Dumbbell Lateral Raise for Bigger Shoulders | Proper Form & Technique

Bigger shoulders with just one exercise.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise For Bigger Shoulders | Proper Form & Technique


Broad shoulders are a benchmark of manliness since a way back. A physique can’t be deemed muscular or in shape if it lacks wide shoulders. This is why you’ll never see a fitness athlete on stage without well-carved shoulders.

Bodybuilding is a game of illusions. The bodybuilders you see on stage aren’t actually as big as they may seem. Broad shoulders and a tiny waist gives the illusion of being huge. These bodybuilders work hard to maintain the ratio between their small joints and big muscle bellies.

As important as broad shoulders are, they aren’t the easiest to train or develop. Most beginners in the gym have problems while training shoulders. It takes a lot of time and practice to build strength and eventually size in the shoulders.

Famous celebrity trainer and athlete Kris Gethin refers to his shoulders as football helmets. His aim is to have big and round shoulder caps. Kris favors the dumbbell lateral raises to target his medial deltoid or lateral head of the shoulders.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise For Bigger Shoulders

Get To Know The Lateral Raises

Isolation Exercise

Dummbell lateral raises is an isolation exercise. It only works the medial deltoid without recruiting or putting tension on any other muscle group. This also makes it easier for beginners to perform this exercise. Since this is an isolation exercise, you don’t need to use big weights.


There are many variations of this exercise. You can do this exercise on a machine or on cables. Using a machine or cables makes it a complete isolation exercise. These pieces of equipment will keep constant tension on your shoulder throughout the movement.


Unilateral is when you’re working only one side of your body. In this, you’ll only be working one shoulder at a time. You could use a dumbbell or a cable to complete a set on one side and then switch to the other side.

Core Strength

Since dumbbell lateral raises are an isolation exercise, it uses your core strength and muscle stabilizers. You need to maintain strict form while doing this exercise. This will keep you from swinging and using momentum to lift the weights.

Proper Form And Technique For The Dumbbell Lateral Raises

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Use weights you’ll be comfortable completing 12 reps with.
  2. Hold the dumbbells to your sides. Don’t keep them in front of your thighs. They should be at your sides, in line with your shoulders.
  3. On the concentric—upward movement—your palms should be facing the floor. You’re only allowed a slight bend in your elbows while performing this exercise.
  4. Don’t use any momentum or swinging while lifting the dumbbells. Elevate the dumbbells until your arms are parallel to the floor.
  5. Return to the starting position slowly and repeat.

While doing this exercise, make sure your elbows and hands are always in a straight line. At no point should the dumbbell be higher than your elbows. The idea of this exercise is to work your shoulders. It doesn’t matter how high you can lift the dumbbells.

Common Mistakes While Performing The Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Starting Wrong

Many people start this exercise with the dumbbells in front of their quads. They then bend over, bend their elbows and lift the weights in front of them. This complete approach is wrong. Use the technique mentioned above to make the most of this exercise.

Using Momentum

The biggest mistake we see people making is they use a lot of momentum to lift the weights. This includes swinging or even using a spotter. Drop your ego and use weights which you can lift for 12 reps without using and momentum or swinging.

Lifting The Dumbbells Too High

You only need to lift the dumbbells so high that your arms are parallel to the floor. Anything higher will take away the constant tension from your deltoids and put it on your traps. Keep constant tension on your shoulders by minimizing time at the bottom of the movement.

No Variations

People fail at doing variations of this exercise. You constantly need to be shocking your muscles for them to grow. Add a seated or cable version of this exercise in your schedule. Every variation works your muscles a little differently.

May we also suggest:

Training Twice A Day for Massive Gains

Foam Rolling Your Muscles to Lifting Success

7 Old School Exercises For Mad Gains

Leave a Reply

Your name will be published along with your comment. Required fields are marked *
    By clicking "Sign Up" you agree to allow us to keep you informed of our latest news and any offers. We will never sell your details on. Please see our privacy policy for more information.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.