The prime movers in dumbbell lateral raises are your shoulders, or the deltoids. The shoulder muscles have three heads: anterior, medial and posterior. The anterior and medial head of the deltoid rest along the front and sides of your shoulders and are activated when you raise your arms.


  1. The dumbbell lateral raise is performed from a standing or seated position.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight at your sides.
  3. Turn palms to face your body. If standing, position your feet hip-distance apart. If
    seated, keep your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
  4. Contract your stomach by pulling your navel toward your spine to provide core
  5. Keep a slight bend in your elbow as you exhale and raise the dumbbells out to the sides.
  6. Lift until your arms are parallel with the floor.
  7. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position.