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5 Mistakes Holding Back From BROADER SHOULDERS! – (Lateral Raise)

Medial Deltoids Are The Key To Broader Shoulders. Stop Wasting Time!

Posted by Scott_Herman - November 23rd, 2015

The dumbbell lateral raise is one of the few exercises that targets your medial deltoids allowing you to build broader shoulders. But if you are not maximizing the effectiveness of the exercise, you are leaving all kinds of gains on the table.


Below are the top five mistakes lifters make when performing the dumbbell lateral raise. Make sure you are not doing them!


1. Lifting The Dumbbells Toward The Front Of Your Body.

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If you lift the dumbbells in front of your body, this makes the anterior deltoids take over the movement and will rob you of your chance to target your medial deltoids. A good way to minimize this problem is to end the exercise touching the sides of your body instead of touch the dumbbells to each other in front of your body.


This mistake is probably one of the most common among lifters because we are taught to believe that if you bring the dumbbells in front of your hips, you will extend the range of motion by a few inches. But in reality, you have to bend your elbows for this to happen and if you were to compare the range of motion to if your arms were just fully extended by the sides of your body, you would see that the range of motion is the same.


2. Lifting Dumbbells That Are Too Heavy To Maintain Proper Form.

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This is a mistake seen all the time at the gym. Dudes are lifting too heavy and using a ridiculous amount of momentum to perform the movement. When this happens, you recruit your traps and take the load away from the medial deltoids. Remember, this is an isolation exercise and to get the most out of it you have to do it correctly.


Always work with an amount of weight that you can complete your entire set with utilizing proper form. If your form begins to break down during your set, lower the weight and finish your reps.


3. Not Focusing On The Negative Part Of The Movement.

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The slower you lower the weights, the more you are recruiting your medial delts. I see people focusing on lifting the weights and then dropping them on the way down. This is a critical part of the exercise so to make the most of it, you have to have weights that are low enough to allow you to go down slow and controlled.


4. Bending Your Elbows Too Much During The Lift.

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Typically when a lifter is using TOO MUCH weight, this is the result. In order to lift the dumbbells they will need to not only use momentum but also bend your elbows to almost 90 degrees during the movement.


The dumbbell lateral raise requires only a slight bend, when you start going too extreme you are actually performing an entirely different exercise that focuses more on the rear deltoids and upper traps.


5. Lack Of Core Stability During The Entire Movement.

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Core stability is super important during any exercise if you are to maximize the full potential of the movement. A very common mistake lifters make when performing the dumbbell lateral raise is that they breathe out during the concentric portion of the lift. When this happens you “deflate” your core causing your upper body to lean forward.


Not only does this slightly alter the range of motion of the exercise, but this also affects how much weight you should be able to lift with proper form. Keeping internal pressure in your core is crucial to the movement. If you need some help to learn how to activate your core, check out the video below!

Here is a video to help you learn how to activate your internal belt


BONUS TIP - Perform The Movement Seated To Help Focus On Proper Form.

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If you still find yourself using momentum with this exercise, try to perform the movement while seated. This will eliminate any chance of you using your lower body for momentum and you can utilize the upright position of the seat to ensure you do not lean forward. Make sure you plant your feet on the ground and push your back into the back-pad before starting your set.



Related Videos:


How To: Shoulder Warm-Up: Increase Mobility & Injury Prevention!


Shoulder Workout Finisher! (YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS!!)


Related Articles:


The Boulder Shoulder Workout!

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Top 3 Shoulder Exercises

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MEMBER COMMENTS
Kelsie
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heyhay5212
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Keep that form strict so you can get those deltoids popping out!

William_Steinset
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Lateral raises, my favorite delt exercise of all time, simply can not get enough.

Adawg38
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Love the lateral raise and always implement them in my routine. Bending the elbows too much is definitely one I know we are all guilty of at some point in time. Thanks for this Scott. 

Scott_Herman
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Stop losing out on shoulder gains!  These tips will help you for sure Nation!

crood  Edit  Delete  Close

or those who do the legjump and on top of that only swing the dumbbell like  to the height of their abs.. i've seen that last week and i was like.. so uhm... does that person feel any shoulder activation at all ? cause basically they didn't move the weight at all due to momentum and half range lol. But they sure made a face expression as if this was the heaviest lift they've ever done ! haha =)

jcgadfly  Edit  Delete  Close

Saw someone using 2-5 this morning. He was taking his feet off the ground with each upward movement. I half expected him to lift off and fly about the room.