Lateral raises can help you develop a strong, lean core when done properly. This guide teaches you how to get the most out of your lateral raises to trim your waist and develop a strong set of core muscles. Continue reading to learn more.
Many people do certain exercises because it is what others do in their workout. Everyone knows that bench presses help produce a stronger fuller chest while squats are used to develop and define your leg muscles. However, some people do not realize exactly why they are doing certain exercises. The just do them because others are going them. One such exercise the dumbbell lateral raise. When most people do dumbbell lateral raises, they lift the weights to shoulder level with the arms parallel to the floor. Do you know? Many think that going higher than this level can cause injury to the rotator cuff. They are wrong. Others think that keeping their arms in the parallel position stops the delts from working.
They are also wrong.
Louie Brockhoeft, MES and personal fitness coach at Mercy Hospital in Anderson, Ohio says that during a dumbbell lateral raise, arms should be parallel to provide a good workout for the deltoids. Additionally, this movement does not put stress on the shoulder joint. If you really want to increase the effectiveness of this exercise, go 45 degrees past parallel. This movement engages the middle delt and uses the upper traps, the levator scapulae and the muscles surrounding the scapula, including the lower traps, the serratus and the rhomboids.
Although the concern for rotator cuff impingement is serious, Brockhoeft says you can minimize the risk. First turn your palms upwards as you lift the dumbbell. Then, instead of lifting the weights directly out to your side, raise your arms to form a wide V about 10 degrees in front of your torso.
These two things can help prevent tears and increase your comfort level when performing lateral raises.
Brockhoeft explains that you should not go above 135 degrees, which is halfway between your arms being in parallel position and straight overhead. This midway point works the middle deltoids. Once you pass 135 degrees, you are no longer fighting gravity and the dumbbell becomes lighter which does not work the muscle as much. Going to a 135-degree angle maximizes the effectiveness of this exercise for your deltoid muscles and makes the traps work at a different angle than they are accustomed to working at.
Those suffering from rotator cuff injuries should not raise their arms more than parallel. However, Brockhoeft offers numerous ways you can include lateral raises in your workout. See below to learn more about these exercises.
Creating a V shape makes sense, states Brockhoeft. This exercise helps traps and delts separate better making your look wider. It also works the trap fibers which helps you appear thicker.
You can build muscle by using the exercise explained above. Develop larger muscles by raising those weights a little higher during your workout.
In Your Workout
Because it is more difficult to lift your weights to a 135-degree angle, which is the halfway position between the parallel position and the overhead position, you will need to use lighter dumbbells. To begin your workout, use heavy weight for your shoulder presses. Then use lighter weight, high volume isolation work to really get that ripped look.
If you have heavy shoulder days and light shoulder days, do lift the weights parallel using heavy weights on your heavy shoulder days and use light weights at the 135-degree angle on your light shoulder days.
Alternatively, you can begin with parallel lateral raises using heavy weights during the first part of your workout and then switch to lighter weights and above parallel position later in your workout.
Finally, you can really amp up your workout by beginning with the weights in a parallel position and lift to a 90-degree angle and then on to the 135-degree angle before returning to the parallel position.
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