Small Changes, Big Results | Dumbbell Lateral Raise | Erin Stern

Posted on October 5, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Many of us who lift strive for broad shoulders. Not only does it look powerful and help prevent injury, it can also make the waist look smaller. It can take years to build them, but with proper form, you’ll see results sooner! This month, we’ll focus on the dumbbell lateral raise. Free weights offer the ability to choose range of motion, but they also require a little more discipline.

  • The first small change is to take a seat. This will prevent the use of momentum in raising the weights. Plant both feet on the ground and sit tall. Think of using just your delts to lift the weight.
  • Point your thumbs down and lead the exercise with your pinkies. This will help ensure that the delts are working, and that the biceps don’t start to take over.
  • Another way to keep the biceps out of the exercise is to keep your elbows up. This is especially important as you start to fatigue. Keep in mind, most physique improvements take place during those last few tough reps. Stay present and focused.
  • Raise the dumbbells to about parallel to your shoulders and pause for a second. This will help solidify the mind-muscle connection. Also, try not to let the dumbbells go perpendicular to the ground. This will help keep constant tension on the muscle. Constant tension over time leads to gains and progress!
  • Keep a slight bend in the elbows. Bending the elbows makes the exercise easier and we don’t want that.

 Shoulders seem to respond to both heavy weights/low reps and light weights/high reps. This exercise is going to fall more under the f lighter weights with higher rep’s category. I tend to go with 10-12 lb. dumbbells, as I’m able to keep proper form, even during the challenging last 2-3 reps. I used to use 20 lb. dumbbells, bend my arms, and bounce the weights and never made any progress! Little did I know at the time, but I was training my calves more than my shoulders. Check your ego at the door and start with a lighter weight. The muscles don’t know how much weight you’re lifting!  For an exercise demonstration, please see the corresponding video below.

I rely on PEAK ATP to keep my energy up through my workouts. With it I’m able to fit in more, quality, higher-volume workouts! Thanks for reading…until next time, train hard y’all!

- Erin Stern, 2x Ms. Olympia


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