T Nation

Cable Laterals - Form for Shoulder Health?


I hear the shoulders are a pretty problematic area and get injured often. People are very vague when describing them "dont do upright rows, they bad for shoulders" or "benching effed up my shoulders".

I'd like to be as careful as possible with shoulder health.

I've been doing lateral cable raises since my lat delts are still rather small from only doing presses and not direct work. I start with the cable on the bottom, grab with opposite hand and walk out so there's tension in the cable, and pull directly across my body (cable touching body). My arm is bent and the last part of the movement is like a quarter circle, so tracking my hand would give a sloped line and then a curve upwards at the top of the movement. The negative is very controlled and just a reversal of the cable path.

Tension in lat delts is much higher after 3x16 of this. however the next days i notice my shoulder feels funny (not sure if injury or soreness, no pain though), especially near the back end if i rotate my shoulders with my hands in the air in a circular movement.

i know this is vague and useless, but was wondering if anyone else experienced weird feelinsg in shoulders while doing lateral raises or cables, or can recognize a form issue that is notorious for exploding shoulders. thanks


Youre gonna have to describe this "funny" feeling in your shoulders better than that.

Anyways, while i HAVE injured my shoulders doing cable lateral raises before with too much weight/accelerating the movement too fast/not being warmed up properly, i find that doing them with lighter weight and very strict form makes it easier to really hit them, and causes me virtually no discomfort the next day.

One thing i might try is starting the movement directly from the corresponding side you are working rather than pulling from across your body. Might help keep more tension in the shoulders and who knows, might also feel a little better. In my experience the whole reason i use cables for shoulder iso work is because i find that keeping tension throughout the whole movement feels much more comfortable than if i lose tension at the bottom.


hmm yea terrible description,ld but i have never had shoulder injuries, and cant remember the last time i had non-frontdelt soreness. def feels more internal, and full ROM has some sort of soreness/feeling


Look at the bottom one here. It could be any one of them, but I get a weird feeling of soreness from the bottom one.


Then again, I actually train my external rotators, so it makes sense for them to be sore. I don't think that's supposed to happen from lateral raises.

If it's not the bottom one, then you could find which one it is. Test it next time you get the feeling.


Im 90% sure the way i hurt my shoulder was doing cable laterals with bad form and jerking the weight up