How To Do Plate Front Raise Properly

The plate front raise workout is based off a common exercise known as the barbell front raise.

As such it is a variation based on numerous adaptations to work on arm and shoulder strength.

Unlike the dumbbell front raise, the plate front raise involves the use of one weight plate rather than a dumbbell.

That said, in order to do the exercise:

  • Stand up straight and position two barbell plates on both hands at a 45-degree angle
  • Ensure your palms are facing each other. Hold the plate down near your waist. This is the starting position.
  • Raise the plate until it is slightly above shoulder level. Hold this position for a while to feel the strain
  • Bring the plate back to the starting position
  • Repeat for the number of reps in your set.



The anterior deltoid refers to the front-most head of the shoulder. In order to target this area, you need to prioritize forward movements.

This is because the anterior deltoid facilitates your arms’ forward movements. The primary movement while doing the plate front raise.

The anterior deltoid is connected to the clavicle and together they are what you engage for any forward movements.

This includes stretching your arm forward and raising it from your thigh to shoulder level. Doing the plate front raise, therefore, isolates the anterior deltoid and directs strain towards it.

This is particularly emphasized when you hold your arm out just a tiny bit to feel the strain that much more.


The anterior deltoid is directly linked to the bicep muscle. This comes in handy when lifting the weight plate as the deltoid and bicep facilitate each other’s movements.

Deltoids generally play a pivoting role and the bicep in this case provides the power that is generated to lift and lower the weight plate.

As such, the biceps are engaged and the more they are forced the better they adapt by getting stronger. This, therefore, makes it easier to do the exercise.


The serratus anterior is automatically engaged when doing the plate front raise. This is because raising your arm up requires a lot of areas to work together including the serratus anterior.

The serratus anterior is the area that basically facilitates lifting the rib area, in turn, the ribs provide the necessary support to keep your hands up.


The pectorals are engaged to play a regulation role while doing the plate front raise.

While the anterior deltoid handles the majority of the strain by holding the largest share of the weight from the plate, it is supported by areas such as the pecs.

When you brace your pecs, you generate power to also lift the weight plates.


The benefits of doing the plate front raise exercise include:


The amount of work that the upper body is put under while doing the plate front raise forces your body to adapt.

Just like with every other workout, adaptation comes about in the form of a muscle breakdown which creates the platform to build again, this time bigger and stronger.

A strong upper body often comes with a plethora of benefits namely ease of performing difficult tasks. It also improves athleticism.


The plate front raise increases the anterior deltoids range of motion. This comes about as a result of the consistent practice that the area is put under.

As such it becomes more and more comfortable to push the shoulders to certain ranges without getting uncomfortable or getting injured.


A strong and stable shoulder is less likely to get injured compared to a weak, unstable shoulder.

This is especially the case when you engage in difficult physical activities. Therefore, the strength derived from doing the plate front raise helps protect you from injuries.


The work that is done by the plate front raise can be achieved by using other tools not just weight plates.

Therefore, if you’d rather use something else some alternatives include:


This is an exercise often done by bodybuilders. However, as long as you can find the right weights for you, you should be just as capable of doing it. To do the exercise:

  • Place the end of your thumb on the bar and grip it
  • Lift the bar out of the rack and allow it to rest on your shoulders
  • Engage your glutes, hips, and core to initiate movement and press the bar overhead
  • Lean your head back and keep the bar close to your face as you bring it upwards
  • Then bring the bar down observing the same protocols


The dumbbell iron cross is a simple but high-impact exercise requiring only needing a dumbbell.

However as much as it works the shoulder, it is also a compound exercise that engages the whole body. To do the exercise:

  • Hold two dumbbells straight in front of you, parallel to the floor, and squat.
  • Push yourself into a standing position, and then open your arms so you make a “T” shape with your body.
  • Move back into a squat position and repeat.


The pike push-ups are a variation of the standard push up. Doing the exercise however requires a certain level of flexibility. To do the exercise:

  • Assume a pushup position on the floor. Your arms should be straight and your hands should be shoulder-width apart
  • Now lift up your hips so that your body forms an upside-down V.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your upper body until the top of your head nearly touches the floor.
  • Pause, and then push yourself back up until your arms are straight.



The goal of the exercise is to induce strain. Therefore, it is understandable if swinging the weight plate is used as a coping mechanism

However, what this does it limits the workload that the target muscles have to do. In the long run this reduces the effectiveness of the exercise.


While doing a strenuous exercise you might not even notice much of the environment around you.

One of the things a lot of people do unconsciously is move the shoulders excessively

Doing this means you end up engaging a completely different area i.e., the back muscles which is pretty much working against yourself


The core acts as an anchor when doing the plate front raise. Failure to engage it means you have to find another way of supporting yourself.

Often this means arching your back. This does more harm than good because whilst the back will provide the support it is only equipped to handle so much.

If you push it too far you could get injured.


All things considered; the plate front raise is a great exercise for anyone seeking to build the upper body with access to minimal equipment.

On top of adding strength, it is also a great way to improve your upper-body mobility.

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