ground.
  • Your spine should remain neutral as you raise the kettlebell above your head only moving the elbow and shoulder joint.
  • Bring the kettlebell back down to shoulder height. This is one rep.
  • Switch arms after ten reps.

COMMON MISTAKES WHEN DOING THE LYING LATERAL RAISE

USING TOO HEAVY OF A DUMBBELL

You should know that arm and shoulder isolation workouts such as the lying lateral raises do not require very heavy weights. As long as proper form is maintained, you are guaranteed to build muscle in the triceps without using a very heavy dumbbell.

Going too heavy may tempt you to use gravity to drop the dumbbell, which completely beats the purpose of this exercise and puts you at risk of injury. Use a dumbbell of reasonable weight that you can control easily.

USING TOO MUCH MOMENTUM

Using too much momentum may be as a result of having a very light weight which you are tempted to swing rapidly. On the other hand, it may be as a result of using gravity to make the workout easier.

You should know that this is self-defeating. Whatever the reason for using too much momentum, the premise is that you need to use slow controlled movements.

KEEPING THE ARM STRAIGHT

Keeping the arm raising the dumbbell completely straight takes the workout way from the deltoids, which are the main muscles targeted. Your arm, instead, should be bent slightly at the elbows and locked throughout the lying lateral raises.

CONCLUSION

If improving mobility of your arm and increasing strength in your shoulders is important to you then this is a must-have add to your workout routine. It’s simple, requires easy to obtain equipment and will get you the results you need.