Here’s a quick and basic demo video for lateral raises.
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Why do lateral raises? If you’re generally healthy and pain-free, these are an excellent exercise to strengthen and/or grow the traps and shoulders. These are a bit more of an isolation exercise, so lightweight and higher reps are probably best for most people (maybe 4-5 sets of 10-15 reps), and these should be used in conjunction with compound exercises like overhead press.
1. SLIGHT ELBOW BEND, and maintain that slight bend throughout the movement. Don’t actively bend and straighten at the elbow, as that’ll bring in muscles that shouldn’t be working in this exercise.
2. SLOW AND STEADY to decrease your risk of injury and to make sure you’re using the correct form to get the most out of this exercise.
3. THUMBS ANGLED SLIGHTLY DOWN, but not pointing entirely to the floor. This will keep the upper arm in the correct position to target the lateral deltoid and upper traps,
4. DON’T SWING HIPS FOR MOMENTUM, because doing so means you’re using the intended muscles LESS, which means they won’t get stronger and/or more prominent at the same rate as they would if you were just using proper form.
5.BONUS: See how my arms are uneven? I have an old shoulder injury on my left side that’s affecting my range of motion here. It’s not painful, and asymmetry isn’t necessarily bad, but for most people, it means there’s something that might need to be assessed and addressed by a professional.
If these feel awkward, please have a coach check out your form! If lateral raises hurt you should probably see a physical therapist to determine if they’re appropriate for you.
These are four necessary cues to start getting your lateral raises on track. Do you want to see more about these, or any other exercises?
Have any questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to chat!
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