Medical Articles

Lateral Raises

Lateral raises are the primary method by which bodybuilders increase shoulder muscle width and mass. They are among the only exercises capable of isolating the muscles in the middle shoulder area, and are a fantastic way to gain the wide shouldered "V" shape for which all body builders strive. Lateral raises can be performed in a sitting or standing position. They require the use of dumbbells. By using dumbbells you are able to perform simultaneous lifts with both arms. This guarantees the same workout for both side of your body, building the muscles of the shoulders.

In order to work the lateral raise in a standing position, you must be sure you are standing straight and that you place your feet apart. Balancing yourself with your feet the same distance apart as your shoulders allows you to evenly distribute your body weight and lessen the likelihood of muscle strains in your lower back in particular. This stance also makes it possible for you to focus your energies on the muscles in your shoulders, preventing you from using your back, legs, or other muscle groups to compensation while lifting. With the dumbbells in hand, you raise your arms slowly to shoulder height, taking special care to not bend your elbows or legs. You want to make sure your forcing your shoulder muscles to do the work in lateral raises, thereby building the strength and stamina of the should muscle region.

If you're new to bodybuilding, you may want to consider starting out by performing lateral raises in a sitting position rather than standing. This helps you slowly increase your ability to target the appropriate muscle groups without having the distractions that come with standing lifts. If you perform laterals in a sitting position, you must ensure that you keep your back straight at all times. Failing to do so can result in lower back strain or more serious injury. Using a back brace can help you in the beginning to maintain the appropriate posture and limit the possibility of injury. When you are further along in your workout routines, you can begin to perform lateral raises from different angles, targeting the back and front of your shoulder muscles in addition to the top and middle. The variation will help you create the sculpture appearance you want in your shoulder region.


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