Lateral raises

I’m finding it very difficult to make any progress with lateral raises.
I used to use 16kg dumbells, then over a few months I increased the weight upto 20kg. I found that I was cheating a bit too much and was swinging my upper body to get the dumbells up in the air, so recently have gone back down to using 16kg dumbells. I have been using the same weight for months now but if I increase the weight by say 1kg, I always end up cheating.
Are you guys really strict on form when it comes to this excercise or do you sacrifice form in order to gradually increase the weight???

Lateral raises aren’t an exercise I really am concerned with in terms of strength increases. It’s an ancillary exercise and I never do it before (assuming I even do) a compound movement like a standing press. Laterals are not a movement that lend themselves well to moving big weight with good form.

So, if your pressing weights are increasing, just maintaining strength on the subsequent laterals would be a good thing since the residual fatigue would be greater from the first movement.

Provided your core lifts are increasing, you’re on the right track.

Thunder has given you a perfect answer!

ALWAYS give way for load increases. It’s OK to sacrifice form as long as you can bear to increase the weight and shuttle it all the way up.

I mean, load before form right?

Besides, gotta be nice and primed for that lateral raise meet coming up, and you wouldnt want to disappoint the chicks with a measly 35 lbs on each hand would you. Pffffft, Go straight for the 75 pounders and swing away. Because the core isnt helping or anything, and the shoulders ARE still doing all the work, no?

Jay look at your arm when its outstretched.

Go ahead, look at it. See how big a lever it is? MUCH bigger than the lever in your legs when doing squats, AND with a MUCH smaller muscle. Even if it is a multipennate muscle, its also mainly slow twitch, which means its not necessarily bent towards heavy lifts.

Taking into consideration your shoulders can be fairly prone to injury if overworked, or if loaded with too much weight, so you REALLY think its wise at all to focus on maximal strength when it comes to lateral raises and you’re using about as big a lever as you can get with any movement?

I think its time you put your ego back in the shelf and focus on legitimate strength increases, not on techniques which will hurt you down the road and will do everything BUT bring about strength gains.

What diesel is trying to say is that heavy compound movements (barbell shoulder press, push-press) are far superior to isolation movements for strength gains, and strength gains are the best way to get size gains.

diesel; have you been hitting the vitamin S lately, or just not sleeping enuff?
yeah what thunder said, he’s always rite…

That was a perfect answer from Thunder. The most I’d expect to increase a lateral raise for consistent mass increases would be maybe 5-10 lbs every 6 months that is if you are increasing size. Otherwise military press, bradford press, push press, mid grip pully rows to the neck (for rear delts), alternating over head dumbell press, and even upright rows are going to be your strength moves for the delts. These if done properly will add a lot of mass as well. Diesel, the GHR is almost as long a lever comparatively and much greater weight.

I could just use compound movements, but doesn’t the lateral raise give you the nice round bump on the side of your shoulders?


The lateral portion of the deltoid muscle gives you the nice round bump on the side of your shoulder - and this muscle can be trained much more effectively with other exercises. (Remember, just because a muscle “pops out” more when you’re doing a certain exercise, doesn’t mean that exercise is more effective.)

Generally, the more weight used in an exercise (with good form), the more effective that exercise is. This makes a press far superior to a raise. It’s not just your muscles you have to stimulate for strength and size gains - you need to stimulate the bones and the nervous system - which can only be done with heavy weights.

No, but Ill be straightforward in recommending you Vitamin F.

Or you could do an exercise diesel taught me called “lateral adduction raises”. Prepare for shoulder mass!!! Heheh. Couldn’t resist. :wink:

What does adduction mean?

If you have been doing lateral raises for months, then try something else.

I thought it was lateral ABduction raises. Geez, was I wrong.

I agree that laterals isnt an exercise that lends itself to heavy weights. However I dont think you need to do heavy compound exercises for your delts, if all you want is size. I like the military press, but I`ve always got the best results, mass-wise by doing supersets and trisets. Some of my favorites are: x 3 x 6-10
Upr.c.rows x 3 x 6-10
Machine press x 3 x 6-10


Incline front raise x 3 x 6-10
D.laterals x 3 x 6-10

As long as you do heavy pressing for your pecs you will keep the strenght in your shoulders. I try not to let my ego dictate the weights I use when isolating my lateral head. If the weight is to heavy it`ll do more harm

I did lateral raises after auto-regulatory cluster sets, (look it up) of jerks, and found that I could up my dumbell size with exellent form.

youve probabaly been working to failure. thats the usual reason why traineis dont get stronger. maybe youre form sucks, or you dont recupperate well - another reason.

you want strength?
train as often as possible, as heavy as possible, whil staying as fresh as possible. - zatirovsky.

you could also try heavy (5RM) momentumless raises (i.e start with your hands at 45 degrees instead of at your sides)and heavy(supra-maximal) eccentric raises.

last thing is that maybe your cuff rotators are youre weakest link - guess what. there’s an excelent article in t-mag about it, youre in luck!


But why not make lateral raises a bigger priority? I mean most trainers already put far too much emphasis on the front part of the delts and dont have nearly enough strength in the side and rear heads…