How To Do Seated Lateral Raise Properly

The seated lateral raise is an effective isolation exercise that and strengthens the movement. The lateral head of the deltoid muscle is the main focus of the move.

Deltoids are found on the upper arm and they wrap around the back of the shoulders. Thus, performing this move regularly will help you sculpt broader and stronger shoulders.

A pair of light dumbbells and a bench are the only equipment required. You will also need enough shoulder flexibility to enable you to lift the dumbbells out and away from your body to form a “T” shape at your shoulders.

As an exercise that isolates one muscle group, it is recommended that you do it after compound exercises that touch the shoulders. Some of these compound exercises are the incline dumbbell press, shoulder press, push-ups, or pull-ups.

Finishing off with isolation exercises helps you really emphasize a particular muscle. Of importance, is doing the move with perfect form so that you do not risk injury or muscle imbalance.

This is a great exercise to add to your upper-body strength training routines. It will do wonders to your shoulders.

HOW TO DO SEATED LATERAL RAISE

Here are the steps to perform the exercise.

  • Start by sitting upright on a flat bench while holding a pair of dumbbells on both hands. Your arms should be hanging down by your sides and your palms facing each other.
  • Now, raise the dumbbells to your side until they are shoulder length. At this point, your arms should be parallel with the ground.
  • Hold at the top of the movement for a few seconds. Slowly and under control, lower the weights back to the initial position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of sets and reps.

SEATED LATERAL RAISE MUSCLES WORKED

The seated lateral raise majorly targets the shoulder muscles, also known as the deltoids. As discussed, it is an isolation exercise therefore, there are no accessory muscles.

The side and rear regions of the deltoids are the ones that are particularly targeted. They extend alongside your shoulders’ fronts and sides and are involved in laterally raising your arms to the side of your body.

It is noteworthy that as the exercise strengthens your shoulders, it also increases stability throughout the core.

SEATED LATERAL RAISE BENEFITS

This isolation exercise strengthens and increases the mobility of your shoulders. This is especially important because your shoulders are the most unstable joints in your entire body.

It also protects against shoulder injury as it improves overall shoulder strength and mobility.

Being a pretty simple exercise, it is beginner friendly. However, even though it requires a beginner level of fitness, make sure to use the proper technique.

Moreover, it is versatile as you are not limited to just dumbbells. You can also use a resistance band or cable machine.

SEATED LATERAL RAISE VARIATIONS

STANDING LATERAL RAISE

The standing lateral raise is very similar to the seated lateral raise. Only that with the latter, sitting reduces your chances of cheating.

BENT-OVER LATERAL RAISE

The bent-over lateral raise is also an isolating exercise that isolates the shoulder muscles. It particularly targets the rear deltoid head.

Beneficially, it strengthens and increases density throughout the shoulder region.

SIDE-LYING LATERAL RAISE

The side-lying lateral raise is another isolating exercise. It works the side deltoid head.

It also strengthens and stabilizes the shoulder muscles.

ALTERNATING LATERAL RAISE

The alternating lateral raise with static hold not only strengthens your shoulders but also improves muscular endurance in this particular muscle.

SEATED LATERAL RAISE MISTAKES TO AVOID

USING MUCH WEIGHT

Do not use too much weight as it may break your form or make you use unwanted momentum. You could also risk potential injuries.

Start with light dumbbell weights as you work your way up to heavier weights.

USING MOMENTUM TO SWING THE DUMBBELLS

This is intertwined with the mistake of using too much weight. Settling for heavier weights results in you using momentum to swing the dumbbells upwards.

This usually involves tilting your trunk forward and backward as you jerk your dumbbell weights up and out to the sides. This swinging is quite problematic for a number of reasons.

First, you will not be able to target the intended target muscles. You will end up using your back to lift the weights upwards instead of isolating the lateral head of the deltoids for this.

Consequently, you will not achieve optimal results from exercise like shoulder strength and hypertrophy.

Secondly, you tend to lose control with jerking movements like throwing weights up and down. This could increase your chances of getting injured or tearing something.

Ensure that you select lighter weights and perform the exercise in a slowed and controlled motion for maximum results.

DROPPING YOUR HEAD FORWARD

Do not crane your neck forward or drop your chin toward your chest as you perform the exercise. This usually happens either when you are using too much weight or when your shoulders are beginning to feel fatigued at the end of the movement.

Ensure that you employ a neutral neck and spine alignment for good posture during the exercise. Not only with this prevent back pain but also ensure the intended deltoids muscles are being worked and not any other muscle.

You can look at yourself in the mirror as you do the exercise. This will ensure that you are looking up and forward.

USING YOUR TRAPEZIUS TO POWER THE MOVEMENT

This is also related to using too much weight. Using heavyweights to perform this isolation exercise results in you recruiting other muscles, that was not intended, to help you power through.

The trapezius of the upper back is a common culprit. Shrugging your shoulders up to lift your weights away from your sides is a sign of this mistake.

Take note of it and change weights to a lighter dumbbell set.

ENGAGE YOUR CORE

Do not forget to engage your core as it stabilizes the movement. This will help you prevent back strain or injury.

CONCLUSION

The seated lateral raise is a simple but efficient shoulder workout. It isolates your shoulders giving it maximum attention.

It is essential that you use the correct weight so that you do not break form. The proper technique prevents injury and maximizes your results.

Also, make sure that you alternate the exercise with the other variations discussed in this article, to sculpt perfect shoulders.